My last post about Finding Home, my new book, is about the kingdom of God.
Like, what is it?
1. Is it a collection of nice ideas and pretty words, a kind of abstraction meant to symbolize something even more ethereal and hazy?
2. Is it heaven, referring to the pie in the sky we get to eat when we die?
3. Is it God’s ‘territory,’ existing in every heart where he has his way?
Jesus said the kingdom of God was within us. Which lends itself to #1 and #3. He also said we could enjoy our eternity there one day, which would be #2. But then he did some miracles and said, “That was the kingdom breaking into this world.” Which doesn’t fit any of our definitions so far. He also said we could “enter” it, and in one translation, “enter into” it. He told Pilate, the spineless governor who sentenced him to death, “My kingdom is from another place.”
The kingdom is a place?
Yes, it’s an ideal. Yes, it’s the territory in our hearts given over to him. And yes, it’s about heaven. But it’s a place. A spiritual place I can enter, enter into, and end up in one day (“Flesh and blood cannot inherit (Fully enter into and enjoy) the kingdom of God.”)
Jesus said that we can enter it NOW, not just later. That we will become fully present to and in the kingdom when we die, but that we are IN it now. Not our bodies. Our spirits. It’s a SPIRITual kingdom. Where is it? Jesus says it’s the kingdom of “heaven” – in Greek that’s plural, “heavens.”
Yes. The Hebrews conceived of three: The air around them, the sky above them, and the abode of God’s throne, heaven proper, the capital city of the realm. And Jesus said the kingdom is of “the heavens.” All three. Meaning, the kingdom is not just that place where we go when we die, it’s all around us, as close as the air as we breathe. A realm overlapping ours, waiting to break into our space.
And we, if we are in Christ, live in both places at once. Our bodies on the physical plane. Our spirits in the heavens. We, ladies and gentlemen, are God’s crossover technology so that what is established in heaven can manifest on earth. It’s why he chose incarnation as his pattern of ministry.
And BTW, wherever you see the phrase “heavenly places” in the NT, that’s the same greek word Jesus used to describe his kingdom. Chew on that for awhile! This is big, people.
And if you want to taste and see this more fully, my book, Finding Home, is all about the Kingdom I’m describing.