The central message of Jesus Christ during his earthly ministry was the Kingdom of God.
A simple review of the gospels reveals that Christ’s primary mission was to teach mankind how to enter the Kingdom of God.
Both John the Baptist (who heralded the coming of Christ) and Christ Himself warned those who heard their voices to “repent” in preparation for the arrival of the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 3:2, 4:17)
When teaching His disciples how to pray effectively, Christ told them to ask the Father for His Kingdom to come and for His will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
So too, Christ taught His disciples to seek the Kingdom of God first, above all things. (Matthew 6:33)
VIDEO: What is the Kingdom of God?
And while the answer to the question of what the Kingdom of God is might seem straightforward and simple, it is, instead, a very confusing topic among Christians today.
Nearly 2,000 years after the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, we find that Christians today do not agree on what the Kingdom of God is, or if it has even yet arrived!
Perhaps the most common Christian explanation is to equate God’s Kingdom with the Church. But others teach that it is not the Church, but instead refers to each individual Christian believer. Still, others teach that the Kingdom has not yet arrived but will only come later in the future.
But such confusion should not be surprising as Christ warned us in advance that the devil specifically sought to prevent men from understanding “the message of the Kingdom.”
When interpreting His parable about the sower, Christ prophetically warns:
“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.” (Matthew 13:19)
Put simply, it is a lack of understanding specifically about God’s Kingdom that causes men to lose out on Christ’s offer of salvation!
Understanding the Kingdom of God
To rightly comprehend what the Kingdom of God is, we must first understand that Christ’s Kingdom message was a mystery hidden in God from ages past. (Ephesians 3:9) And this mystery was plainly revealed only to Christ’s closest disciples (“the Apostles”). And while the mystery of the Kingdom was explained in detail to the Apostles in private, it was revealed only in parables to all others in public. (Matthew 13:10-17; Mark 4:11)
Therefore, to properly discern what Jesus says about the Kingdom of God and how to enter it requires that we study 1) Christ’s own Words about the Kingdom and 2) the words of the blessed Apostles to whom the mystery of the Kingdom was explicitly revealed.
Interestingly, a deep dive into what Christ and His Apostles say about the Kingdom teaches us that it is both a present reality (since the First Coming of Jesus) and a future inheritance to be received (at the Second Coming of Jesus).
That is, the Kingdom of God is both a present reality — and a future hope!
Those who believe in Christ and repent of their sins can enter the Kingdom of God now. (Matthew 12:28; Mark 10:15; Luke 16:16, 17:20,21; John 3:3; Romans 14:17; Colossians 1:13)
And yet, these present Kingdom citizens will also inherit the fullness of this Kingdom when Christ returns to judge the living and the dead at His Second Coming. (Matthew 8:11, 25:34; Luke 12:32; 1 Corinthians 15:50; 2 Peter 1:11)
So, what is the Kingdom of God?
The Kingdom of God is the rule of God. The Kingdom of God is the reign of God.
Those who subject themselves to His rulership are subjects of God’s Kingdom.
Those who refuse to subject themselves to His rulership are not subjects of God’s Kingdom.
All authority in heaven and earth was given to Jesus Christ upon His resurrection and ascension to the Father. (Matt 28:18; 1 Corinthians 15:24)
As such, Christ is rightly called “the King of kings” and is “the ruler over the kings of the earth.” (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 1:5)
Therefore, any earthly king who refuses to accept this reality will be judged accordingly.
And all men who refuse to submit to Christ as King over all human kings have no place in the Kingdom of God.
Will you repent and submit to the Kingdom of God with Christ as King? Or will you refuse to repent and therefore reject the rulership of God in preference for man’s failed self-rule?
This is, by far, the most important question you will ever answer.
For a more in-depth discussion of what the Bible says about the Kingdom of God, watch this new teaching by Jerry Robinson entitled: The Mystery of the Kingdom.
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