But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
Not everyone will die before they see the Kingdom. Judas didn’t see the kingdom. Some of those hearing Jesus words, because of unbelief on their part, would never experience the kingdom. Peter, James and John, in the very next verses saw the king in his glory. 120 followers of Jesus, in Acts 2, would experience the Kingdom when the Holy Spirit came upon them. Peter, in his Pentecost sermon quoted Joel regarding the last days and the coming of the Lord. He said, “this (referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit) is what was uttered through Joel.” The Kingdom was not yet, and still the Kingdom was here. The Kingdom is here. 2 Corinthians 1:21 says, “It is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (or down payment).” The Kingdom is not yet, but it is now through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
When you get or renew your driver’s license, you to get a temporary Driver’s License, at least in some states. It is a full-fledged driver’s license, but it was temporary. It doesn't have your picture on it, and it isn't intended to be permanent. Once the real license comes the temporary isn't needed anymore. With the temporary license, you have your license, but you don't have your license yet. Similarly, the Kingdom is here through the indwelling Holy Spirit, but the kingdom is not here yet.
Luke 9:27 says, “Not everyone will taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” The “not everyone” included Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus. It did not include Judas, who betrayed him. Judas lost his life. Peter was blessed (Lk 24:51). What made the difference? Judas’ choice was a commitment to take sides against Jesus. Peter’s choice was a momentary failure followed by brokenness and faith (Lk 24:52-53). Peter came to understand what Jesus meant when he said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily.”
“Come and die,” the Master calleth, “Come and die;”
If you save your life, you’ll lose it every time;
You can gain the whole wide world, lose your soul at the same time;
Be ashamed of him and lose, “Come and die.”
Where do you need to die today? To your will? To your reputation? To your plans for the future? To your insistence on working to earn God’s favor? To the humility of receiving the gift of life from God with nothing to offer in return? Today is a good day to die.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.