Torchbearers for Christ
Sunday, June 23, 2024
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The Lord Jesus and His followers made constant reference to the “Kingdom of God” or “Kingdom of Heaven” in their preaching. Actually the term “Kingdom of God” occurs over 100 times in the New Testament.

How are we to understand the meaning of this term? It is defined for us in Romans 14:17-18 where we read, “The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men” (NIV). When asked by the Pharisees as to when the Kingdom of God should come, Jesus told them that the Kingdom would not come with visible signs, “for the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21).

A chorus we sing from time to time gives us a good picture of what the Kingdom of God is to mean in the life of the believer:

“Reign in me, Sovereign Lord reign in me.
Captivate my heart; Let your Kingdom come,
Establish there your throne,
Let your will be done,
Reign in me, Sovereign reign in me.”

In Revelation 17:14 the Lord Jesus is described as the Lamb, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. As the Lamb of God He takes away our sins (John 1:29), and as the King of Kings He asks for our wholehearted submission to His will. In so doing, we are assured we will find rest unto our souls (Matthew 11:29), righteousness, peace and joy (Romans 14:17).   We may conclude then that the Kingdom of God is that spiritual realm where the Lord Jesus, God’s appointed King, is given His rightful control over our lives in every area.


What more can we learn about the Kingdom of God? Is it present or is it future, and if present, how does one become a citizen of this Kingdom? The answer to the first question   can be found in Colossians 1:13 where we read, “God has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.”   So these believers at Colosse were already in the Kingdom - a privilege we may also enjoy.

There is also a future aspect of the Kingdom of God that is referred   to in 1 Corinthians 15: 24-28, when the Lord Jesus will deliver up the Kingdom which He now rules, to His Father so that God may be all in all.

Then in John chapter 3 we learn of Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, who came to Jesus by night wanting to know more about Him. Jesus replied in verse 3, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God”.   Jesus made it clear to Nicodemus that his religion was not enough for him to enter the Kingdom; he needed a spiritual rebirth of water and of the Spirit (John 3:5). What does this mean? It has been noted that when Peter preached the gospel on the day of Pentecost, he used the keys of the Kingdom which Jesus had given him (Matthew 16:19), and told the folk gathered what they should do in order in order to be born of water and the Spirit. He told them, “Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). What was the outcome? “Then they that gladly received his word were baptised, and the same day there were added unto them about 3,000 souls.”

In Matthew 6:31 the Lord Jesus gave us some very helpful advice when He said, “So do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’....for your heavenly Father knows that you need these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”  So let us then, with God’s help, make the Kingdom of God our highest priority, for in so doing we are assured of enjoying life to the full (John 10:10).


This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  Since 1983 he has traveled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.