The Kingdom of God: What is it?

Thy Kingdom ComeThe news today is full of discouraging items, everything from legalizing drugs, to celebrating sexual depravity, to the continuing murder of countless children in the womb and so much more.

We believers in Jesus Christ, sons and daughters of His Kingdom,  live in the “kingdom of darkness.” I tend to forget that. As a Bible believing Christian I should know this and not be so surprised when culture and the world run headlong into Hell. Adam’s flesh is fallen. It is dead to God and righteousness. The unsaved are “children of the devil.” The governments of this world are under the control of the “god of this world.”  We are between two worlds, two kingdoms, the kingdom of darkness and the coming Kingdom of Light.

So when I remember this, I must ponder and think deeply about the Kingdom that I do belong to. It is a Kingdom that is not here, yet. It is my “hope.” And this HOPE is sure. We are taught to pray, “Your Kingdom come,” because it is still future, but it is for sure. We are to be “groaning for” and longing for this kingdom, eagerly waiting for it with perseverance (Romans 8:18-25).  By God’s Grace in Jesus Christ, I am a member of this Kingdom. I have been transferred from the “dominion of darkness into the Kingdom of Light” because I am now “in Christ.” I belong to the “Kingdom of His dear Son.” I am a citizen of this heavenly kingdom because I have been “born again.” Jesus tells us to enter into the Kingdom “you must be born again.”  We must be regenerated, that is new life, eternal life. That Life only comes as a result of believing in the One and Only Lord Jesus Christ who then gives us His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Life.

We hear the term “Kingdom” used all the time in Evangelical circles today. “We are building the Kingdom of God.” We “expand the Kingdom of God.” We are “doing Kingdom work.” We say things like, “the Kingdom of God is in us.” I remember being taught in Bible school six different kingdoms that God rules over: the universal kingdom (God’s sovereign rule over the whole universe); the spiritual kingdom (believers individually and corporately the church); the theocratic kingdom (Israel); the Mystery Kingdom (Christendom); the Messianic Kingdom (Millennium); the Eternal Kingdom. This can get real confusing, especially when you have to really “stand on your head” to get all this from the Bible.

In fact the Bible, God’s Word to us today, only speaks of ONE Kingdom. That is the Kingdom of Christ, God or Heaven. It is the Kingdom promised to Abraham and his offspring by covenant. It is the Kingdom that God promised to David’s Son, the One David calls “LORD.” It is the Kingdom that the prophets all spoke of as the hope of Israel and the “covenant of Peace” and the “mercies of David.” It is embodied in the “New Covenant” prophesied by Jeremiah and seen in the “Son of Man” in Daniel. Hosea said that one day Israel will be restored to the land promised to Abraham when Messiah “will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, and I will say to those who were not My people, You are My people! And they will say, “You are my God!” God promised Abraham and therefore Israel the Kingdom of God. But the only way they were going to realize it was when Messiah came and restored them to it. The angels announced the birth of Messiah, prophets and prophetesses rejoiced! John the Baptizer was given as the Elijah “preparing the way of the Lord.” He came preaching, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near!” Jesus, the Messiah preached the same thing and taught His disciples to preach the same. The Kingdom was at hand, it was near! Messiah was here, but only a prepared people could receive the Kingdom. Repentance and faith was required, then and now.

When Israel rejected their Messiah the Kingdom was postponed. They killed Messiah as ordained by God, because He had to die for their sins and the sins of the whole world. But the disciples continued to anticipate the DAY when the Kingdom would come. The Day when Messiah would establish His throne in Israel, destroy their enemies and rule the whole world in righteousness from his father David’s throne. Jesus taught them this. For three and a half years He explained how to be prepared for the Kingdom in the many parables and who could enter in. When He rose from the dead He spent the next 40 days with his apostles explaining the Kingdom of God to them further (Acts 1:3) and before He ascended to the right hand of the Father they asked Him when He would establish this promised theocratic, Davidic Kingdom. And He said it was not for them or us to know, but until then we were to be His witnesses (martyrs) taking the Gospel of the Kingdom to the whole world until His return. He said to them in Matthew to “Make Disciples! of everybody, everywhere until I return.”

Friends, we are looking for a Kingdom not made with Hands, one that will come from Heaven when Jesus returns. When the King comes this next time, the Kingdom in Heaven will be established here on earth as it is in Heaven.

Let us be found faithful, enduring to the end, so that we and those who believe our message may share in the Prize of the Upward Call of Christ Jesus in His Kingdom.

Revelations 22
vs 7  “And behold, I am coming suddenly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book”
vs. 12, 13 “Behold, I am coming suddenly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
vs. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
vs. 20 …”Yes, I am coming suddenly!”