Where Is the Kingdom of God?

Where is The Kingdom of God?

The central theme of Jesus Christ’s preaching was the Kingdom of God. For a few weeks, I have been reminding us that we are citizens the Kingdom of God and our focus should be on accomplishing our King’s Commission rather than focusing on the political outcome of the election. Regardless of the winners, our commission does not change.

Suppose someone asked you, “What is the Kingdom of God?” How would you answer?

The easy definition would be a realm over which a king reigns. Since we understand that God is the Creator of all things, the extent of His realm is the whole universe. Several passages of Scripture show that God is the undeniable Monarch of all creation.

For example, Psalm 103:19 The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

But Jesus’ preaching indicates that the Kingdom of God is something more personal. Individually, the Kingdom of God is a spiritual reign over the hearts and lives of those who willingly submit to God’s authority. Those who defy God’s authority and refuse to submit to Him are not part of the Kingdom of God. In contrast, those who acknowledge the lordship of Christ and gladly surrender to His rule in their lives are part of the Kingdom of God.

When asked by Pilate if He was a king in John 18:36 Jesus answered, “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.”

Jesus was not implying that His reign had nothing to do with the world, but that His sovereignty did not come from any earthly authority, but from the Father in Heaven. For this reason, Jesus told Pilate, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.” (John 19:11)

Since the Kingdom of God is a spiritual dominion, Jesus told Nicodemus we must be born again of the Holy Spirit to enter it and to see it.

John 3:3-5 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Being born of the Spirit, means we have been given God’s grace to live righteously by the Spirit instead of our flesh. Without God’s grace, those who live by the flesh will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

The Kingdom of God has several aspects. The Lord is the Sovereign of the universe, and so in that sense His Kingdom is universal. At the same time, the Kingdom of God involves repentance and the new birth, as God rules in the hearts of His children in this world and prepares them for Heaven.

The Kingdom of God is the realm where God reigns supreme, and Jesus Christ is King. In this Kingdom, God’s authority is recognized, and His will is obeyed. Those who abide in the Kingdom experience God’s presence, peace, joy, and rest.

The supreme law of the Kingdom of God is love. Love fulfills all of God’s laws.

Romans 13:8-10 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

We have a practical example of love in Romans 14:13-23, Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

So, the simplest way to understand the Kingdom of God is to define it as the realm where Jesus Christ reigns as King, and God’s love and authority are supreme. This Kingdom exists here and now in the lives and hearts of the redeemed, as well as in perfection and fullness in Heaven. As disciples of Christ, we need to tell others about the Kingdom of God and how to enter it through repentance and faith in Jesus.

Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Jesus sent His disciples to neighboring villages saying in Luke 10:9 “Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”

Why did Jesus proclaim the Kingdom of God was at hand or near them?

The Kingdom of God was near to them because the King of the Kingdom was there. Jesus was announcing a Kingdom that is ruled by God’s appointed Messiah, who will not be just the Redeemer of His people, but their King.

When He came, Jesus inaugurated God’s Kingdom on earth. And when He ascended into Heaven, He went there for His coronation as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This will be His title when He returns.

Revelation 19:11-16 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

However, Jesus’ kingship is not a just a future event. Christ is King right this minute. He is in the seat of the highest authority. All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. Just as He was about to ascend into Heaven, Jesus gave us His Commission.

Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

However, the disciples of Jesus still expected Jesus to become King of Israel. They did not understand the Kingdom of God until the Holy Spirit came upon them.

Acts 1:6-9 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

Like the disciples, we have difficulty understanding the Kingdom of God until the Holy Spirit reveals it to us. Like them, we are asking, “Lord, will You at this time restore the United States of America?” It is not for us to know the times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But He has told us what will happen before Christ returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are to anticipate those things and prepare for them.

In the meantime, Jesus gives us the same Commission and the same power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the Commission as He gave to the Apostles. As we focus on Jesus and follow the Holy Spirit, we will experience the Kingdom of God.

Luke 17:20-21 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

Jesus is our King. The citizens of God’s Kingdom live wherever Jesus reigns in their heart. We are His ambassadors, representing the Kingdom of God to the world. It is a joy to meet fellow citizens of the Kingdom of God. It seems like we have known each other forever because we have a family resemblance.

To illustrate, I will quote a testimony by R.C. Sproul, who was lecturing in the Communist countries in Eastern Europe in 1990. He said, “As we were leaving Hungary, we were warned that the border guards in Romania were quite hostile to Americans and that we should be prepared to be hassled and possibly even arrested at the border.

“Sure enough, when our rickety train reached the border of Romania, two guards got on. They couldn’t speak English, but they pointed for our passports, then pointed to our luggage. They wanted us to bring our bags down from the luggage rack and open them up, and they were very brusque and rude. Then, suddenly, their boss appeared, a burly officer who spoke some broken English. He noticed that one of the women in our group had a paper bag in her lap, and there was something peeking out of it. The officer said: ‘What this? What in bag?’ Then he opened the bag and pulled out a Bible. I thought, ‘Uh-oh, now we’re in trouble.’ The officer began leafing through the Bible, looking over the pages very rapidly. Then he stopped and looked at me. I was holding my American passport, and he said, ‘You no American.’ And he looked at my companion and said, ‘You no American.’ He said the same thing to the others in our group. But then he smiled and said, ‘I am not Romanian.’

“By now we were quite confused, but he pointed at the text, gave it to me, and said, ‘Read what it says.’ I looked at it and it was, Philippians 3:20 ‘But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.’ The guard was a Christian. He turned to his subordinates and said, ‘Let these people alone.’”

The Kingdom of God trumps every earthly kingdom. Like that Romanian guard, I’m a Christian first, an American second. My fellow citizens are Christians wherever they reside. We will support and encourage each other regardless of the country we live in.

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we pray, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” What are we praying for when we pray this?

Our task is to make the invisible Kingdom visible. We are asking God for grace to accomplish this task. We make the Kingdom visible by first making Jesus King of our lives. The Kingdom will be visible as we live in such a way that we bear witness to the reality of Christ’s kingship in our jobs, our families, our schools, and even our checkbooks. Christ is to be King over every sphere of life.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:31-34,So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Until Jesus returns, we are to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness as a priority over all the things of the world. Primarily, it means we are to seek the salvation that is required to enter the Kingdom of God because it is of greater value than all the world’s riches. Then we live according to God’s righteousness instead of the world’s view of righteousness.

Does this mean that we should neglect the reasonable and daily duties that help sustain our lives? Certainly not. But for the Christian, there should be a difference in attitude toward them. If we are taking care of God’s business as a priority—seeking His salvation, living in obedience to Him, and sharing the good news of the Kingdom with others, then He will take care of our business as He promised. So, there is no need to worry.

In conclusion, I must ask you a question, “Are you a citizen of the Kingdom of God?”

If so, then your job is to yield to Christ’s rule, pick up your cross daily, be filled with the Holy Spirit, follow Jesus, and fulfill the Commission Jesus gave us.

If you are still seeking the Kingdom of God, then believe in Jesus Christ as the King of Kings, who atoned for your sin by shedding His blood on the cross. Give Him dominion over your life and repent of being your own ruler. Enter the Kingdom by dying to your old life in a watery grave of baptism, and be raised unto a new life born of the Holy Spirit.