|The Kingdom of God Is Now
Jesus came preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God. He told his listeners to believe the Good News of the Kingdom of God. He told many parables about the Kingdom of God, which described the immense value being in the Kingdom. Paul talked about the hope of the Kingdom of God, which helps to keep a person focused on his goal. What is this Kingdom that so permeates the New Testament?
The Kingdom of God is really a simple concept; it is Gods Kingdom, his land under his rule. Thats it. But, like potential Americans yearning to be free today, not everyone can be in the Kingdom of God because He decreed that a person must be of good moral character to be in His Kingdom. But, thats not all; most people are either unaware of the Kingdom of God or not interested in being citizens of that Fair Country. Which country, you may ask for there is no place on Earth today called the Kingdom of God. True, because the Kingdom of God still awaits its formation. As the colonies waited until after the Declara-tion of Independence and the Revolutionary War to be born, God is waiting for the right time to inaugurate His Kingdom.
But, everything is all set for the Kingdom of God to take its place as the super power of the Earth. Its king, appointed by God, is busily preparing the war effort to take over the Earths governments, training his angelic warriors, and gathering its future citizens from the far corners of the Earth. The Gospel tells about the coming Kingdom, and those, who understand and want to be connected with the greatest government ever to exist on planet Earth anxiously await its arrival.
The Kingdom of God will be a theocracy, not democracy, not autocracy, not a troika. God, through Jesus, will rule according to His. Whether a person wants to live in a theocracy without the sup-posed freedoms and elections of a democracy must be carefully considered. God does tell us that real freedom comes not from exercising democratic prerogatives but from freedom from the slavery of sin, which is slavery to the worst despot in the universe, the demon, Satan. So whether a person lives in a democracy or autocracy, his real freedom comes from being free from the demon and its machinations shown in everything from sin and sickness to slavery. In the Kingdom of God, people will be free to love and through the power of the Holy Spirit to live life more abundantly.
Jesus, the appointed king of Gods Kingdom, continues to train the citizens destined for the coming Kingdom. He, through words of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, teaches those
predestined by God from the beginning of time to be truly born citizens in the Kingdom of God. Guiding and loving these believing Christians, Jesus devotes himself to their welfare. Not unlike the education of Princes Harry and William, Jesus takes ordinary humans and changes them into royalty, better, into Sons and Daughters of the Living God. And, most importantly, those who enter the Kingdom of God are changed from
beings of flesh and blood to beings made of spirit, who never die
The Laws of the Kingdom of God
Briefly, the Ten Commandments embody the Laws of the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God Is Now
So, if the Kingdom of God appeals to you, you may ask about where and how you get the necessary papers to become a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Well, papers are not necessary and you can become a citizen now, if you like. If you choose to immigrate to the Kingdom of God now, you may not be able to locate it but nonetheless you can still enter the Kingdom of God while its still in heaven. All you have to do is repent of breaking any or all of the Ten Commandments, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit. That will sign you up as a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
Mark 1:15 and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.
Eph. 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of Gods household,
Believe the Gospel
Before making a decision to enter the Kingdom of God, you may want to learn about the Kingdom. Most of the important information concerning the nature of the Kingdom comes from learning of its ruler, Jesus, which the Gospel is all about. We see his loving concern for all people from the wedding ceremony, where they ran out of wine, to his willingness to die for our sins. Faith comes from hearing about Jesus, so we can develop faith by reading of Jesus. Obviously, we do nothing unless we believe in it; therefore, if we believe in the Kingdom of God from reading the Gospel, we may desire to enter it, ardently desire.
Rom. 1:16 ¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Eph. 1:15 ¶ For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,
Eph. 1:16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
Eph. 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
Spirit of God
One of the great benefits of being in the Kingdom of God is receiving that awesome power called the Holy Spirit from God. When people imbued with Spirit learn to let it rule their lives, they can do marvelous things. At the least, the Spirit opens up a persons mind to understanding Gods Word. At the most, as demonstrated by Jesus and Peter, it can raise the dead. The Spirit is like citizenship papers or a passport with all the attendant prerogatives involved.
Eph. 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvationhaving also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Eph. 1:14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of Gods own possession, to the praise of His glory.
The Children of God
Citizenship in the Kingdom of God really does not fully describe the reality. Actually, the more appropriate term might be adoption into the Kingdom of God, where God brings us into His Family. God seeks out those who would be willing and able to be good sons and daughters of Our Father in Heaven. Yes, God rules the universe. Yes, Jesus is King of Kings. But, we are nonetheless part of this family of greatness and glory. God is our Daddy, who loves us and disciplines us according to his love.
