Today I want to talk about the Kingdom of God and what that means. But first let’s break apart what a kingdom is. In it’s simplest form a kingdom is any place in which a person’s will is done. So when we talk about the Kingdom of God we are talking about wherever His will is carried out that is His Kingdom.
So let’s open the Bible and read the story of God’s Kingdom. I’ll be reading from Luke 17:20-35 in which the Pharisees ask Jesus when the kingdom of God would come and we hear Jesus’ response to them and his disciples.
20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God will come, He answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with something observable; 21 no one will say, ‘Look here!’ or ‘There!’ For you see, the kingdom of God is among you.”
22 Then He told the disciples: “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you won’t see it. 23 They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Don’t follow or run after them. 24 For as the lightning flashes from horizon to horizon and lights up the sky, so the Son of Man will be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man: 27 People went on eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day Noah boarded the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 It will be the same as it was in the days of Lot: People went on eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. 29 But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, a man on the housetop, whose belongings are in the house, must not come down to get them. Likewise the man who is in the field must not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever tries to make his life secure 34 I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: One will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together: One will be taken and the other left.
What a great way to answer their question and provide examples to live by. First we hear Jesus saying the kingdom of God is right there in their midst. Right there, they could see it if they just opened their heart. Then Jesus tells His disciples that the kingdom is still to come after much suffering and rejection by that generation.
One thing this reminds me of is Matthew 6:33-44 saying to focus on God and His will. Don’t focus on what’s behind us, we can’t fix or change that at all. We need to stay focused on His will and where He is leading us.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
So the answer to the question is God’s kingdom is both now and yet to come.
How do we become a part of God’s kingdom with all this sin in our lives? Sin at it’s core is a rejection of God’s will, an active rebellion against His kingdom. But, when we repent of our sins and submit ourselves to Christ as our Lord and Saviour we we no longer rebelling against God. We’re welcomed back with open arms into His kingdom.
In teaching His disciples Jesus referenced two stories from the Old Testament that shed light on what happens when we continue to rebel against God. The first story is of Noah and the flood (Genesis 7:11-24) and the second is of Lot and the city of Sodom(Genesis 19:12-26). Both times God destroyed something because of man’s sin. Both stories show that while man still continued on their way living, ignoring God’s will, He destroyed them both. If we focus on worldly ways ignoring God’s will we’ll miss His calling to join His kingdom. Luke 17:33 states it clearly: “Whoever tries to make his life secure will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” The Message bible says it this way “If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms.” So whoever clings onto their old ways, their old life will not experience the kingdom of God. But if you let go of your old ways and focus on God you’ll gain eternal life with God.
In reading the Disciples Path: The Journey it says “A Christian is any person who turns to Jesus and says “Everything in my life is negotiable except You.” That’s what it means to live as a citizen of God’s kingdom.”
How true that is, everything we own is negotiable, we can’t take any of it with us. The worldly things just rot away and turn back to dust. Yet God, God is eternal, trust in Him and you will live eternally with Him when all things on earth have passed away.