Of all the world’s religions, even modern Christianity comprehends but little about this Kingdom. Fortunately you can know this Kingdom and be part of it!
A Kingdom By Any Other Name…
Why is it called the “kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 3:2 Matthew 3:2And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
American King James Version×; Matthew 5:10 Matthew 5:10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
American King James Version×)? Is it because good people go to heaven when they die?
In fact, the Bible clariﬁed this matter, stating, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven” (John 3:13 John 3:13And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
American King James Version×). The only human being who has ever gone to heaven is Jesus Christ. The Kingdom is called the Kingdom of Heaven not because it is exclusive to that location but because it is ruled by God, who now dwells in heaven. In the Bible only Matthew’s account of Christ’s life used this descriptive phrase because he wrote primarily to the Jews of his day who made it a point to avoid speaking God’s name. They used “heaven” as a substitute for God’s name, as is done in the modern expression “Heaven only knows” (meaning God only knows). Thus, “kingdom of heaven” just means “kingdom of God,” which is what the rest of the Bible calls it (Mark 1:14-15 Mark 1:14-15 14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulﬁlled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel.
American King James Version×; Luke 4:43 Luke 4:43And he said to them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
American King James Version×; John 3:3 John 3:3Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
American King James Version×; Acts 19:8 Acts 19:8And he went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
American King James Version×; Romans 14:17 Romans 14:17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×; 1 Corinthians 4:20 1 Corinthians 4:20For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
American King James Version×). Even Matthew’s account occasionally called it that (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you ﬁrst the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×; Matthew 19:24 Matthew 19:24And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
American King James Version×).
Most adherents of Christianity assume that their destination is some sort of paradise in heaven. What they don’t understand is that “heaven” (in the persons of Jesus Christ and ultimately God the Father) is coming here!
Jesus constantly spoke of His return to earth. His sinless human life, public ministry, death as the sacriﬁce for the sins of all mankind and miraculous resurrection constituted His ﬁrst coming. At His second coming, Christ will return to conquer and rule the world. The Kingdom of God will then be established throughout the earth.
The true Kingdom of Heaven requires thinking like Jesus Christ thinks. It involves a spiritual way of life that guides your conscience to anticipate, value and seek the future Kingdom of God on earth.
God’s Kingdom is a kingdom of conscience, of inner obligation, and you must choose whether or not you will submit to God’s rule. Choose wisely.