One of Jesus’ most popular teachings was on the Kingdom of God. However many have a misguided understanding of what Jesus means by Kingdom. Here are a few things that the Kingdom of God is not in hopes that we might better understand what it is.
1. The Kingdom of God is not an Earthly Nation
Few people would ever actually say it, but through their actions many believe it. In western society nationalism runs so deep in our culture that many of us equate the United States of America as the Kingdom of God. For the future hope of the world, many look to America for its realization. Many have a false few that America is the center of Christianity, despite that the center of Christianity is shifting to the global south. Christians beg and petition for America to go back to its so called Christian roots. For many the Kingdom of God is falsely connected to a particular nation. The Kingdom of God is bigger than any earthly nation, it is the coming of true King, God Almighty, as he is establishing his Kingdom in Jesus Christ. He is establishing his Kingdom through the proclamation of the Gospel and is not desiring just one particular nation, but people of all nations to come under His kingship through the atoning work of Christ.
2. The Kingdom of God is not a particular Ethnic Group
Its a shame, but if you walk into a Christian church in America today you will notice that the church is one of the most segregated places in our society. Again, no one would ever say that the Kingdom of God is only for white Americans, but if you go into many Southern Baptist Churches (that’s the circle I run with) you will notice that there are very few Hispanics, African-Americans, or people from eastern descent. Our churches are failing to reach people who are different from us, and through our actions we show that we’ve reduced the Kingdom of God to a certain ethnic group. We cluster together with people with the same skin color and culture and pray for the best. God’s desire is that all nations and ethnicities might hear and know the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. All Peoples need to hear this message and must be reached. God’s Kingdom is not just for a particular tribe, but for all people to know and cherish this great God we worship.
3. The Kingdom of God is not a particular Denomination
Denominations are a great thing. They serve as a partnership between like minded churches for the advancement of the Gospel. Although Denominations are beneficial to the church, no particular denomination can call itself the Kingdom of God. Churches tend to make an enemy out of another church that loves Jesus and the Bible that is right down the street from them. They tend to view them as competition and not partners for reaching their community with the Gospel. In fact many churches develop a church growth strategy of sheep stealing from other congregations rather than evangelizing to the lost. If a church loves Jesus and preaches salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, they are not our enemies but our partners for the Gospel. Sure that partnership might be limited by differences, but that doesn’t mean they are not apart of ushering in the Kingship of Jesus.
The Kingdom of God is brought by Jesus through the cross. People are then brought under the authority and kingship of Jesus. This means that all nations and all Peoples need to hear what Christ has done for them. Dr. Alvin Reed says, “Christianity is not an institution to be maintained, but a movement to be advanced.” Let us then advance the Kingship of Jesus. Let us share the Gospel with our neighbors, coworkers, and friends so that they might be apart of this Kingdom that is coming and will be established at the return of King Jesus. So in the words of Jesus let us preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17)