On one occasion, a group of Pharisees asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come. In reply, Jesus told them, “The Kingdom of God is not coming in a way you can observe, nor will people say, “Look, here it is!’ or ‘Look, there it is!’ because the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21 EHV). Jesus was teaching that the Kingdom of God is spiritual in nature and includes all of his believers of all time.
Sometimes people ask me if it is possible that some of the men and women who join in our study of God’s Word really are not believers in Jesus. Maybe they come to our study just because it is something to do, or maybe they want to look like Christians.
When someone asks that question, I remember what Jesus said about God’s Kingdom. It does not come in a way which is observable. It is a matter of faith in Jesus. When the Holy Spirit uses the Gospel to bring someone to faith in Jesus or nourishes that faith, then the Kingdom of God is present.
That’s what our God promises in Isaiah 55:10-11, “Just as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return there unless they first water the earth, make it give birth, and cause it to sprout, so that it gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater, in the same way my word that goes out from my mouth will not return to me empty. Rather it will accomplish whatever I please.” And that is something that only God can see.
Please join me in thankfully praying that the Holy Spirit would continue to strengthen and preserve our fellow believers in their faith while they are incarcerated.