What is the Kingdom of God?

I posted this on the FPU message board:
—–
What is the Kingdom of God?

One gospel author says kingdom of God and another gospel author says kingdom of Heaven. The phrase “kingdom of God” appears in the NT 65 times. The phrase “kingdom of Heaven” appears in the NT 31 times. Neither phrase appears in the OT. Jesus tells many parables about what this kingdom should be like.

We see that the kingdom:
It is near
It has come upon us
It was preached
It is good news
It belongs to children
It is seen by believing in God
It is entered by receiving the spirit
Its coming should be prayed for
It is power
It is not inherited by the wicked

Is the kingdom an actual place or a sphere of rule?
—–
It looks like I inadvertently hit a nerve. One of the comments I’ve received already was “is this an actual question or was this asked to just spark debate?” I am a bit perplexed at this comment. Are there feuding camps on this topic that I am not aware of?

Does anyone want to give their two cents on the subject?

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12 Responses to What is the Kingdom of God?

  1. Matt says:

    For now I will tell you the Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God.

  2. Kyle says:

    Is it a physical place or a condition of being?

  3. Matt says:

    For now I will tell you the Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God.

  4. Kyle says:

    Is it a physical place or a condition of being?

  5. kkbaher says:

    Kieran says:The easiest answer I see is “yes”. The kingdom is the unity of God and His creation. God’s kingdom is His rule in heaven and earth. Much of creation is in rebellion and exile due to sin. Yet God brings His kingdom to earth through Christ and the Spirit in the lives of believers. We become agents, ambassadors, soldiers of the kingdom, spreading it and making it tangible in the world. Through Christ (and Christians), God makes the supernatural kingdom physical.At the end of time, God will finish His work of re-creation as He removes the curse from His creation and it becomes what it was originally meant to be: the kingdom on earth (Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven). The events of Revelation complete, perfect, and renew what began in Genesis.Think about Robin Hood:King Richard went on the Crusades. He set up leaders to run the kingdom for him, but Prince John stole the throne.Is it still Richard’s kingdom? Is he still king? You betcha, as we say here in Wisconsin. Robin, as a faithful servant of Richard, works to bring his kingdom back to what it was supposed to be.

  6. kkbaher says:

    Kieran says:The easiest answer I see is “yes”. The kingdom is the unity of God and His creation. God’s kingdom is His rule in heaven and earth. Much of creation is in rebellion and exile due to sin. Yet God brings His kingdom to earth through Christ and the Spirit in the lives of believers. We become agents, ambassadors, soldiers of the kingdom, spreading it and making it tangible in the world. Through Christ (and Christians), God makes the supernatural kingdom physical.At the end of time, God will finish His work of re-creation as He removes the curse from His creation and it becomes what it was originally meant to be: the kingdom on earth (Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven). The events of Revelation complete, perfect, and renew what began in Genesis.Think about Robin Hood:King Richard went on the Crusades. He set up leaders to run the kingdom for him, but Prince John stole the throne.Is it still Richard’s kingdom? Is he still king? You betcha, as we say here in Wisconsin. Robin, as a faithful servant of Richard, works to bring his kingdom back to what it was supposed to be.

  7. Kyle says:

    Kieran, You should be an author. Great illustration. Thanks for the feedback. I get the feeling that some people don’t really think that it will be finally established in the end. If that were true though then I wouldn’t be so ready to fight for its coming.

  8. Kyle says:

    Kieran, You should be an author. Great illustration. Thanks for the feedback. I get the feeling that some people don’t really think that it will be finally established in the end. If that were true though then I wouldn’t be so ready to fight for its coming.

