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The Crux

Kingdom of God: Past, Present, and Future

God's kingdom is eternal in nature

Several hundred years before Christ arrived to pronounce that His kingdom had come, a wicked king by the name of Nebuchadnezzar witnessed a miracle and declared that the Hebrew God's kingdom is eternal. It's okay if you want to take a break for a few minutes to reflect on that.

The key to understanding the kingdom of God is to wrap one's head around this concept of eternity. What does it mean? I believe there are three components to this idea of eternity:

  1. There is no beginning

  2. There is no end

  3. The present is perpetual

When the Bible says, in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1, "In the beginning ...", it is not referring to a single point in time. Rather, it's pointing to a time when there was no time. That eternal, perpetual moment before time had a beginning. Again, take a moment to reflect on that.

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Knowing that God's kingdom has no beginning, has no end, and is perpetually present comes with some stark consequences for this present world. What does it mean?

Does it mean that everyone and everything is under the domain of God, ruled by God? Does it mean that even evil is subject to God's dominion? Does it mean that evil people are allowed into the kingdom? Are they kingdom citizens?

These are all important questions, and they are questions with which I grapple as I revise and edit a book manuscript I've written titled "Kingdom of God: Past, Present, and Future". In this book, I advance the idea that God's kingdom has always existed, even though you don't find the phrases "God's kingdom", "kingdom of God", or "kingdom of heaven" anywhere in the Old Testament. While the phrase isn't there, you will find the concept scattered throughout.

God's kingdom is everpresent and everlasting. It started as a mustard seed in God's mind and has continually expanded from there. You'll see it reflected in several ways in the Old Testament (kingdom of God past): For instance, here are three ways you can see the kingdom of God at play in the Old Testament writings:

  • The Garden of Eden is a virtual paradise, with all the features you'd expect to see in a kingdom of God's design;

  • The nation Israel is a type, or foreshadowing, of the kingdom present;

  • The law of Moses reflects the perfect nature of the king and His kingdom/

Those of us living in the present age of the church usually have no problem seeing the kingdom of God present with us today. However, it is not fully present. We can only see in part, but someday we will know in full.

As we await the return of Christ to restore all things to their pristine glory, we know that He will ultimately consummate His kingdom and we who are in Christ today will reign with Him forever. That is the future glory of the kingdom and we have a foretaste of that glory today in Christ.

Please pray for me as I revise the book that I will exercise wisdom and humility to portray the kingdom of God in a way that honors Christ.

Allen Taylor is the author of I Am Not the King.

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