His Kingdom

The gospel, the good news of the kingdom, is the extension of the rule and reign of the kingdom to disrupt, shift and transform culture so that the love, mercy and justice of God are on display. It is more than simply a message about salvation. Jesus shared a number of parables about the kingdom and how it functions. Yet prior to looking at the New Testament we begin with an Old Testament description of how the kingdom in will function.

34 You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Daniel 2:34 (NKJV)

44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Daniel 2:44 (NKJV)

For context, this was Daniel interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the statue. Daniel explained that the statue represented a series of earthly kingdoms but said that the stone “cut out without hands’ would break the power of these other kingdoms. Later in his explanation Daniel clarified that this stone is the kingdom that God would set up.

What Daniel knew was that this would take place, what He didn’t know was that this future king would be born to a young virgin, raised in Nazareth and crucified and resurrected in Jerusalem. We know from scripture that there will be an ultimate consummation of this coming kingdom. We see some of this expressed in the following scriptures, beginning with the first parable that Jesus taught.

3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” 9 And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Mark 4:3–9 (NKJV)

13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? Mark 4:13 (NKJV)

There are two important aspects of this parable. The first is that the seed is good. The fruitfulness and ultimate harvest depend on the condition of the soil the seed is sown into. We know from Matthew 13:19 that the seed is the message of the kingdom. We find in Luke that the soil is our heart and we are responsible for the condition of our hearts.

15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. Luke 8:15 (NKJV)

Another aspect of the kingdom is that while His kingdom will be fully consummated, the time leading up to this is a time where the kingdom grows. We see that in the parables.   

31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” 33 Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” Matthew 13:31–33 (NKJV)

In both of these parables we see that in the earth the kingdom of heaven/God (the phrases are interchangeable in the gospels) starts small and then begins growing and continues to grow. When we move forward to Revelation we see John’s vision of the consummation.

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:1–2 (NKJV)

What we learn from this final piece regarding the kingdom is that when the tree is fully grown and the leaven has fully done its work, the kingdom will be revealed in fullness, beauty and glory. All this time prior to it being revealed it was growing, being built and being prepared to be revealed.

            We can thus be confident that no matter how things look from the perspective of earth, this kingdom is and has been actively growing in the earth and will one day be revealed in fullness. Our present task is to reflect it well in how we live our lives. We are then doing our part to build this growing heavenly city that will one day be revealed in glory.

His kingdom is like the image below. Cracks in the world are evident and part of the tree has been revealed. At a point in time the tree will be fully revealed as the cracks break fully open.

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I have been walking with Jesus since 1985. I am currently retired from my career in the helping professions but still focused on ministering to others. I completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Apologetics in September 2020.

2 thoughts on “His Kingdom”

  1. Great definition at the beginning of the kingdom. I have a similar definition: The kingdom of God is the liberating invasion, the current manifestation and the future consummation of the rule and reign of God in Jesus Christ.

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