For awhile now, I've been planning to write and publish a book on the kingdom of God. Many people discuss it and think they understand what it is, but I'm not convinced they do. Heck, I'm not convinced that I do!
Nevertheless, the Bible gives us some clues. Jesus gave some clues.
I'd like to start a series in this newsletter where I discuss the kingdom, what it is, where it is, who's it for, and more. Below is the introduction. I'd welcome your comments and feedback as the Spirit leads.
Introduction: The Kingdom of God
Ask anyone living today what they think the kingdom of God is and you’ll get one of three answers:
Some would say it’s the church;
Others would say it’s everything God has created;
And the third response would be a future-only kingdom where Jesus reigns after His second coming.
I don't intend to settle the issue once and for all. However, I do intend to explore the Kingdom of God and its various manifestations. To be honest, I believe one can study the Kingdom all of one’s life and never explore every nook and cranny. In this particular exploration, I wish to paint a picture of God’s kingdom that you may not be familiar with or may not have considered.
In short, I'd like to shed some light on this key biblical concept. As noted above, some key questions I have in mind to answer are:
What is the Kingdom of God?
Where is it?
Who is it for?
Why is it important?
Who is its king?
I don’t claim to have all the answers. I’m not even sure I know all the questions. But I do want to explore the kingdom, its glory, and the twenty-first century Christian's place within it. The bedrock Bible verse I plan to use in starting the discussion is Matthew 6:33, which reads
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
What did our Lord mean when he said these words to his Jewish friends and disciples early in the first century? Do they mean the same thing to us today? Keep reading to find out.
Bible Verses That Mention the Kingdom of God
We all have our favorite Bible verses. Many of those mention the kingdom of God. In fact, there are more than 80 references to this kingdom in the New Testament. It is sometimes also called the kingdom of Heaven. But what is it?
Some of the following verses that mention the kingdom of God are well known Bible verses. See which ones you recognize:
· Matthew 6:33
· Matthew 12:28
· Matthew 19:24
· Mark 9:1
· Mark 9:47
· Mark 10:15
· Mark 10:25
· Luke 6:20
· Luke 7:28
· Luke 9:27
· Luke 9:62
· Luke 16:16
· Luke 17:21
· Luke 18:25
· John 3:3
· Acts 1:3
· Acts 19:8
· Acts 28:31
· Romans 14:17
· 1 Corinthians 6:9
· 1 Corinthians 15:50
· Galatians 5:21
Verses that reference the kingdom of Heaven include:
· Matthew 3:2
· Matthew 5:3
· Matthew 5:19
· Matthew 5:20
· Matthew 7:21
· Matthew 11:11
· Matthew 11:12
· Matthew 13:31
· Matthew 16:19
· Matthew 18:4
· Matthew 25:1
The kingdom of Heaven is a primary topic in Matthew's gospel. More than any other book in the New Testament, that gospel features the synonymous terms “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of Heaven.” When you see these two phrases, they are interchangeable. They are not two separate kingdoms.
What to Expect from The Kingdom of God Series
In the following newsletter entries, I will attempt to break down the many verses on the kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven while discussing its intricacies and nuances. Nothing I say should be taken as the last word. I’m not the expert. Christ is. But I do hope to inspire you to dig deeper. Consider this merely an introduction.
In this series, I’ll share insights I've gained about the kingdom of God. Questions I will attempt to answer include:
Where is it located?
Does it exist now or in the future?
How does one become a Kingdom citizen?
Can one ever leave the Kingdom?
Does the Kingdom have laws?
If so, what are they?
What happens when Kingdom citizens obey or disobey the laws?
How does the kingdom grow?
And much more ….
On that final note, I invite you to come along for the ride. The Kingdom of God is waiting.
Allen Taylor is the author of I Am Not the King, his personal testimony of growth in Jesus Christ.
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