What is the kingdom of God?
Question: “What is the Kingdom of God and are there more than one Kingdom?”
In the King James Bible, the word “kingdom” appears 369 times and “Kingdom of God” appears 69 times. Matthew actually prefers the term "Kingdom of Heaven" which he uses over 20 times in his gospel. The “Kingdom of Heaven” is considered the same as the “Kingdom of God. In both the Old Testament and the New Testament the term "kingdom" is considered dynamic in nature and refers primarily to the rule or reign of a king rather than in a static sense referring to a territory. In the vast majority of instances the expression "Kingdom of God" can be translated as the "Rule of God."
While many people frequently use the expression “Kingdom of Heaven or Kingdom of God”, most have a hard time defining its meaning. The reason is because God doe not have a Kingdom but He has three separate kingdoms referenced in the Bible. Two exist now and one is still to come. They are:
Kingdom of the universe
The first kingdom is referring to God’s reign over the universe. God is the creator, ruler, and king of the entire universe, including earth. God is totally Sovran in His kingship except earth where He gave Adam and Eve authority to rule, and Satan stole their authority.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all (Psalm 103:19).
Kingdom of our hearts
The second kingdom is referring to God’s reign over the hearts of those who have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. It is the area that is controlled by God and that is being extended to the lost; the spiritual domain over which God is sovereign and enacts His will. This is the kingdom that we most often refer to when referring to God’s Kingdom.
Because of God’s great love for us, He has given us the freedom to accept Him and His kingdom or to turn away. He calls us to come to His kingdom, to be a part, to be cleansed of our sins, to be His sons and daughters; it is a kingdom in which we have a personal relationship with the King. A kingdom of love where He prepares us to tell others about His great love and strengthens us as Christians. Jesus primarily preached that we are to proclaim the kingdom and gospel of God. Soon afterward he [Jesus] went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God (8:1). And Jesus said to him, … But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God (Luke 9:60).
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:1-
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people (Matthew 4:23).
In the second kingdom, Christian’s greatest responsibility is to love and obey God, and their second greatest responsibility is to share God’s love of salvation with the unsaved.
Kingdom of earth
The third kingdom, the kingdom of earth has not yet occurred. It is what all Christians are waiting for. In Matthews 6:10, Jesus instructed us to pray to the Father that His kingdom would come. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord (Zechariah 14:9).
This passage and several of the following verses are referring to the time when Satan is thrown into the fiery pit and Jesus takes over as the king and ruler of the entire earth. A time when peace will once again be establish on earth similar to the peace that existed in the Garden of Eden.
In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever (Daniel 2:44).
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 11:15).
How do I become a part of God’s Kingdom
To be part of God’s future third kingdom, we must first accept Him as our Lord and savior in His second kingdom, for those who reject God’s kingdom will never see His heaven.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that you art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that you do, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:1-
A man is born of the Spirit by repenting of his sins and accepting Jesus as his Lord, and is born of water when he is publicly baptized in water, symbolizing the cleansing by going under the water, and the new person coming out of the water.
There then are three kingdoms of God. His kingdom over the universe, His kingdom in the hearts of Christians, and the third kingdom over the entire world that starts after the tribulation.
However, one can correctly argue that there really is only one kingdom of God, starting with His kingdom over the universe, with some authority given to man and that authority returning to God after the tribulation, once again bringing everything in the universe back into God’s kingdom. While we may perceive three kingdoms, in the end, the entire universe in its completeness is united under the dominion of God.
Next Question: How can I find God’s kingdom?