What is God's move in Eternity?
** Kingdom of God. Kingdom of God, also called Kingdom Of Heaven, in Christianity, the spiritual realm over which God reigns as king, or the fulfillment on Earth of God's will. The phrase occurs frequently in the New Testament, primarily used by Jesus Christ in the first three Gospels.
Date: 4/5/2020 8:04:09 PM ( 6 mon ) ... viewed 211 times
Everything in God's Time!
We are here at the Master's pleasure! So how do we come to know God's desires?
First we must realize how His Kingdom works!
The kingdom of God was one of Jesus’ most talked about topics, but it’s hardly a well-grasped concept for believers today. If you asked a group of people to define it, you would probably get a variety of answers.
The Greek term for kingdom is used 162 times in the New Testament, with most of them referring to the Kingdom of God. Yet, how often do we as believers discuss God’s kingdom and keep it on the forefront of our hearts? I believe one of the reasons we don’t talk about God’s kingdom as much as we should is because we don’t fully understand this mysterious concept. "Both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament the term "kingdom" is understood as dynamic in nature and refers primarily to the rule or reign of a king. It is seldom used in a static sense to refer to a territory. As a result, in the vast majority of instances it would be better to translate the expression "kingdom of God" as the "rule of God." (Baker's Evangelical Dictionary)
The Kingdom of God Is Not a Physical Place… So What Is It?
Many people think of the kingdom of God as heaven or as the church. However, the kingdom of God is not an actual physical place. A working definition of God’s kingdom from a biblical perspective can be seen as God’s universal reign as Creator and Christ’s exhaustive work as Redeemer. Since God is eternal, His kingdom is eternal. The Kingdom of God transcends time and space.
The Kingdom of God was established on earth when Jesus Christ came into the world.
When the angel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus to Mary, he confirmed Christ’s birth fulfilled God’s promise to David. The purpose of John the Baptist was to prepare the way for the ministry of Jesus. One of the ways he did this was by calling the people of Israel back to God through repentance:
Matthew 3:2: “and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’”
Then, when Jesus came to be baptized, John recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God:
John 1:29: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
The Kingdom of God is to Be Received.
In Mark 10:13-16, Jesus teaches that one is to receive the kingdom of God like a small child. This teaching indicates that the kingdom is not something that we are to achieve in and of ourselves, but rather are to humbly accept. By grace we are saved:
Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Jesus uses a child to illustrate our dependency by which we are to rely on Christ for our entrance into the kingdom. Philippians 2 illustrates Christ’s exceptional obedience. He traded His every heavenly right for a crown of thorns, so we might freely receive salvation. In exchange, the Risen King was given the right to be called Lord.
Entrance into the Kingdom of God Requires Belief and Repentance.
Both John the Baptist and Jesus preached repentance as a prerequisite of belonging to the kingdom of God:
Mark 1:15: “‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’”
Matthew 3:2; 4:23: “And saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’” “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”
Repentance and belief in Christ leads a person to a spiritual birth that guarantees entrance into the kingdom (John 3:3-5). As a believer, the kingdom of God resides within us (Luke 17:21). When Jesus taught that the kingdom was within the believer, His intent was to teach the believer of the new spiritual realm in which the person now lived. The Church is a part of the kingdom of God but is not the totality of His Kingdom.
The Kingdom of God has Implications for Believers Today.
As believers of Christ, we are to worship Him as Lord. Acknowledging Christ as Lord is in effect recognizing his reign. We are to live out His teaching and live in anticipation of His return. When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, part of the directive was to pray that God’s kingdom would come into full fruition on earth:
Matthew 6:10: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
While the Kingdom of God has been established on earth, it has not yet been made complete. There is a future coming of the kingdom at the end of the age that has yet to happen. We are to pray for the coming of the fullness of God’s kingdom. As members of God’s kingdom, through Christ, we are ambassadors of God on earth (2 Corinthians 5:20). Our role as ambassadors is to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to others. This is our Great Commission.
How Should We, as Believers, Respond to the Bible’s Teaching on the Kingdom of God?
The first is that I realize that I am not the author of my drama. Rather, I am only a small player in God’s great story. This drastic shift in mindset makes me reprioritize my goals and scheduling. Prestige and popularity no longer seem important when I keep in mind God’s Sovereignty and Christ’s redemptive work on the cross.
Also, with a Kingdom mindset, I find that my trust in God is more secure than it once was. I see how God has worked throughout time to guard over the world and to redeem His people. His loving and just character allow me to realize that He will see His plans through. I can trust in His plans for me no matter what.
Finally, understanding the Kingdom of God leaves me with a sense of urgency and a challenge to tell others about Christ. God’s patience with us will not last forever and at some point, Christ will return. His second coming will not be to redeem, but to judge. Because we do not know the day or time, we are to use our time wisely to help others receive the kingdom through faith in Christ.
Cortney Whiting is a wife and mother of two wonderfully energetic children. She received her Masters of Theology Degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. After serving in the church for nearly 15 years, Cortney currently serves as a lay-leader and writes for various Christian ministries.
You can find her at her blog, Unveiled Graces.
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