Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28
There are very few things in the world which can accurately be described as unshakable, or unmovable. Today we can dynamite them, blast them into oblivion, or if they are immaterial, we apply pressure to get something or someone to change. There is no such thing as an immovable object meeting an irrestible force. So when something is described as unshakable or unmovable, you had better pay attention.
That’s why words written long ago have significance in our world today. OK, listen carefully. The writer of Hebrews said, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).
What’s he talking about? And who is the “we” he’s referring to? He’s talking about the kingdom of God, the territory in the heart of every one of God’s children. The “we” means every child of God who has embraced Jesus Christ as Lord. The Greek word unmovable is in an interesting word found twice in the New Testament. When the ship Paul was on as he journeyed to Rome shipwrecked and the bow rammed into the rocks, it was described using this very word—immovable, unshakable (Acts 27:41).
Consider this. Great Britain is a kingdom. The Philippines is a republic. What’s the difference? There can be no kingdom without a king. Thus, when leaders are elected, as opposed to inheriting a position because of one’s royal lineage, it is considered a republic. Then who’s the king in this unshakable kingdom?
When Jesus was crucified an inscription was placed on the cross with these words: “This is Jesus the king of the Jews!” He was of the royal lineage of David, and he fulfilled the prophecy that one of David’s lineage would rule and reign forever, but His kingdom was no threat to Caesar. “My kingdom is not of this world,” He told Pilate.
The king who wants to rule and reign in the hearts of God’s children couldn’t be shaken, either. When it was time to go to Jerusalem, He set his face like a flint; and He turned neither to the right nor to the left.
Notice then, that not only is the kingdom unshakable, but the King is unshakable as well. And, as a final thought, this gives strength to the subjects of the kingdom to be unshakable as well.
Are Christians, at times, stubborn, unmovable, unshakable? In the first century, Nero demanded to be worshipped as a god. Subjects of the Roman Empire were required to go to a pagan temple and offer a pinch of incense saying, “Caesar estin kurios,” or Caesar is Lord. They didn’t have to really believe it, only say it. “No,” these stubborn followers of Jesus of Nazareth, cried, “Christos estin Kurios,” or Christ is Lord, they shouted, immovable, unshakable.
A strange lot, these stubborn, unshakable citizens of an unmovable kingdom, who follow an unmovable king. Their chief weapon is love, and they are taught to do good unto all men, to pray for their enemies, and to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, minister to the sick and afflicted, and to overcome evil with goodness.
In a world where people form values based on the shifting tides of opinion, we need more unshakable subjects of an unmovable kingdom. Thus, as the writer said, “Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
Kingdoms will rise and fall. None is unshakable, save one, and, thank God, it is the one whose builder and maker is God. As Abraham looked for a city whose maker and builder is God, so must we remember there is an unshakable kingdom in a very shaky world.
Resource reading: Matthew 6:25-34.