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June 14, 2011 / Daniel

Talking Points on Kingdom

Loarre Castle

So I’m just about to start an adult Sunday School at church on the Sermon on the Mount (SOTM).  And since one of the major themes in the SOTM is the kingdom of heaven, I have started to chart out some talking points on the kingdom.

Kingdom

  • The kingdom of heaven is not heaven.   Instead this expression should be understood being synonymous with the expression “kingdom of God.”
  • What would this place look like if God was in charge?
  • The difference between de jure (by right) and de facto (in practice) authority.  God has authority by right.  His authority is not always recognized in practice.
  • Definition: Kingdom is God’s de facto rule over His creation.  It includes the restoration of God’s people and the renewal of God’s creation.
  • The Kingdom comes as a fulfillment of OT prophecy.

Kingdom in the OT

In the OT, the kingdom means…

  • A King from the family of David (Micah 5:2-5a; Isa. 11:1-5)
  • The restoration of God’s people (Isa 49:6; 61:1-2; Dan 9:24).  This is twofold: the restoration of a Jewish remnant and the salvation of the nations.
  • A new temple (Dan 9:24; Ezek. 40-48; Isa. 2:2-3)
  • Resurrection of the dead (Daniel 12:1-3; Isa. 26:19)
  • The end of exile (Dan 9:24)
  • The renewal of creation (Psalm 96, 98)
The Kingdom as an Already but Not Yet Reality
1.  The Kingdom is Already, because…
  • Jesus is doing the signs of the kingdom.  He is reversing the effects of the curse (Matt 11:4-5; cf. Isaiah 61:1-3).
  • Satan’s kingdom is taking a hit (i.e. exorcisms).    Matthew 12:28.  “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
  • Jesus is the Resurrected Son of Man (Matthew 28:18; cf. Dan 7:14).  In Daniel 7, the Son of Man is given authority and a kingdom, so that the nations might serve Him.  In Matthew 28, Jesus is given the kingdom.  Therefore, the Great Commission–“make disciples of all nations.” 
2.  The Kingdom is Not Yet, because…
  • Death and sickness are still in this world.
  • Not all are healed.
  • Sin and rebellion are still rampant.
  • Jesus has not come back yet.
So the Kingdom has been inaugurated at Christ’s 1st coming.  It awaits consumption at His 2nd coming.
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4 Comments

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  1. rickroehm / Aug 12 2011 7:19 pm

    The Kingdom of God is God’s rule from HIs Throne in Heaven. It’s a Spiritual Kingdom within the heart of man. It’s a heavenly Kingdom that places a divine nature within the heart of man. The KIngdom of God is invisible; however it makes men eligible to receive the future Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

    The Kingdom of Heaven is an Earthly Kingdom where Christ rules from the Throne of His father David in Israel. The Kingdom of Heaven is visible and tangible and consists of people that have a new nature. The Kingdom of Heaven is an Earthly KIngdom. The Kingdom of Heaven was offered during the ministry of Christ. Rejected by Israel and postponed until Christ comes back a second time in His 1000 year reign on Earth.

    These two Kingdoms are not synonymous Kingdoms…but two distinctly different types.

    I have published much more material on this subject at other Blogs I write. I have been writing for Christ 25 years.

    I also pastor a New Testament Church in Williamsburg, Ohio

    Rick Roehm

  2. Daniel / Aug 12 2011 10:26 pm

    Thanks for commenting, Rick.

    Only Matthew uses the expression “kingdom of heaven.” It reflects Jewish piety. Out of reverence to the name of God, the Jewish people would replace the name of God with the word “heaven.”

    Consider Matthew 19 and the story of the rich young ruler. Jesus tells the disciples,“Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Both expressions are used in one statement. There’s not a discernible difference in meaning.

    The kingdom is further defined in v. 28. “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'”

  3. rickroehm / Sep 12 2011 5:29 pm

    The eye of the needle was a small entry point (perhaps 5’x3′) “tunneled through the great wall of Jerusalem”. Camles had to kneel down to enter through.

    In order for Israelites to enter the Earthly Kingdom they first had to be “born of the Spirit”. This new nature received in the new birth…was a spiritual blessing that God placed in the heart of man to be eligible to receive the Earthly Kingdom in Jerusalem… where Christ will physically rule from the Throne of His Father David.

    The spiritual Kingdom in the heart of man comes down from Heaven (Throneroom). Romans 14…defines this Kingdom to be peace, joy, and righteousness in the Holy Ghost. The Heavenly Throne and the Earthly Throne are two different Kingdoms.

    During the Earthly ministry of Christ both Kingdoms were preached simultaneously. Today we preach the Kingdom of God because the Kingdom of Heaven was postponed until Christ returns the second time. Even then will man have to have the Kingdom of God in the heart to eligible to reign with Christ in the 1000 year reign (The Kingdom of Heaven). The Kingdom of Heaven is the Churches future hope.

  4. Daniel / Sep 12 2011 5:45 pm

    Rick,

    There is no evidence that any such gate ever existed. That’s a preaching legend.

    The literal interpretation of the verse is best. It’s impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom. But with God, all things are possible. God gives grace even to rich people in order that their wealth is not an obstacle to saving faith in Christ.

    But the main point is that Jesus uses the terms “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” interchangeably in Matthew 19. He makes no distinctions between the two terms. Nothing in Matthew 19 supports your hypothesis.

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