Kingdom Myth 3. The kingdom of God is the equivalent of heaven.
If you polled every professing Christian on the planet today and asked them to define the kingdom of God, the majority would say “heaven.”
But this is not what Scripture teaches.
For years, I’ve defined the kingdom to be “the manifestation of God’s ruling presence.”
Consequently, the kingdom is already, but not yet. It’s present, but it’s also future.
We live in the time between times, where the kingdom of God is here, but not in its fullness.
Consequently, those who teach that the kingdom has nothing to do with the here and now are misinformed. This brand of “escapist theology” says, “We’re simply waiting for Jesus to return. Our job is to try and get as many souls ready for heaven, that is, ready for the kingdom of God.”
But such thinking is both misguided and unbiblical. The kingdom of God is not the equivalent of heaven.
The kingdom is the manifestation of God’s ruling presence. It includes three things: A king, a people who are ruled (“the community of the king”), and the king’s rulership.
The forgiveness of sins, which is an incredible gift, is included in the kingdom. But even more exciting is joining the Lord in His work of reclaiming the nations (Psalm 2; 89), to “rescue” people “from the dominion of darkness” and bring them “into the kingdom of God’s dear Son,” right here, right now (Col. 1:13).
Therefore, the kingdom of God is here today, even though it will be here tomorrow in its fullness. The kingdom, then, is not heaven. It’s the manifestation of God’s ruling presence, today on planet Earth.
God is looking for those who are willing to be radicalized by the gospel of the kingdom and become one of its agents.
We’ll look at another myth next week. Stay tuned.
The Kingdom Master Class
Many of you who aren’t part of the DCLN have asked to hear the rest of the conference messages on the gospel of the kingdom (beyond “A Clash Between Kingdoms”). If you wanted to access the rest of those messages, be sure to join the Master Class wait list this week.
Titan Shipping Update
The shipper contacted me recently and said there’s been a slight delay on the shipping of the Titan. It shouldn’t be long at all, so nothing to worry about. As soon as the book ships, you will receive an email to the email address you used to order the book. So make sure you check that email each week (including its spam folders).