Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What is the kingdom of God?

 Every kingdom has 4 basic components:(1) a ruler or rulers, (2) subjects, (3) a domain or area of rulership, and (4) laws. Gods kingdom is no different. It has a ruler, subjects, domain and laws.   
   However, because Gods kingdom is a revolutionary kind of kingdom, these 4 basic components take on unique aspects.
   To begin with, Gods kingdom has no erthly ruler, its ruler is Jesus Christ, who reigns from heaven. Earthly kingdoms periodically change rulers and policies. In contrast, Jesus is eternal, and His policies dont change." Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever"(Heb. 13:8).
   Who are the subjects of the kingdom of God? the Jews? No, Jesus told the jews quite pointedly, "I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it"(Mt. 21:43). Who was this nation to whom Jesus said He would give the kingdom? The Romans? The British? the Americans? NO....it was none of these for the Scriptures tell us, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave not free, there is neither male not female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. A d if you are Christs, then you are Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise"(Gal. 3:28, 29).
   So all of us who belong to Christ---all of us who are genuinely born again---we are the subjects of this kingdom. We have become the heirs of Gods promise, the citizens of His new nation. In writing to Gentile Christians of his day, Peter addressed them with the following words:"You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclain the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy"(1 Peter 2:9-11).
   So the subjects of Gods kingdom are called to be a holy nation, a kingdom of priests, just as the Israelites had been called(Exodus 19:5,6). However, the kingdom was taken from the Israelites and given to a nation that would produce the fruits of righteousness---the nation of born again believers.
   One unique aspect of the kingdom of God is that its subjects dont occupy a certain portion of the earth, like the subjects of other kingdoms. The citizens of Gods kingdom are interspersed among all nations of the world. This feature has caused continual conflict for the kigdom of God. Thats because its citizens always live under 2 diffferent kingdoms---a kingdom of the world and a kingdom of God.
   Jesus told the Samaritan woman, "The hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father"(John 4:210. Gods kingdom would have no earthly capital nor shrine.
   All of this was something beyond the experience of both the Jews and the Gentiles of Jesus' day. the kingdom of the Israelites had encompassed a specific grographic area. So had all of the kingdoms of man. The Israelites had always had a physical location where theur tabernacle or temple was placed. For a thousand years, that place had been Jerusalem. Every human kingdom has an earthly capital, but Gods kingdom does not.

More later..
Next, The Kingdom of God is within you....

Love to all who read...

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