We have been looking at the truths the early church held dear that allowed them to thrive during dark, troubling times. And one primary truth was their understanding of the Kingdom of God and all its implications. They understood God as their King, and as King, their Sovereign. Therefore, they didn’t fear what the enemy may do to them or how their physical needs were to be met or, frankly, anything. After all, they served the King of kings and Lord or lords who had repeatedly proven His faithfulness to them. So what could man do to them (Psalm 118:6)?
And because of this confidence they held in His Kingdom, they lived in a constant state of expectation of what their King could, and would, do. Every day with Him was like a grand adventure.
Plus, they knew the Kingdom of God was the central theme in the preaching of Jesus. And many of them must have heard hundreds of messages, parables, statements, examples, or stories by Jesus in order to show them the vastness of God’s Kingdom.
Jesus began His ministry, like John the Baptist, preaching, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). He constantly taught about the Kingdom during His time on earth with parables, miracles, signs and wonders, all designed to proclaim that the Kingdom had now come to them (Matthew 13). When He sent out the twelve disciples, He instructed them to preach, like He had, the “Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 10:7). And later, when He sent out the seventy, He gave them the same message to proclaim accompanied with miracles to authenticate their claim, “And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.'” (Luke 10:9). And after the resurrection and until His ascension, He spoke about “things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).
As you can see, Jesus continually spoke about the Kingdom. But what exactly did He say?
Before we even broach that subject, there are some questions we need to ask about what Jesus said about the Kingdom. For much of what He says, at least on the surface, seems confusing.
• What is the Kingdom of God?
• How do we explain the Kingdom is both here, and the Kingdom is also imminent? How can it be both?
• Is it a physical Kingdom? Or is it something in the hearts of men?
• Where is the King right now? And when will He come to set up His Kingdom?
• What is our place in the Kingdom of God?
• How does our life change when we realize we belong to a King, and live in His Kingdom?
• Are the rules of life different in His Kingdom than what we are experiencing now? And if so, how? In what way?
• Does Satan have a kingdom? And if so, what is the extent of his power?
• Since we live in the Kingdom of God, what are our responsibilities as subjects of the Great King?
• And are we subjects only? Or do we have a deeper intimacy with the King?
• Is the Kingdom spoken about in the Old Testament?
• And how will we be able to understand some of the confusing truths about the Kingdom?
And this is only the beginning. We will answer, in time, every one of these questions about the Kingdom and more. But let’s start with a simple definition of the Kingdom. What is the Kingdom of God?
We know a kingdom is a territory over which a king reigns. Since God is Creator of all, then His Kingdom must include every created thing. So that would mean the Kingdom of God is wherever God reigns. And since He reigns everywhere, in one respect, the Kingdom of God is everywhere.
But it’s not that simple. Not even close. There is more to the Kingdom of God than you think.
Join us as we discover the wondrous reality of the Kingdom of God that Jesus spent so much time talking about and how we, as His children and heirs (Rom. 8:16-17), fit into the grand scheme of God’s Kingdom as we learn how to leave Laodicea (lukewarmness) behind.