What is the Kingdom of God? 5 Truths About the King and His Kingdom

The Kingdom is one of the biggest themes throughout the life and ministry of Jesus. He spoke about the Kingdom almost every time He taught. It was central to His ministry, it is here, and it is coming.

But what exactly is the Kingdom of God?

What the Bible Says About the Kingdom of God

The Bible has a lot to say about God’s Kingdom:

  • From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
  • “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (John 18:36)
  • For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)
  • “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
  • “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (Luke 17:21)
  • For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)

Is the Kingdom of God Different from the Kingdom of Heaven?

The phrases “Kingdom of God” and “Kingdom of Heaven” are used interchangeably throughout the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament. While some scholars believe they are two different concepts, there’s a lot of evidence that these phrases are used in the same way throughout the Bible.

When speaking to the rich young ruler, Jesus uses both terms while obviously referring to the same idea.

Some might argue that the Kingdom is Heaven refers specifically to Heaven, but we know Jesus ministry (and ours) is all about bringing Heaven to Earth, which points to the idea that they are the same. Heaven is coming to Earth through the Church, and one day will arrive fully with Christ.

5 Truths About the Kingdom of God

1. The King Reigns Over the Kingdom

The most important part of the Kingdom of God is the King ruling over it.

“The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”

Psalms 103:19

The Kingdom doesn’t rule or reign, but the King. God sits on His throne above Heaven and earth, ruling and reigning over creation. He governs all things, is sovereign over all things, and is Lord of all – and He has been since before the beginning of time, He has always existed. And one day every knee will bow before the true King.

2. The Kingdom Has Come

One thing that’s abundantly clear in Jesus’ teachings is that the Kingdom has come, yet it’s still coming. He announces the Kingdom’s coming in teachings like, “The Kingdom is at hand. Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

In Luke 17:21 He says, “Behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

There’s no doubt that the Kingdom is here because the King has come, dwelled among us, and left His Spirit. The Kingdom is here at present through the Spirit’s presence and activity.

3. The Kingdom Is Coming

In Luke 19:11 Jesus tells a parable about the Kingdom not appearing immediately.

We also see Jesus pray that the Kingdom comes. In the Lord’s Prayer He asks, “Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.”

So it’s clear that there’s more Kingdom to come. We should be asking the Lord to bring the Kingdom to earth. Things on Earth are not the way we want them to be, so Lord bring your Kingdom and reign fully in our lives, our families, our cities, and our world. Make things here look like they do in Heaven.

Many people like to refer to this idea as “already, but not yet.” The Kingdom has already come, but not fully. John Piper likes to say, “Presence without consummation.”

4. It Has A Different Economy Than the Earthly Kingdom

Many Kings rule their Kingdoms with great power and domineering authority. And it’s true that God does rule with all power and authority. But in the life of Jesus, we actually see a life of great humility, gentleness, and even some concealing.

The people wanted to come and make Him King, but He wasn’t ready. He repeatedly told people not to tell others what they had seen. He wasn’t trying to steal the earthly throne or overthrow the political climate.

Jesus came to earth to be crucified on the cross He carried. To live a life of misunderstanding and suffering, and to eventually die for the very people who caused His hardship. Jesus came to die. He would claim His throne through death.

And though He is now ruling and reigning over all things, this is the kind of posture and attitude He injected into His Kingdom: humility, suffering, and weakness. These are the traits of those who live in the Kingdom.

5. We Rule and Reign Alongside the King

In God’s Kingdom, we are invited to rule and reign beside Him. We are heirs with Christ, who sits enthroned at the Father’s right hand in Heaven. Yes we are subjects in the Kingdom, but we also carry a responsibility to reign over His creation. He invites us into the work He’s doing.

We were created in His image, created for good works. We have a role to play in the Kingdom’s coming, and one day we’ll dwell in the new heavens and new earth alongside the King Himself.

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