Matthew 11:12-14—And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
John the Baptist came preaching repentance. Though he was the last to hold the Old Testament office of prophet, his message was not about the Law. It was about the coming kingdom of heaven. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Crowds were drawn to the wilderness to hear John speak and be baptized by him. Their hearts were becoming a level highway for Christ to enter in. Even though the Spirit was forcefully moving people, they had to be willing to buck centuries of tradition and thought patterns to hear and receive the Gospel. The Prophets and the Law pointed to the coming Messiah. The Jews believed that Elijah would return to prepare the way for the Messiah. Jesus was telling them that Elijah had come, in John the Baptist. John was the one that prepared the way for the Messiah. All history pointed to the moment in time in which they lived. The revelation of God to man was climaxing in that day. No wonder Jesus said the kingdom of heaven was forcefully advancing since John began his ministry. This was it! But it continues its advance. After Jesus ascension, the Spirit was poured out upon men. The kingdom of heaven continues to forcefully advance. Have you forcefully laid hold of it? It takes an effort to break the traditions and thought patterns of man and let Christ be formed in you. Forcefully lay hold of the kingdom of heaven in all your ways. Don’t allow the world to hold you back! Lay hold of the kingdom of heaven.