Session 05 – Kingdom of God

Kingdom of God (3)Jesus’ teachings set forth a much better life, an abundant life, and of even greater importance, eternal life in the coming Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is the unifying theme prevalent throughout the Scriptures. It serves to draw the Bible’s diverse parts together into a complete whole. The teachings of Jesus recorded in the Gospels build upon and are in complete harmony with all the Old Testament prophets. His teachings are also consistent with and fundamental to that of the apostles in the New Testament.

A harmonious, progressive theme is maintained throughout the Scriptures. The prophets, Jesus, and the apostles all remain faithful to the same theme and never contradict each other. This theme is simply stated in the Gospels as the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of heaven.

The Kingdom of God is the Overall Theme of the Scriptures “Kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven” are one and the same. “Heaven” figuratively refers to God. Kingdom of Heaven occurs only in Matthew. A comparison of Matthew with the identical records in the other Gospels proves that the phases are interchangeable (Matthew 4:17 and Mark 1:14 and 15; Matthew 10:5-7 and Luke 9:1 and 2).

Jesus consistently taught the Kingdom of God – Matthew 4:17, 23; 9:35 – 10:1, 7; Luke 10:9; Acts 1:3

The angel told Mary, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:32 & 33). The Magi asked Herod, “Where is he born King of the Jews?” (Mat 2:2). At the end of his life, Pilate asked him, “Are you King of the Jews?”  (Luke 23:3). On the cross above His head in three languages hung the words, “Here is the king of the Jews” (Luke 23:38).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus often speaks about the Kingdom of God – Matthew 5:3, 10,19, 20; 6:10, 13, 33; and 7:21.

The Kingdom of God Defined

One short phrase in the most popular Christian prayer simply states what the Kingdom is – “Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God’s supreme purpose has always been and still is to have a loving, harmonious, eternal family. Succinctly stated, “You shall be My people, and I will be your God”- (Exodus 6:7; Jeremiah 7:23; 11:4; 30:22; Ezekiel 36:28; Leviticus 26:11-12; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Deuteronomy 4:20; 7:6; 26:18; Revelation 21:1-7; Ephesians). His plan is called “The Kingdom of God.”

Romans 3:9–18 – Today, man’s will is done, which is why evil and depravity fill the earth. The Kingdom of God is not here now; it is coming.

Genesis 1:26-31; 2:9 – God created Adam and Eve in His image enabling them to have sovereignty upon the earth under God’s absolute rule. In this original environment and in his original state, man would live a loving, harmonious life with God and mankind forever. Sin, sickness, sorrow, and death were nonexistent in the Garden of Eden. Peace, love, joy, and life flourished.

However, after being enticed by the serpent, Adam and Eve made the choice to disobey God’s direct command. The consequences of their choice were cataclysmic, affecting every aspect of creation. Their dominion was greatly diminished, the earth was corrupted, and their harmonious relationships were tarnished with enmity and contention. Sin enveloped mankind as Satan, the god of this age, became the primary influencing agent. Their eternal life was replaced with death.

The fall of man indeed destroyed God’s original plan but by no means deterred God from His purpose. Immediately after the fall, God set in motion the plan to redeem man and to restore the earth to its Paradise state. As the Scriptures progress, this plan becomes its main theme called by Jesus the Kingdom of God.

Revelation 2:7; 21:1–4; 22:14 – Paradise is re-created, the righteous will regain dominion over God’s recreated earth. Man’s relationship with God will be like it was before the fall: righteous, holy, pure, totally unfettered by sin. The righteous ones will live forever with the Lord Jesus Christ and God on the Paradise-like earth. At that time, what the angel said to Mary in Luke will be fulfilled (2 Samuel 7:12-14; Psalms 132:11; Isaiah 9:6 and 7; 16:5; Jeremiah 23:5 and 6: Ezekiel 34:23 and 24; 37:24 and 25; Amos 9:11).

When Jesus Christ returns, the resurrection of the just will take place. In this resurrection, all the believers who have died will be raised again. The believers who are alive at his coming will be transformed simultaneously with the resurrected ones (1 Corinthians 15). Until this event, the only one who died and was resurrected from the dead is Jesus. All others who have died are still dead.

Kingdom of God (2)Jesus will begin to rule in his Kingdom on earth. All the nations of the world will be brought into subjection to him. The resurrected saints will reign with him for a thousand years. Satan will be chained in the bottomless pit during this period. This time is called the regeneration because there will be a new life, a re-creation. The changes are going to be radical and encompass everyone and everything. The undesirable and unproductive geographic features of the earth will be changed. Valleys will be exalted, and mountains will be brought low (Isaiah 40:4). Deserts and wilderness will flourish with vegetation (Isaiah 35:7; 41:18 and 19; 43:19).

The weapons of war will be burned with fire for the first seven years after Christ returns (Ezekiel 39:9). All war will end, and the weapons will be molded into tools of agriculture (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3). Animals will be vegetarians and peacefully coexist with each other and mankind (Isaiah 11:6- 9; 65:25). All these changes will evolve until in the end Paradise will be established on earth.

At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be loosed for a short time. He will attempt to deceive the nations into revolting against Christ. However, he will be destroyed and cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7–10). At this time, the second resurrection, that of the unjust, will come to pass. All those who are not written in the book of life along with death and the grave will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-13). After all of this, Jesus the Christ will deliver the Kingdom to his Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

Then God will rule all and dwell among His people. Mankind will live with Christ and God in the new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:1-18). Again, the tree of life will be in the midst and give life and healing to the nations of the world (Revelation 21 and 22). Finally in the end, God’s supreme purpose to have a loving, harmonious, eternal family will be a reality.

The Sermon on the Mount teaches the right attitude and behavior we are to have in a relationship with God and man, the how of living godly in this ungodly world as we strive to enter into the Kingdom of God as set forth.

Matthew 6:33 – but seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.