Archive for the ‘The Church’ Category

The Kingdom

A kingdom implies rule by a royal power, a king who has dominion and rule over all his subjects.  The New Testament talks of the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven.  They are one and the same kingdom. Jesus Christ, Himself interchanges the two expressions.

Matthew chapter 19 verses 23 & 24; And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

Jesus proclaimed both that the kingdom was here and now and yet still to come in the future:-

Examples of verses that indicated it was a future kingdom:-

Luke chapter 11 verse 2; And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.

 Matthew chapter 8 verse 11; I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,

A few other verses alluding to a future kingdom –  Matthew chapter 7 verses 21 & 22; chapter 25 verses 31-34; chapter 26 verses 29; Revelation chapter 12 verse 10.

Examples of verses that indicated it was a here and now kingdom:-

Luke chapter 11 verse 20;  But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

 Mark chapter 9 verse 1;  And he Jesus) said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”

 Luke chapter 17 verse 20 & 21;  Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he (Jesus) answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

The kingdom being here and now manifest itself in the person of Jesus Christ and His deeds.  The public and visible healings, miracles and casting out demons were signs as to who Jesus was.

Jesus in answer to a question are you ‘the one to come’ by the imprisoned John the Baptist told John’s disciples in:-

Luke chapter 7 verse 22;  And he (Jesus) answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.

The Israelite’s were waiting for a prophesied Messiah to come and usher in an eternal kingdom.  A kingdom that would free them forever from oppression, slavery and death at the hands of stronger countries like the Romans of that time.  A king from the line of David (a former great king of theirs).  Jesus was of the line of David through his mother’s lineage He was and is the Messiah.  As He said to the Pharisees in Luke 17 the kingdom was amidst them; because He Jesus was indeed standing amongst them.  Yet at that time He came to be a suffering servant.  The sacrificial lamb.  To pay the penalty for humanity’s sins because the wages of sin are death.  To those who believe He is the Messiah who died on the cross and rose again three days later and repent of their wrong doings and obey His commands eternal life is the reward.  The Bible tells us that He will be coming again to fully implement His kingdom.  This time not as a suffering servant but as a mighty, powerful king. Then it will be too late to turn to Him as Saviour, He will now be the king and judge of all.

Luke chapter 16 verse 16 talks about the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.  Jesus said the Law and the Prophets were proclaimed till John (the Baptist); since then the good news of the kingdom is preached.  Two distinct periods of time are referred to here with John the Baptist bridging the two.  The Old Testament (Law and Prophets) which pointed to Jesus and the New Testament (good news of the kingdom) which declares Jesus.

The kingdom of God is both here and now because Jesus Christ came to dwell amongst men and His disciples who continue to believe, follow and obey Him.  The kingdom is also still to come and will be fully realised when Jesus returns at some point in the future.

All Bible texts taken from the English Standard Version