Luke 1:32-33 :
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.”
I believe it is clear that Gabriel is talking about the future here. The simple fact is that Jesus has not been King of Israel yet. Some people try to spiritualize this part of the Bible. I would like to explain why I don’t think that is an accurate reading of this passage.
The main reason why I don’t think that this is spiritual or symbolic language is because it is part of a prophetic message, parts of which have already taken place. We can tell something about the message by looking at the part that has happened and see whether it was physical or not. Jesus was actually born physically, so we can see that this part of the message was physical even thought it does have a spiritual part. Likewise, it is safe to conclude that the angel was speaking in the same way as he continued his message to Mary. It wouldn’t be logical to spiritualize or make symbolic the last part of the message spoken in a historical narrative to an actual historical figure in the past. I believe that an attempt to read it this way only makes it more confusing. I believe that the reason we have this problem is that there are people who would like to justify their hatred of Israel.
The simple fact is that Jesus is to become a King on earth as He already is in heaven. If that were not the case, how would the Lord’s prayer ever be fulfilled? Is it possible for God not to answer the prayer of the Son of God? The clear picture here is that we are currently in the middle of a prophetic period. Prophesy is still taking place and we will see Jesus become King someday and He will remain King forever.
The world continues to cry out for peace on earth and looks for a world leader to come and make sense of everything. Many attempts to bring men into power that seem to fit this need have already taken place and all have or will fail even though they may seem to be doing well for a time. There is a King coming who will not fail to stay King and keep peace on earth. I’d love to talk for a long time about what this kingdom will be like when we have this heaven on earth. The Bible indicates that animals will no longer fear mankind and I believe we may go back to being vegetarian ourselves (yes, we were before the flood). War will completely stop and bad people will be caught immediately. Everyone will know God’s law in their hearts and won’t need to go learn it because God will make it known in people’s consciences. Israel is to be where Jesus stays and Christians will already be living with Him because Jesus promised to take us out of here before the time of severe trouble and punishment.
An American military leader recently tried to argue that Christians who think this way are dangerous to the current peace efforts on earth. It was reported that Christians think that there will be war for 1000 years. Nothing could be further from the truth. Christians believe in peace for 1000 years as Jesus reigns without any war at all. We are at odds with any peace that leaves Jesus out of the picture, however! Some horrible things must take place before this happens because men refuse to accept their God, but that is not what we focus on as Christians. It is just a true warning about the future for those who don’t believe. I look for peace, hope and joy in the future because that is the future of everyone who believes in Jesus according to the Bible.