I live in a country that is a kingdom. But, I also live in the kingdom of God. What is the kingdom of God exactly? You will be amazed!
The kingdom in heaven
Jesus says: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18 : 36). This means the kingdom of God is His kingdom. He, the Son of God, received it from God His Father. This is not the same as an earthly kingdom, like the one I live in. The kingdom of God is no area or country on earth, with boundaries and a worldly king. Jesus calls it very often the “Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 7:21). He uses this expression for His full power and control over heaven and earth. He reigns the world in heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of God. He has all power over your live too. When you believe in Him as your Savior, your “citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3: 20). Therefore this world is not your home. Just like Abraham. By faith he was “a stranger in a foreign country” (Hebrews 11 : 9). So are you. Your home is in heaven. This is the heavenly paradise, where you will go to when you die. When the dying murderer on the cross puts his trust in Him, Jesus says: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23 : 43). How paradise is, can’t be described. It is totally different from our world. The apostle Paul says that God showed him this paradise, where he “heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter” (2 Corinthians 12 : 4).
The kingdom on earth
The kingdom of God has come near to us by the coming of Jesus 2000 years ago. It becomes present today in the community of the believers (the church) and their activities in the world. For example in the mission of Biblword to tell you about the gospel. Jesus teached His disciples to pray every day for the coming of the kingdom: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6 : 10). So, the presence of the kingdom is also in the normal things of your christian life: In the way you do your (home)work, educate your children, help your neighbours and tell others about God. The Holy Spirit works these things in your life, as a foretaste of your glorious future. The Bible shows the kingdom is still coming and not yet complete. Your old life will be fully renewed when Jesus comes down from heaven and awakens your death body from the grave. With His coming, He will renew the whole present world. The vision of John in Revelation gives a picture of this great future: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Revelation 21: 1). Pray that God works the kingdom daily through you and other believers. And pray for the second coming of Jesus on earth. “He who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1: 8).
The content of the kingdom
Gods kingdom consists of power and righteousness, peace and joy (1 Cor. 4: 20 and Romans 14:17). What is meant by these words?
The power of the kingdom is the joyful message of salvation through Jesus. God so loved you that He sent His Son Jesus to rescue you from your sins and your sinful nature. If you put your trust in Him, you will be born again and become a citizen of His Kingdom. Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he can not see the kingdom of God” (John 3 : 3). When you don’t have faith, pray that God gives you this fait. He will surely answer your prayer. Then not all worries are over, you still have to deal with the fight against your sin, the devil and persecution. But when you become a citizen of the kingdom of God, even the “gates of hell” (Matthew 16 : 18) will not knock you down! Your victory has already been achieved by Jesus. Romans 8 : 37 – 39 states this victory very clear: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.“
Jesus gives you His righteousness and takes your sins. He died in your place at the cross. He took the wrath of God over your sins on Him. You can compare this with changing your clothes when they are dirty. Jesus takes your filthy, sinful clothes, and clothes you with new clean ones, that is His righteousness. He gives this freely to you as a gift of grace. Jesus also gives you “good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2 : 10). Then God’s kingdom will be present in your deeds. For these things, He is worthy that you give His kingdom and this righteousness the first place in your life. He says to you today: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
In this kingdom, God gives you in Jesus a peace which surpasses all understanding. This peace is above all earthly forms of peace. It is a deep spiritual peace in your heart, no matter your condition or problems. With this peace you don’t have to be anxious about anything, but can lay down every problem in prayer and let your requests be made known to God. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phillipians 4 : 6, 7).
Jesus compares the joy of discovering the kingdom with a man who finds a great treasure in a piece of land. The man is so happy that he sells everything to get this treasure (Matthew 13: 44). He also compares it with finding a beautiful pearl of great value (Matthew 13: 45). The kingdom of God is worth giving up everything for if necessary: your work, hobbies, family, friends and even your life. As citizen of the kingdom you can rejoice that your name is written in heaven (Luke 10: 20). This is no joy like a forced smile on your face. No, this joy is much deeper. It is a joy in God that no one can take away from you. You can rejoice because you are part of “a holy nation, a people for His own possession.” (1 Peter 2 : 9)
What a mighty kingdom and what an awesome God we have. For these heavenly blessings, praise “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places!” (Ephesians 1 : 3).
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