Kingdom of God
Matthew 4:23 records our Lord Jesus traveling through Galilee, teaching and preaching the good news about the kingdom of God. Much has been written and debated about this kingdom concept, pre- and post-Jesus’ days. Our Lord Himself made over 90 references to the kingdom of God/heaven in the gospels. Obviously, the conclusions regarding the same vary. A rather simple definition offered about the Kingdom of God is this: any realm where Jesus reigns, and where His will is done! In relation to the One who is the very image of the invisible God and the firstborn over all creation, we know that “God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him” (Col. 1:19). God’s kingdom is inclusive, embracing and welcoming (John 3:16,17). These are most wholesomely manifested in the person and work of Jesus Christ, whose three years or so of earthly ministry traversed all social strata and demographics (cf. Rom. 5:8). In teaching that “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again”, our Lord is reminding all that God’s kingdom has a “inside-out” nature. Its external impact must begin first with an internal renewal of the individual’s mind (Rom. 12:2), resulting in the ripple effect on the family, church, the larger community of the society, and eventually but surely, our world. Extending from the Creator Himself, the kingdom of God empowers its citizens with boldness in the face of death (Heb. 2:15,16), sanctifying them who were once common and deserving of God’s judgment (Zec. 14:20,21) for His redemptive commission as His new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
As citizens of this Kingdom, we must constantly be reminded of the following:
- Jesus the King rules;
- We are His subjects over whom He rules;
- His laws and ordinances preside over all in this Kingdom; and
- All of creation forms the realm and territory of His rule (1 Tim. 6:15,16).
This King has entrusted us His citizens with an earthly commission with a heavenly focus, to preach and teach the good news of His kingdom to all nations. Go we must, and do so faithfully, heart, mind and spirit, until He returns to draw us finally to Himself. Amen!