Background Scripture: Revelation 1: 1-8
Focus Passage: : "John,
To the seven churches in the province of Asia:
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth."(Rev. 1: 4-5 NIV; emphasis mine).
AND THE REAL RULER IS...
Oh, I know that Kim Jong Il thinks he is the supreme ruler of North Korea, autonomous and all of that. And, my guess is that Mahmoud Admadinejad has a similar impression...not to mention Hugo Chavez, the King of Saudi Arabia, and Muomar Qaddafi. But who really is the ruler of them all? (I suspect you know where I am going with this.) What are the chances that, if you put all of the above in a room together, that they would come out with a cooperative plan for world peace? Hmmm...
And, while it looks to Ahmadinejad (for example) that he will soon rule the world along with "The Twelfth Imam" of Islamic eschatology, I wouldn't get fitted for a crown just yet if I were him. You see, one mistake we sometimes make when we study the Bible in general and Revelation in particular is that we sometimes say that "Jesus will reign on earth someday." (Matt. 28: 18, 19) While the "on earth (physically)" part is correct, we err when we imply that He is not reigning right now. According to our text, Jesus Christ IS the ruler of the kings on earth.
So, where does that leave us when we consider that God, through His Son, has placed or allowed such scoundrels and rogues to be in positions of power? Does that mean he is not in complete control of those events? Not on your life! We have a wonderful example of this in Genesis 20 where Abraham tells Abimelech that his wife Sarah is his sister. As a result of this fabrication, Abimelech takes Sarah into his harem. But, God intervenes and shows the king in a dream something that is very important to note here. He says to Abimelech, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her."
This means that God has the power and authority to prevent rulers who do not even know Him from doing acts that are sin. He can and does restrain evil when it suits His providential purposes. But, how would our Lord and Savior answer if one of these sham rulers asked Him, "What gives you the right to rule over me. I have the consent of my people (doubtful), and the endorsement of my constitution in a sovereign nation. I have the power of the military behind me and of the (puppet) legislature. What say ye?"
Here is how He would answer:
"I have rule over you by virtue of God's election and by virtue of my resurrection from the dead, my indestructible life, and my installation at God's right hand. When I rose from the dead, God gave me a name that was above every name (even Mahmoud or Hugo), that at the mention of my name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that I Jesus am the King of kings and Lord of lords to the glory of God the Father."
As a result of the above, Christ has the authority of claim citizens anywhere and everywhere on earth, even in nations where His name is not honored or even allowed to be spoken aloud. While many megalomaniacal leaders of the past have dreamed of ruling the whole world, it has never come to pass. So, be encouraged, strengthened, hopeful, cheerful, and bold even as you view the turmoil of this world. "Jesus is the ruler of the kings on earth!"
Keep and Defend the Faith,