I begin with a bit of background. What I see in scripture is that when Adam and Eve fell in Genesis 3 the earth’s dominion was moved to Satan, the Adversary. Yahweh still owned the earth but the general rule and dominion He had delegated to Adam and Eve and they gave it away. In scripture we see how it was restored in The Great Commission in Matthew 28.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18–20 (NKJV)
Jesus was clear when He said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Authority in heaven had never been lost (Psalm 115:16), on the earth it had, and Jesus restored it through His sacrifice as He was fully God and fully man. As Paul put it.
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV)
At the same time, it doesn’t look like Jesus is ruling and reigning on earth, in fact He isn’t. In Matthew 28 He told us to go and bring about change. He wants to rule through His church. Look at these scriptures together, a portion of Matthew 28:18-19 and then Genesis.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26–28 (NKJV)
In effect, what we refer to as The Great Commission is a recommissioning of the original command in Genesis to be fruitful and fill and subdue the earth. Yahweh created a garden, heaven on earth, that He wanted Adam and Eve to extend to the rest of the earth. The way it works for us is that we each have a sphere of authority. When we were born again we were commissioned to use that authority to represent the King and extend His dominion in the earth. Though Jesus has all authority He chose to exercise it through a praying and proclaiming church, His body on the earth.
This doesn’t mean we are to exercise control over our society or culture. We are however to be an influence, a change agent, so that wherever we are others encounter His presence. There is the ‘already not yet’ idea of His kingdom in that Jesus already secured the victory but it will not be fully realized until His visible return at the end of the age. In the meantime, we are to reflect and demonstrate His kingdom within our sphere of influence so that wherever we are is a reflection of another kingdom. We are to have the attitude of Jesus that we are to be ‘about our Father’s business’ (Luke 2:49).
Let’s do that.