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Civilizations Rise and Fall But The Kingdom Is Forever

I am a big fan of history, I love to study not only what happened, how, and why, but what cycles and patterns can be seen and how we can use that knowledge to predict possible future events.

Here's what I have come to believe- there are cycles in human history and that whole civilizations go through a process of birth, development, maturity, and, ultimately, death. Nothing human and of this world  can last forever. It is important to remember that.

The old civilizations of the West and the East are entering into their terminal, or last days, of life. Stripped of all creative and even moral vitality, all that is left for these albatrosses of history is the final form of an emergent totalitarian universal state ruled by force, and nothing else.

This is as inevitable in the natural historical cycle as the sunrise. It would truly take a miracle for this NOT to happen.

With this natural historical cycle that sees the final phase of a civilization ending in a totalitarian universal state there is an opposite process; the emergence of a new civilization which has a great amount of creative and moral vitality.

The forces of decay that act on the old civilization act on people in various types of physical and social communities to essentially divorce themselves spiritually and culturally from the surrounding civilization to pursue of life that is quite at odds with the way of life of their surrounding culture.

This process of emergent “genesis communities” within the old civilization that become the seeds of a new civilization (as a common consensus of social and ethical norms solidifies) is as natural and inevitable as the decline and demise of old civilizations.

Anything of this earth is temporary; it has a beginning and a middle and it will, like each of us, have an end.

Western Civilization, of which America and Western European nations are a part,  is dying. It has to die, it WILL die. But that doesn't mean WE, people and communities in the midst of that civilization have to suffer its fate. History shows us that people who embrace the new civilization, even in the natural, tend to escape the worse results of the old civilization's demise. But this is not what I am focusing on here, I am not so concerned with natural civilizations, although studying them always fascinates me.

There is a civilization, however, that is NOT subject to the natural laws. This civilization has no end, and it doesn't lose its spiritual, and therefore its creative and moral vitality. This civilization will never come to an end, because it is not earth-based, it is heaven-based; it’s capital city is New Jerusalem, which will come down after the creation of a New Heaven and a New Earth, but its genesis communities, the Body of Christ acting in one accord as a community assembly of all Believers (the Ecclesia) exist here and now within the civilizations of men.

This civilization stands outside of the earthly cycle, and for the Believer, this civilization is the focus and proper homeland, as it were, of his or her existence not only in the world to come, but in this life as well. We call this “the Kingdom of God”, here God Himself, in Jesus Christ our King, and His WAYS of love and truth, of righteousness and joy, reign supreme over everyone and everything.

We should be aware of the times and seasons and how best to respond to what is happening around us so that we can reach out to and impact the people around us who have yet to transition from death to life, from the kingdoms of men to the Kingdom of God, from darkness to light.

We live in a time of troubles.

Old human civilizations are dying, new civilizations are going to emerge, and this could actually get pretty ugly with upheavals and wars and many other disturbances. It is, it seems, precisely during times like this that the END of all things will come, so if your news headlines look somewhat like the Book of Revelation, don’t be surprised or alarmed, in the end, if we persevere in faithfulness to Jesus Christ as citizens of HIS Kingdom and members of HIS “civilization”, we will overcome by the word of our testimony.

While in the natural people might escape the worse consequences of a dying civilization by embracing a new civilization, as Christians we should always be "living" as if our eternal civilization, the Kingdom of God, was among us- not just when we participate in the sacred life of the Body of Christ but even in our civic life both in the Kingdom and in the natural, and even in our social life and our market or economic life both within the Kingdom (with other Believers around us) and in our natural life where  we are born to be salt and light witnesses to people around us.

We don't need an escape, we are already citizens of the ETERNALLY new civilization of the Kingdom of God. If we want to weather this time of troubles, we have to start ACTING like we are part of THIS Kingdom and not the kingdoms of men.

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Comment by Dr. Bill Smith on October 22, 2012 at 5:29pm

Great article! Shared it on Greater Fitchburg For Life http://greaterfitchburgforlife.blogspot.com/2012/10/civilizations-r...

Comment by Steve Belttari on October 8, 2012 at 11:43am

     From the fall of man in Genesis, until the final worldwide totalitarian state under the AntiChrist, men have been centralizing towards that end, while God has been at work decentralizing towards civilization.  The wisdom of this world is to centralize power, Israel asked for a king even though God told them that they didn't need one, because He was their king.  Divine intervention keeps our civilization from collapsing, but that will not always be the case, because in the not to distant future the Church will be taken out of the way(rapture) and the lawless on will be revealed(2 Thes 2 vs 7-8). 

Comment by Dave Knauss on October 8, 2012 at 11:01am

PS to last comment:  I'm proud to say, being part of God's Kingdom, that I am in the new emergent civilization (Kingdom). An older kernel of corn must fall into the ground and die before a newer one can spring to life!

Comment by Dave Knauss on October 8, 2012 at 10:56am

Ecclesiastes and King Solomon (which is God's Word BTW) all say the same--THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN--great article and reminder of God's Word  :)

Dr. Dave

Comment by SueW on October 8, 2012 at 5:04am
Seems kind of a no brainer to me. Turning to God is always the answer. "All things pass - only God endures" (St Teresa of Avila)
Comment by Carmine Gorga on October 7, 2012 at 10:16pm

Excellent article indeed. Very optimistic; very realistic. Congratulations, Bill

Comment by Juanita on October 7, 2012 at 7:58pm

EXCELLENT article!  I'm FBing and Tweeting!

Comment by Paul Gordon Collier on October 7, 2012 at 10:51am

this is a good word of encouragement for citizens of the Kingdom of God during these times

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