  9. Mark says:

    Kyle,I’m sorry it has taken me so long to chime in. my family has been hit by the stomach flu all week. So things have been a little crazy.Where did you get a comment from someone asking if you were just trying to stir up controversy? There is and has been a bit of controversy on this issue for the past 100 years. It is stirring up again these days. The debate being being between how we are to bring about God’s kingdom and when that kingdom will be ushered in. Some say that we can bring about God’s kingdom by fighting for justice and good on the earth. That Christians’ main goal should be to bring God’s kingdom to earth–through social justice, humanitarian aid, etc. The opposing side sees a danger that this view will take the focus off of what Christ has called the church to be about: preaching the gospel, making disciples, and advancing His kingdom in the hearts of His people until it is consumated at the coming of Christ to establish His rule over all things. So some in a difficult to define group called “The Emergent Church Movement” emphasize the kingdom of God a lot. But in so doing they seem replace individual salvation and gospel proclomation with community building and social work. Now, I basically agree with Matt and Kieran. Excellent post Kieran! The kingdom of God is His rule/reign. It was established by God and creation, subverted by Satan and Man in Genesis 3. The Old Testament is filled with God reestablishing His rule among His chosen people (Israel), and declaring His rightful ownership over all the earth, and His promise to send a Messiah to redeem His people and rule over all the earth. The Gospels show us Christ’s kingdom present in the person of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and King. His death and resurrection are central and pivotal in the estabishment of His kingdom, as Christ defeats sin, Satan, and death, the three enemies that tried to rule over His creation. Since Christ’s death and resurrection the kingdom of God is already here on earth in and through His people, but not yet fully consumated. We wait until His return when the kingdoms of this world will be the kingdoms of our God and king. Welp, my book is now over. If you would like to read a good treatment of the already/not yet nature of the kingdom read George Eldon Ladd’s, Gospel of the Kingdom. I’ll try to respond to your earlier question later.

  10. Mark says:

    Kyle,I’m sorry it has taken me so long to chime in. my family has been hit by the stomach flu all week. So things have been a little crazy.Where did you get a comment from someone asking if you were just trying to stir up controversy? There is and has been a bit of controversy on this issue for the past 100 years. It is stirring up again these days. The debate being being between how we are to bring about God’s kingdom and when that kingdom will be ushered in. Some say that we can bring about God’s kingdom by fighting for justice and good on the earth. That Christians’ main goal should be to bring God’s kingdom to earth–through social justice, humanitarian aid, etc. The opposing side sees a danger that this view will take the focus off of what Christ has called the church to be about: preaching the gospel, making disciples, and advancing His kingdom in the hearts of His people until it is consumated at the coming of Christ to establish His rule over all things. So some in a difficult to define group called “The Emergent Church Movement” emphasize the kingdom of God a lot. But in so doing they seem replace individual salvation and gospel proclomation with community building and social work. Now, I basically agree with Matt and Kieran. Excellent post Kieran! The kingdom of God is His rule/reign. It was established by God and creation, subverted by Satan and Man in Genesis 3. The Old Testament is filled with God reestablishing His rule among His chosen people (Israel), and declaring His rightful ownership over all the earth, and His promise to send a Messiah to redeem His people and rule over all the earth. The Gospels show us Christ’s kingdom present in the person of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and King. His death and resurrection are central and pivotal in the estabishment of His kingdom, as Christ defeats sin, Satan, and death, the three enemies that tried to rule over His creation. Since Christ’s death and resurrection the kingdom of God is already here on earth in and through His people, but not yet fully consumated. We wait until His return when the kingdoms of this world will be the kingdoms of our God and king. Welp, my book is now over. If you would like to read a good treatment of the already/not yet nature of the kingdom read George Eldon Ladd’s, Gospel of the Kingdom. I’ll try to respond to your earlier question later.

  11. Kyle says:

    Thanks so much for the book! I feel oh so special that you’d take the time to comment. The comment asking if I was trying to spark a debate was from someone on the school message board. I’ve not met this person but I did see that he is a student. I am taking what others post here on the topic also in the message board. It should bring up good discussion. I am interested now to see which camp this guy is in. I had a feeling that the KOG was both. I am glad to get that cleared up. Now I am going to see where the school stands and where individuals there also stand. They have this think called “The Wittenberg Door”. I can’t explain it but since I started school and found the door I’ve been drawn to make use of it.

  12. Kyle says:

    Thanks so much for the book! I feel oh so special that you’d take the time to comment. The comment asking if I was trying to spark a debate was from someone on the school message board. I’ve not met this person but I did see that he is a student. I am taking what others post here on the topic also in the message board. It should bring up good discussion. I am interested now to see which camp this guy is in. I had a feeling that the KOG was both. I am glad to get that cleared up. Now I am going to see where the school stands and where individuals there also stand. They have this think called “The Wittenberg Door”. I can’t explain it but since I started school and found the door I’ve been drawn to make use of it.

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