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Jesus spoke often about the “kingdom of God/heaven.” What was He talking about, exactly? Many religious groups teach that the kingdom to which Christ is referring, is something that has not yet arrived – it is still coming sometime in the future. One of these doctrines is known as “premillennialism.” It suggests that when Jesus returns, He will then establish a kingdom on earth for a thousand years. This theory is derived from misconstruing several passages. Sadly, this teaching has greatly confused many people. So, what is the truth about God’s kingdom? Is it possible to accurately discern its establishment or existence? Indeed, it is possible. It is not at all hard to determine the truth. We must simply look into the Bible to find the answers.
First, we read where prophets like Daniel and Isaiah prophesied about a coming kingdom (Daniel 2:44; Isaiah 2:2; 9:7). It would be a special kingdom, like no other before it. Daniel even specifies the time-frame of its establishment, saying, “In the days of these kings.” He refers to a fourth kingdom to arise after the present one of his time. History shows us that this was the Babylonian kingdom, which was followed by the Medo-Persians, the Greeks, and then the Romans. So, according to the prophecy, God’s kingdom would be established during the reign of the Roman Empire. That’s an important point!
Secondly, when Jesus came to earth and preached, He said the kingdom “was at hand” (Matt 4:17) and He also stated that, “the kingdom has come near you” (Luke 10:9). This indicates a close proximity of time for its establishment. Remember, Jesus lived during the time of the Roman Empire. Galatians 4:4 also teaches, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” God’s timing was involved.
Thirdly, one must simply look for specific, identifying characteristics that indicate the presence of a kingdom. For example, every kingdom must have a king, subjects to that king, its own territory, and its own law. If it can be established that those four elements are present today, then we can conclude that the kingdom exists today. So, if you will diligently study the following passages, you will see that not only does the “kingdom of God” already have all these characteristics present, but it has also already arrived and is among us! Start with the question, “Does the kingdom have a king? If so, is he reigning now?” Look in John 18:33-36; 1 Corinthians 15:25,26; 1 Timothy 6:14,15 and Ephesians 1:20-22. According to these verses, is Jesus the king? Is He already reigning? If so, where is He?
Next, consider whether or not the kingdom has subjects. What does John say about himself in Revelation 1:9? What does he say he is “in’? Now, look in Colossians 1:2,12,13, 18 and Hebrews 12:28. What does this indicate about Christians? Do we not all belong to God according to Romans 6:17-22? Now, what about its territory? Notice that in Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus uses the terms “church” and “kingdom” interchangeably. Now, consider the words “church” and “body” are used interchangeably in Ephesians 1:22-23. Both Acts 2:47 and Galatians 3:27 teach that we are added into Christ (the church) upon our obedience to the Gospel (1 Corinthians 12:13). Then, notice that Jesus describes the kingdom as one that isn’t physically visible, but rather, it is within us (Luke 17:20-21). The territory of the kingdom is found among the hearts of the disciples (Romans 14:17).
Lastly, does the kingdom of God have a law? If you compare Colossians 2:14 and Galatians 6:2 alongside with what Jesus taught in Mathew 5:21-48, it should be obvious that all Christians live under a new law – the Law of Christ. This is because we are also under a new covenant (Matthew 26:28).
According to what we have observed and studied here, we may deduce that the kingdom of God does, indeed, already have its king – Jesus Christ. It has subjects to the king – His disciples, Christians. It has a territory – the hearts of those in His church. And, it has its own law – found written in New Testament. All these verses categorically confirm that the kingdom of God has come, it is here, it currently exists. Therefore, it is not some future institution waiting to still be established one day. This leaves a another implication – one that is very serious – are YOU part of His kingdom? If you want to be among the saved, get in!