Eph. 5:1 ¶ Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
Eph. 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ
also loved you and gave Himself up for
us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Have Eternal Life
Surely, we will be changed at the resurrection or at the return of Jesus, but the Bible says we have, not will have, eternal life. Eternal life is ours now, even though we will have to sleep (apparently, to observers to die) for a time until God decrees it is time to send Jesus to rule the Earth. Through Gods Word, eternal life begins at the moment of understanding when a person, yes, repents, gets baptized, and receives the Holy Spirit. The physical body degenerates and finally ceases to be viable, but the person continues his journey into eternity.
John 3:15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.
John 3:16 ¶ For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
John 5:24 ¶ Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
How the Kingdom of God Is Now
That is exactly what eternal life is: knowing God and Jesus. We know God created the universe, gave us the Laws of life, and brought His Son into existence by His Word. This loving God also filled us with Power (the Holy Spirit) to enable us to behave as proper Children of Him. While the Spirit of God fills His Children, eternal life is now; the Kingdom of God is now. Too bad the Earth has to wait for Jesus to return to experience life and life more abundantly, but those chosen by God from the beginning of time have it all now as well as later. Well, living in a human body has its limitations, but the Spirit soars in spite of its earth-bound temple. Finally, God rids us of the physical body and gives believers an immortal body free from all imperfections and impediments.
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
Rom. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Carried Away by Spirit
In order to use the Holy Spirit, a person has to let go of normal ways of thinking and doing. A person might unleash his tongue and speak in the language of angels and God. A person lets go and allows the Spirit to inspire his praise and worship of God in English, even. A person might let go and allow the Spirit to inspire his study of Gods Word. Further miracles and wonders can be performed by the power of the Spirit when a person lets go of the old ways and habits. Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Yes. But it takes a great deal of trust in God and Jesus.
1Cor. 14:14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
1Cor. 14:15 What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.
1Cor. 2:11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
Phil. 3:3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,
1John 5:6 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
Believe in Jesus
That God exists and created the universe and us is a matter of fact. That Jesus was beaten for peoples healing and died for their sins is a matter of faith. That Jesus can, through faith, can do all he did when he was on Earth and more, is a matter of faith. That, he can work his miracles through contemporary people today is a matter of great faith. All people have is Gods Word for it no observation of the universe and no understanding of first causes which science provides. All people have is Gods Word for it in the Gospel.
2Cor. 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight
1491. ei\doß eidos, i´-dos; from 1492; a view, i.e. form (literally or figuratively):appearance, fashion, shape, sight.
Mark 9:17 And one of the crowd answered Him, Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute;
Mark 9:18 and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.
Mark 9:19 And He *answered them and *said, O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!
Mark 9:20 They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth.
Mark 9:21 And He asked his father, How long has this been happening to him? And he said, From childhood.
Mark 9:22 It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!
Mark 9:23 And Jesus said to him, If You can? All things are possible to him who believes.
Mark 9:24 Immediately the boys father cried out and said, I do believe; help my unbelief.
Heb. 2:4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
1Cor. 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1Cor. 12:8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to an-other the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
1Cor. 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
1Cor. 12:10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
What We Bring into the Kingdom of God
The more people think, talk and act like Jesus as he imitated God, the more they act like people in the Family of God. And, therefore, the more they live in the Kingdom of God. Yes, the Kingdom of God will come in full force with Jesus return, but it is still true, that the time is now. For the few the time is now. Others may have to wait.
Eph. 5:1 ¶ Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
Lev. 19:2 ¶ Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
Matt. 5:48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Eph. 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Col. 1:28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.
Eph. 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Enter the Kingdom of God by Fire
Like anything else, no pain, no gain. To achieve full sonship in the Kingdom of God, one must go through rigorous training, which might be painful. But, the end result is well worth it, no doubt if you believe. Look at Jesus; he was beaten to an inch of his life and died a horrid death. His reward for his work on Earth and suffering and death is being the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Most of the Apostles suffered grievous deaths, as did some Christians like Stephen. Does that mean all have to suffer? No. But all have to go through that training. Whose reward is greater the ones who suffer a lot or the ones who do not is not readily answerable. Some suffering has to do with attitudes and works that do not stand up to Gods standard. Some suffer more because they can. But, all will have to encounter problems and adversities to enter the Kingdom of God.
2Cor. 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,
2Cor. 4:18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
James 1:2 ¶ Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
James 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Rom. 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
Rom. 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
Rom. 8:18 ¶ For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Rom. 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
Rom. 8:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
1Cor. 3:12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
1Cor. 3:13 each mans work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each mans work.
1Cor. 3:14 If any mans work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
1Cor. 3:15 If any mans work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1Cor. 10:13 No temptation has over-taken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
2Pet. 2:9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,
If living life more abundantly for eternity makes sense, then a person can give up the worlds way and turn to Gods Way. What can the world offer? A few momentary pleasures, some acceptance, and finally death, in the long run. Why not live according to the greatest power in the universe now and be carried along with it forever? Why not live by love love of God and love of neighbor and enjoy life immediately without end. If you believe the Kingdom of God is for you, some relatively brief trials and disciplining is not much of a price to pay.