Is The Kingdom Of God For Today?

 


Below is an email I wrote to a Pastor who had issues with the teachings on the kingdom of God. He stated that the kingdom of God was taught by Christ and His apostles to Israel in the first century and it does not apply to us (Christians) today.


My reply:-


Dear Pastor _________,

Thank you for writing me a response to the teaching I taught a few days ago. Let me come to a detailed yet brief understanding of the kingdom of God from scripture. I will write you the references in scripture which you can check at your leisure.


Is it not a fact that till today we have been largely church minded and the term “Kingdom” is relatively new in the church circles and many use it in the flesh dimension as the “kingdom” can be only understood in the spirit dimension. Some people have not understood the sovereignty and authority of God as King.


 Let me explain; the point to note is:


GOD IS SOVEREIGN


God is King and He is sovereign—whether we like it or not. (Ps 103:19; Psalm 22:28; Ps 97:1 and Ps 99:1)


Just because God is the sovereign King does not mean that He is the King in our hearts and lives on a personal and intimate level. (Rom 8:9,11; Col 1:27; 1 Cor 3:16-17). 


The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is not a term that can be found in the Old Testament. And the Kingdom that Jesus spoke about is the Kingdom which He wants to establish in each one’s personal life in the spirit. (Luk 17:21; Rom 14:17; Mk 1:14-15; Eph 2:6)


REPENTANCE


This kingdom cannot be established without repentance and repentance means a “change of mind” denoting a turn from carnality, from self and self-will, from religion and traditions (Rom 12:2; Eph 4:23). No repentance is ever complete unless the Kingdom of God is envisioned. (Mat 4:17).


1 Corinthians 15:50 tells us that “flesh and blood [physical bodies] cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”


The word kingdom is “basilica” in Greek, and it signifies sovereignty and royal power.


When a person receives salvation and is converted, God’s sovereignty and power begin in that person’s life. The word kingdom does not only refer to a territory but to the authority, rule, or sovereign power of a king. 


Here, being transferred means that the believer is no longer under the dominion of the powers of darkness, but under the benevolent ruler-ship and kingship of God’s Son—Jesus Christ.


HEIRS AND JOINT-HEIRS


As we are “heirs and joint-heirs” being trained to inherit the Kingdom (Rom 8:15-17; Mat 25:34; Rev 20:4,6), believers in Christ are therefore already subject to the sovereignty and authority of that Kingdom. 


We, as saints, now give our loyalty and obedience to the King, even though the understanding of His Kingdom has not been realised in the full potential in a believer.


AMBASSADORS


In 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul uses a different comparison to help us understand this, calling us “ambassadors.” An ambassador represents a kingdom or another government but resides in a different land. 


Christians are thus ambassadors for God’s Kingdom, representing His way of life in our current earthly situation and age in which we reside. We do not yet fully understand in the Kingdom of God if we walk in our carnal minds.


PETER AT PENTECOST


Peter in his first sermon on the day of Pentecost gives us an understanding of the Kingdom in a preview. The Old Testament prophets prophesied but on many occasions, they did not understand clearly the visions which God gave them, so they had to be explained in every detail. 


Peter says in Acts 2:30-31 that David was given an oath by God that one of His descendants would sit on his throne and this Peter explains in verse 31 saying, this he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of Christ. Peter very well understood that the resurrection of Christ was a fulfillment of the prophecy given to David. 


The grave and death would not hold Christ and He in His resurrection would be now eligible and worthy to sit on the throne of David and at His enthronement after His ascension, He received the kingdom. (Daniel 7:13-14)


SALVATION / SAVIOUR


Salvation is by grace through faith—believing in Jesus Christ as your SAVIOUR and LORD; and also, believing His sacrifice and resurrection. Salvation is a gift of God and the first step—the beginning of the process in which we enter at our new birth. God is the initiator here and not anything by our works or merits. (Eph 2:5, 8-9) 


This usually is spoken of focusing on our going to heaven. However, salvation through Christ is also a process of knowing Christ. We are saved (Eph 2:5) – being saved (1 Cor 1:18; 15:2) – shall be saved (Rom 5:9-10) and this will be completed with the redemption of our bodies. (Rom 8:23)


KINGDOM / KING


Jesus said, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as in heaven.” 

The kingdom is all about the manifestation of sons who bring and manifest the kingdom and His will on the earth. (Rom 8:29) 


The kingdom of God is the area in which he rules—His domain where He has dominion. From the time we are born from above (John 3:3,5), we enter a process of growth and maturity beginning with understanding the things of God and ways of God (Ps 103:7); and then moving to the deeper level of the spirit (Heb 8:8-10; Heb 10:15-16). 


This is attaining maturity (Eph 4:13; 2 Pet 1:5-11) to become mature sons. Now, from babes and infants, we must grow to children and from children to young men; and from young men to mature Sons and then to Fathers (1John 2:13-14). Salvation is the milk stage—infancy stage—babe stage. (1 Cor. 3:1; Heb 5:12-13; 1 Pet 2:1)

 

Once we are born from above (John 3:3) and turn to the Lord, the veil is removed from our eyes by the Spirit (2 Cor 3:16-17), and now we see the Kingdom and step under the rule and authority of the King. This begins the process. Eternal Life is not only the life we live after our death. But, it is the knowledge of the Father and Son. (John 17:3)


CHRIST PROCESS IN THE KINGDOM


LEARNING CHRIST is a process to bring infants to maturity as sons, where although you are kings, you must also be trained to kingship (Gal 4:1-3); through chastisements (Heb 12:5-7; Prov 3:11-12)


Jesus makes it clear that His Kingdom is not of this world and His servants would not defend the Kingdom on an earthly or flesh or carnal level. (John 18:36)


WHICH GOSPEL?


There are different gospels preached today, “gospel of grace,” “gospel of salvation,” “gospel of healings and miracles,” “gospel of faith,” and with all this is a church centric gospel, wherewith the membership in a church, benefits are also received making people church minded and not kingdom/Christ minded. However, the only gospel preached and taught was the “gospel of the kingdom.”


Jesus, Peter, Phillip, Paul preached the gospel of the kingdom with all the other apostles. Paul preached this gospel to the gentiles. Phillip preached this gospel to Samaria. Peter preached this gospel to enter the everlasting kingdom (2 Pet 1:11)


The confusion arises from the fact that the correct understanding of the kingdom has not been attained because Jesus spoke many things about the kingdom of God in parables and within this, the rulership in the kingdom has been completely hidden from infants. This only the spirit of God can reveal and this is called the deep things of God. (1 Cor 2:10)


Another point to notice, seeing (John 3:3) entering (John 3:5) possessing (Mat 11:12; Luk 16:16), and inheriting the kingdom (Mat 25:34) are all different.


I hope this answers your question briefly and pray that the Lord will enlighten you to deeper things of Jesus Christ and His kingdom. Please keep in touch to discuss more if needed. Thank you.


Blessings,

Godwin.


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