Yes, actually it is. Surprising how much confusion there is over the what, when, and where of the kingdom of God. The Bible is pretty clear on this. ♦
Have you ever heard a Christian say that they’re tired of this life and can’t wait to go to heaven? It may be said in quasi-jest but there’s an underlying implication that the future life is going to be better than this current life.
Of course, the Bible says much about a new and restored world someday, specifically, the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven.
Many think these terms are distinct but they are actually referring to the same thing.
The phrase “kingdom of God” occurs 68 times in 10 different New Testament books, while “kingdom of heaven” occurs only 32 times, and only in the Gospel of Matthew.1
But the references are not necessarily about some far off date in a heavenly future. Nor are they referring to a literal thousand year millennial kingdom which I believe is an end-times interpretation in error.
No, the kingdom of God or kingdom of heaven, as referenced in the Bible and spoken of directly by Jesus, is actually now.
Old Testament Context
It’s helpful to see and understand that the Bible makes this case for the kingdom of God consistently throughout the Scriptures.
We know from Genesis 1 that God as Creator created all things in the universe including the heavens, the earth, and man. Man was created in God’s image and given dominion or rule or kingship over the earth and everything in it.
We know from Genesis 2 that God’s first created man, Adam, failed in obedience to God and was cursed with physical and spiritual death and separation from God. The kingdom was broken.
Jesus (sometimes referred to as the Second Adam) was God’s saving restoration plan to renew spiritual life and connection between Man and God once again. This would come with Christ as the ultimate perfect lamb sacrifice to atone for sinful Mankind. The entire Old Testament episodes from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, the Judges, the Kings (Saul, David, Solomon, etc.), and the Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc.) lead to and speak of the coming kingdom ushered in by Jesus.
These prophets spoke of a coming kingdom ruled by the Lord and His saints that will be everlasting and all powerful:
- Daniel 2:44 – And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.
- Daniel 7:27 – And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.’
- Psalm 103:19 – The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
- Psalms 145:13 – “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all His words and kind in all His works.”
- Zechariah 14:9 – And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.
Jesus and New Testament Context
Consider that God created the human bloodline of Christ through His chosen people, the Hebrews (Jews), solely for the purpose of Christ’s atoning death, so that the kingdom of God on earth could be restored.
This mission was accomplished in the New Testament.
The entire New Testament episodes start with the harbinger, John the Baptist, and then proceeds in detailing the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, Himself, spoke of the kingdom now at hand as something to seek and proclaim, and which is available to us with power:
- Matthew 4:17 – From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
- Matthew 6:10 – Your [God’s] kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
- Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
- Matthew 10:7 – And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
- Matthew 12:28 – But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
- Matthew 13:24 – He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
- Matthew 13:44 – “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
- Matthew 16:19 – I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
- Matthew 25:34 – Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
- Mark 1:15 – And saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
- Mark 9:1 – And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
- Luke 4:43 – But he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”
- Luke 9:2 – And he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
- Luke 12:32 – “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
- Luke 17:20-21 – Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
- John 3:3 – Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Today for Our Abundant Lives
After the accounts of the death and resurrection of Christ in the 4 Gospels, the New Testament proceeds with the Book of Acts is describing the releasing of the Holy Spirit of God for all of mankind who would believe and now walk in obedience with their God/Creator/Lord/Savior/Holy Spirit.
The rest of the New Testament includes the writings of Paul and other disciples who explain and teach this eternal spiritual salvation and reconciliation with Almighty God that is now available for both Jews and Gentiles, or all of mankind.
The teaching emphasizes the surrendered life empowered by prayer and possessed by the power of the Holy Spirit in and for this world. This new Israel, the global Church of Christ-followers, submit now to their new Lord on earth with kingdom/spiritual power that is greater than any force on earth in opposition.
Indeed, that kingdom is available and alive now. We, the Christ-following Church, are empowered with dominion now and today in the kingdom of God here on earth:
- Acts 8:12 – But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
- Acts 28:31 – Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
- Romans 8:37 – “Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
- Colossians 1:13 – He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.
- 1 Corinthians 4:20 – For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
- Revelation 5:10 – And you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
- Revelation 11:15 – Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
A Final Thought
Yes, eternity will come, someday. But in the meantime, as discouraging as the world may be, we do not have to wait until eternity in heaven to experience the kingdom of God. It is now, through Christ’s Holy Spirit and through prayer, that we can and should be operating as “more than conquerors” reigning as priests to our God with dominion over our own kingdom of spheres of influence.
And while the Church is and should be the collective power in this earthly kingdom that will someday be replaced with a heavenly kingdom, may we as individuals be strong and courageous and live boldly with the power of the Holy Spirit and reign with Christ over our own domain.
Are you living with authority and power over your own domain in the kingdom of God?
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21
1 What is the Difference Between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven? in Got Questions?, https://www.gotquestions.org/kingdom-heaven-God.html