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A Foretaste of His Kingdom

Sep 3, 2008, 6:00 AM | Article By: By Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

Ever heard of Testers? They are samples of perfume brands put at the disposal of any potential client in order to permit the latter test its fragrance. It helps the client make up her/his mind about her/his choice - unhindered. After spraying it on yourself, you get a taste (or a smell) of what the fragrance is about when you wear one.

In the realm of testers there are some striking resemblances with the kingdom of God. God, the Almighty, continually extends a hand of welcome to all who seek to know Him, who would like to try out the benefits of His kingdom. From the beginning of time, the kingdom of God has always been with us and God has been constantly beckoning to all to come and live out this experience which He qualifies as good.

He urges us to take a bite and see. The psalmist renders it thus: "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him." (Psalm 34:8) God's kingdom is like a product that addresses our most immediate needs here and in the hereafter. We have to try it out here on earth first to be entitled to it in His heavenly kingdom.  

Whilst on earth, we can only test the product, and have a glimpse or a foretaste of what is to come; the real kingdom is in heaven. We need to look for a place there but whilst living on earth. And just as the bottle of perfume is marked 'tester', so also we consider our earthly existence as a preview of the things that await us when our Lord Jesus will come into His kingdom. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:2)

Another marked resemblance which cannot go unnoticed is that like testers, access to the kingdom of God is totally free of charge. Everybody has access. Salvation, the Bible declares is free to all who seek it. The train to Zion, which would be the New Jerusalem, is a free ride says one of the popular gospel songs. Paul confirms that there is no ticket to get on board. "For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favour) that you have been saved, (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through your faith - and this (salvation) is not of yourselves - of your own doing, it came not through your own striving - it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8 Amplified Version)

No effort on our part is required because salvation is not on sale. All that is required of us is to accept the offer of Christ's shed blood on the cross of Calvary to save humankind. "For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He (even) gave up His only-begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish - come to destruction, be lost - but have eternal (everlasting) life." (John 3:16 Amplified Version)

Your testing of the product is an entitlement, an option which you should not miss. There are no strings attached, no obligations. You can go as far as to test it and not buy it. You cannot however take the tester home with you. The full bottle, the real thing is what has been reserved for you.

A colleague confessed to me that whilst studying abroad, she regularly passed by one of these Department stores to test some perfume. That was her way of putting on expensive perfume that she could not buy at the time.

Now that she can afford brand names, a friend of hers on her return from overseas, offered her a bottle of perfume marked 'tester'. She was all upset and you can imagine why. Yes, she is now worth much more than a tester. For that reason, she turned down the gift.

Yes, we cannot live on testers forever; we are deserving of a full sealed bottle of the original brand. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)  

Our Lord Jesus promises to bring peace to our troubled existence which is a major characteristic of this world. He says: ". in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble." (John 16:33)

Should anyone question your desire to test the fragrance of a bottle of God's perfume? Test its fragrance in Christ Jesus for a ticket to the kingdom of God.