The Kingdom of God is Now Present
There are two understandings of the kingdom of God in the church today. One understanding believes that Jesus of Nazareth came to be the Messiah to the Jewish people and to set up His kingdom here on earth, but His people rejected Him. In order for Him to finish what He came to do He will have to come back again sometime in the future to accomplish the establishment of His earthly kingdom.
The second understanding in the church is that Jesus has already established His kingdom, but it is not a physical kingdom. The kingdom that is understood here is that it is a spiritual kingdom. This understanding is known as the fulfilled eschatalogical viewpoint. There is ample explanation available with respect to the first understanding through various sources. In this Learning Activity we shall explore the Scriptures for an understanding of the second of these two understandings.
1. Matthew 3:2
2. What did John the Baptist say about the kingdom in the verse above?
3. Matthew 4:17
4. In the verse above, what does Jesus say about the kingdom?
5. Matthew 10:7
6. What did Jesus tell the twelve disciples to preach in the verse above?
7. Matthew 12:28
8. What is the main point Jesus makes in the verse above?
9. Mark 1:15
10. What did Jesus say about the kingdom in the verse above?
11. Luke 10:9
12. What did Jesus say about the kingdom in the verse above?
13. Luke 10:11
14. What did Jesus tell the seventy about the kingdom in the verse above?
In the scriptures above we see that the kingdom is being described as something that was soon to take place. This is indicated by such phrases as “at hand” and “come nigh.” The use of language such as “come nigh unto you” is even more precise because it places the coming of the kingdom into the lifetime of those to whom these words were spoken by the use of “you.” It seems quite obvious that such wording could not have been postponed for over 2,000 years, as some in the church today believe, when it was spoken directly to those of the time of Jesus of Nazareth on earth.
15. Luke 11:20
16. What does Jesus say about the coming of the kingdom in the verse above?
17. Matthew 20:21
18. The mother of Zebedee’s children (see verse 20) had asked Jesus if her two sons could sit beside Jesus in His kingdom. What does this tell you about the kingdom?
With all of the above talk of the kingdom, what was this kingdom to be like?
19. John 18:36
20. From the verse above, what is it that we can learn about the kingdom?
21. Romans 14:17
22. What conclusions about the kingdom can you draw from the verse above?
23. 1 Corinthians 4:20
24. What does the verse above tell you about the kingdom?
25. Luke 17:20
26. What does the verse above tell you about the kingdom?
27. Luke 17:21
28. What is the powerful truth that is contained in the verse above?
29. John 6:15
30. What is it that Jesus refused to let the people in the verse above do to Him?
In summary we see that during the time of the ministry of Jesus Christ He taught that the kingdom was coming, that it was close at hand, and finally that it had come and was now in the believer. It was the power of God according to the Spirit, and not the power of man according to the flesh that established the kingdom of God!
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