Multiple Choice – What is the Kingdom of God?

I would like to specifically address the nature of the Kingdom of God/Kingdom of heaven (both meaning the same thing). I will pose the question of “What is the Kingdom of God” and in light of a few different verses ask that you see if your definition fits. I have my own thoughts and views as are noted on our main site which is listed to the left of this post. Here however are some popular thoughts, definitions, and perspectives

Most evangelicals today would give the answer that the Kingdom of God is the general body of believers today in the world doing the work of God.

Others would say that the Kingdom of God is the world in general, where God rules. God rules over the creation and everything is under him.

Another option is the personal rule of God in your life. For a Christian, accepting the Lordship of God and Christ, they are in this Kingdom. God is ruling their life by being the King of their heart.

Also, there is some discussion that in fact the Kingdom is another word for what most call “heaven.” Thus the Kingdom is the place one goes at death to reside in a heavenly existence on a cloud with soft white and pink lighting. (You might even have wings so you can live in heaven with God and the angels forever).

Or perhaps you understand the Kingdom of God as the literal, physical Kingdom that will begin at Jesus’ return. He will take over the world and bring peace, righteousness and justice. He will crush the wicked and oppressive and exalt the humble servants. Paradise will be restored. This is not only the hope of the Christian but the theme of the gospel itself.

Perhaps I am forgetting another popular interpretation of these words, but for today, let’s go with these. Here again are our choices.

A – The church

B – The world in general which God rules

C – Having God as the king of your heart

D – An existence in heaven as a spirit being

E – The apocalyptic physical Kingdom that will begin when Jesus comes to take over the world

Please choose which one best fits your understanding and fill that idea in when you read “Kingdom” in the following verses.

Mark 1:15 – “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Matthew 25:34 – “…Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

Mark 9:47 – “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell.”

Mark 12:34 – When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.

Mark 10:15 – “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

Matthew 5:3 (HCSB) – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

Matthew 19:23-24 – And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:2 – And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.

Luke 9:62 – But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Luke 19:11 – While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. (Parable of money usage follows)

Luke 21:31 – “So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.

John 3:3 – Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Acts 1:3 – To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

I Corinthians 15:50 – Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

II Thessalonians 1:5 – This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.

Matthew 24:14 – This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Now, go back and read these verses again. Is there one option that fits all of the verses listed? Perhaps more than one option?

I thought that this exercise might be enjoyable and enlightening, but in all seriousness, the topic and understanding, reception and repentance in light of the Kingdom of God is critical. Perhaps no other topic is so misunderstood in Christianity, and yet at the same time so vital to the Christian.

  • What’s the best answer?
  • Does your interpretation of “the Kingdom of God” fit with the verses listed?
  • Is this topic even something that is worth understanding, or perhaps a minor subject only?
  • Do any choices not fit at all? If so, are there other verses that fit your interpretation?
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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by TPI on January 20, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Hi! Everyone

    Just a hurried comment to comment’s assertion saying, “Kingdom of God/Kingdom of heaven (both meaning the same thing)”.

    The fact is: they are NOT the same.

    You offered the error very nonchalantly at the outset and this encouraged the balance of your false premise to possess an undeserved credibility.

    Of all the, “popular thoughts, definitions, and perspectives”, (as you wrote), the single one which is consistent to the Gospel of Jesus mysteriously remained unsaid.

    Your juvenile attempt to ridicule views which evidently oppose your own did not escape me either. Eg:”to reside in a heavenly existence on a cloud with soft white and pink lighting. (You might even have wings so you can live in heaven with God and the angels forever)”.

    If you wish to have persons actively engaged with this Blog, the very least you could do is not attempt to ridicule or shame differing points of view. Your obvious skill at the English language makes such an approach entirely unecessary.

    It is very true that, as you said, “the Kingdom of God is critical. Perhaps no other topic is so misunderstood in Christianity, and yet at the same time so vital to the Christian”. That is the primary reason why I have such a keen interest with this Blog.

    Nevertheless, we should never want to be found speaking of the Gospel of the Kingdom as if it were some blanket doctrine which pretends to dismiss the Gospel of Repentance. Futhermore, if we choose to speak of the Gospel of the Kingdom, we should at least have a proper foundation laid so that its wonderful truths are not blurred with error.

    My suggestion to you is to go back to the ‘sand-box’ and learn anew. You might wish to start a new Entry in your Blog with the pointed question:
    “Is There A Difference Between The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven? And, if so, what are they?”

    Smile! 🙂

    Reply

  2. Posted by JohnO on January 20, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Blane,

    I do believe it is quite easy to show that the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven are exactly the same.

    Only Matthew speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven. If you were to look at parallels in the synoptics you’ll see that Matthew uses the Kingdom of Heaven in the same place as the others use the Kingdom of God.

    A simple example:
    Mt 3.2 – “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
    Mk 1.15 – and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

    We could do that all day long with the synoptics, but I’d like to use internal evidence in Matthew to prove to you without a doubt that they are the same.

    Mt 19.16, 23-24 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?”… And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    It is as plain as day that to “obtain eternal life”, and “enter the Kingdom of Heaven”, and “enter the Kingdom of God” are being equalled here. If you’d like to even attempt to say that they are different, you’d better bring some evidence.

    You are basically building a strawman, stating our position, then telling us it is wrong – without a shread of evidence. All the while never stating your own opinion of the basic question posted by the blog. If you want to act respectably, please begin to do so. Victor posted this message with the purpose of getting into the Bible. If you’d like to do that – please start

    Reply

  3. Posted by JohnO on January 21, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    On the Other hand – it’s choice E

    Reply

  4. Posted by Dustin Smith on January 22, 2007 at 3:48 am

    It is pretty much a scholarly consensus that the KH is the same as the KG. Look at any Matthew critical commentary or bible dictionary. TDNT says this well.

    Dustin

    Reply

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