From the fall of man through the time when Jesus Christ rules on earth, God’s Kingdom has been present.
1 Corinthians 15:24-25
24 Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet.
What is the relationship between the church and the kingdom? There is a distinction:
kingdom — Greek word Basileia
church — Greek word Ekklesia
The word ‘kingdom’ is used many times in the gospel while ‘church’ is only used three times. There is a change that takes place in the book of Acts where the church becomes the primary focus. The kingdom is secondary until the book of Revelation, where the kingdom becomes primary once more. Most New Testament letters are addressed to the churches–not the kingdom.
The kingdom of God in Scripture is the all embracing program of God’s divine salvation in history. All ages, people, the saving activities are related to the program of the kingdom.
9 “Therefore, you should pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Your name be honored as holy.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
The Christians carry out the will of God in the midst of Satan’s domain. God’s kingdom will come to earth and will be headed by Jesus Christ.
A kingdom is defined as the sovereign reign over a territory where a king exercises his rule.
…by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him.
There is, ultimately, one kingdom it signifies God’s universal eternal rule over all creation.
The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
and His kingdom rules over all.
The earth and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants,
belong to the LORD.
God is in control over Satan. No one places limits on God. He places the limits…he rules.
10 Haven’t You placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out Your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse You to Your face.”
12 “Very well,” the LORD told Satan, “everything he owns is in your power. However, you must not lay a hand on Job himself.” So Satan left the LORD’s presence.
Satan has hindered us from carrying out what God would have us to do for Him.
1 Thessalonians 2:18
So we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.
God will accomplish His will in His appointed time. Since God is reigning, believers can appeal to God to restrain Satan in order to serve God for His kingdom. The Holy Spirit’s presence is what convicts the hearts and minds of men and women. Believers are not of this world…we are of His Kingdom.
1 Thessalonians 3:11
Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you.
2 Thessalonians 2:5-8
5 Don’t you remember that when I was still with you I told you about this? 6 And you know what currently restrains him, so that he will be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way, 8 and then the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth and will bring him to nothing with the brightness of His coming.
The kingdom of God is advancing.
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent have been seizing it by force.
The gospel of the kingdom is being carried out by the church. The church is the vehicle that carries out the message of the kingdom.
“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is strongly urged to enter it.
Stages of the kingdom:
1. God’s covenant promises with Abraham
2. God’s rule over Israel (Exodus 40:33-34)
3. The appearance of Jesus
- The kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21).
- The kingdom of God has come to you (Luke 11:20).
- Jesus is seen as the glory of God (John 1:14; Luke 9:29-32).
The church is not the kingdom, yet it carries out the work of the kingdom. The kingdom is presently working through the church to equip and educate for the purposes of advancing the gospel of the kingdom throughout the world according to the mysteries described by Jesus in His teaching.
He answered them, “Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.”
“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son.”
The message of the church is the message of the kingdom.
But when they believed Philip, as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
…proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with full boldness and without hindrance.
This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world[a] as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.
The relationship of the church and kingdom:
…but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.
2 Corinthians 5:20
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”
18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”