“Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21 (NIV)
A major part of the teaching of Jesus was on the Kingdom of God. Anyone who is a Christian will have heard of the Kingdom of God but not everyone understands what it is. So, what exactly is the Kingdom of God?
The Kingdom of God is the ultimate dynamic rule and reign of God. This Kingdom is established and acknowledged in the hearts of believers, in Jesus, by the Power and Presence of the Holy Spirit. Thus ensuring believers of the blessings of salvation and equipping them with the gifts of the Spirit for His service.
The Kingdom of God exists in two realms:
1. Firstly, the Kingdom in the heavenly realm exists as an actual place.
2. Secondly, the Kingdom exists in the natural realm as, a ‘supernatural’ kingdom.
This means that here in the natural realm the Kingdom of God is not a physical kingdom yet, but will be when the reign of Christ comes on earth (see Revelation 21). When this takes place heaven and earth will merge into one and we will experience the fulness of the kingdom of God. Until that day comes we must understand that the Kingdom is now but is yet to come. Let me unpack this concept.
Living for God
We are currently part of the Kingdom of God on earth, but as we live in a fallen world, the fulness of the kingdom cannot be experienced yet. Sin is still rife on the earth. As sin still exists there is still suffering, sickness, disease, poverty, famine, war and death. These things are still in existence on the earth and are caused by satan, acting through man’s life choices.
When someone asks questions like, “Why doesn’t God bring an end to all suffering?” How can we, as Christians, answer them? These things are a result of the wrong choices man has made; they are not God’s fault. Remember that God has given mankind free will. This free will is, God giving us a choice as to how we will live the lives that He has given us.
We have two choices. One is to follow, to serve God and to worship Him. The other is we can choose to live for ourselves. When people choose to follow, to serve and worship God they choose not to live for themselves. Instead they choose to live a lifestyle which is pleasing to God.
“The Kingdom of God is the dynamic rule and reign of God expressed in the lives of Christians, who are living a lifestyle out of a relationship with God, through Jesus and in the power of the Spirit.”
So, although sin and evil abound on the earth, the Kingdom of God is present. As citizens of the Kingdom of God, we are equipped with power from the Holy Spirit to change the spiritual atmosphere in our locality. We have the authority from God to claim the ground for the Kingdom. So, let the Church arise - to be the living expressions of the Kingdom of God here on earth!
Dear God, I thank you for your abundant mercy. Help me to grasp Your truths about Your Kingdom here and be carriers of Your Presence on earth. I look forward to the day of Your return when Your Kingdom will be fully established and I will reign with You in glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.