By Thirty A.D. the concept or vision of God’s prophetic spiritual Kingdom had all but been lost. Our Lord Jesus Christ made the Kingdom of God His primary teaching focus. He is, of course, the door to His Kingdom, as well as the foundation and the capstone. His Kingdom was and is His central message. If you compile all of the major teachings of Jesus Christ you will see clearly that His foremost concern was for His disciples to know as much as possible about His Kingdom. His focus on the Kingdom consumed the greater portion of His earthly teaching ministry.
For example, in The Lord’s Prayer, the second concern after honor to His eternal Holy Father was, “Thy Kingdom Come.” Jesus is the first born son in absolute oneness with His eternal, loving, holy and almighty Father. His primary concern is for the Kingdom of God to be fully established to give great and worthy honor to His Almighty and Heavenly Father
The Kingdom is now, real and physical, as well as spiritual and eternal: a Kingdom of honor and righteousness. Our Lord’s desire that His Church should know about His Kingdom was, to Him, more of a primary message than even the message of salvation. Of course, if one is completely convinced of the coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ, then the next question will be, “Where is the door,” and, “How do I get in?” What must I do to be saved?…
Only hundreds of years after the resurrection did the church begin to make salvation the primary message. As the Church became divided, it lost its power and began to manipulate souls by focusing on the fear of hell and deep concerns about salvation. It is much more motivating to feel loved and know what we are being saved for rather than from.
It is my conviction that the Church has been given a mighty vision, the potential of living in the Kingdom of God TODAY. Today our church building would be overflowing if folks could experience the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. But the fractured church seems to have lost her way and must learn again how to love and live in the Kingdom of God with the power of the Holy Spirit. Each generation must have its own Pentecost and learn to flow with the Holy Spirit in confirming the Word of God with signs following; there are no exceptions.
Next are just a few scriptures that may help in considering the ways of the Kingdom of God. It is but a very small selection. Please take time for making this a priority for yourself and your family concerning the Kingdom.
The New Testament Kingdom
“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein (Luke18:17).“
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).
“And he said unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the Kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come, life everlasting’ ” (Luke 18:29-30).
“For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom.14:17).
“For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1 Cor.4:20).
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptable with reverence and godly fear” (Heb.12:28).
“For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet.1:11).
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto death” (Rev. 12:11-12, King James Bible).
Paul in Rome
Preaching the “Kingdom of God”, and teaching those things which concern the “Lord Jesus Christ”, with all confidence, no man forbidding him (Acts 28:31).The Apostle Paul’s first thoughts, as recorded by St. Luke, concerning His ministry was to preach the Kingdom of God, and then to teach about our Lord Jesus Christ. Christians tend to have messages backwards. This is possibly due to the lack of power in today’s church to demonstrate the Kingdom with signs following.
We seem to have it backwards. In the Jerusalem Church all were delivered and healed.
“And by the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. And none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord. Multitudes of both men and women. So that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude came out of the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed“ (Acts 5:5:16).
“Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”.
The pilgrimage into the Kingdom of God will be impossible for the carnal worldly Christian with his eyes on the world, his pride and his concern for the praise of men. The religious can not enter unless divested of intellectual religious Christianity. Only those with the heart of a child and in true loving and forgiving unity will the Great King allow entrance into His Holy Kingdom. His Kingdom is in this world and yet not of this world.
Many altars of egocentric pride must fall and personal religious ambitions must be surrendered by any who would truly experience the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit delights to empower and make us like Jesus. It is very sad that there are so very few who will trust Him with the complete freedom to change them into the image of Jesus. We tend to be so secure, so sure and so full of ourselves. We are so much in the center of ourselves and in charge of our own little kingdoms, churches and world that there appears to be very little room left for the eternal reign of Jesus Christ. Jesus is truly the King of His Eternal Kingdom, the one and only Kingdom. Many seem to be trying to build their own little kingdoms within their personal and religious denominational comfort zones. The superficially religious may eventually find themselves outside looking in and be “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17).
“Verily, Verily, I say unto you. Except a corn (grain, kernel) of wheat fall to the ground and die it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honor” (John 12:24-26).