What is the Kingdom of God?
If you are in any way a church person, of course you’ve heard or read about the Kingdom of God. But how would you define it and what does it have to do with you? I’m sure these are not questions many people walking around asking in their heads most days, but let’s take some time to consider them today.
Over the course of this post, I’m going to do four things:
- Give a warning regarding how the Kingdom of God is taught
- Give a framework for understanding how the Kingdom of God relates to you
- Give a brief overview of the Kingdom of God that we see in the words of Jesus
- Finally, give a specific application of the clash between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of man
You ready? Let’s go!
As I was considering this topic and doing some reading, I came across a really helpful quote that speaks to some of the queasiness I feel even at the mention of “The Kingdom of God.” In his work, Divine Government, RT France (an anglican cleric and Oxford theologian) speaks to how the phrase Kingdom of God is often interpreted in many ways to fit the theological agenda of those interpreting it.
What does that mean?
Basically, it means that whoever is doing the teaching about the Kingdom of God will typically fashion the details (consciously or subconsciously) in order to match the teacher’s desired outcome and personal understanding.
For example, if I am not concerned with the here and now of this world and, therefore, don’t care if you are either, then I will likely talk about the Kingdom of God as a future reality. That way, you don’t need to give much attention to how you treat people or care for our creation today, but it’s temporary and there’s something better coming anyway.
Or, if you think we should all be evangelizing everywhere and at all times in the typical sense of evangelism, then you will teach on the Kingdom of God as a people group. And, coincidentally, God’s expectation for us is to get as many people into that particular people group as possible.
Finally, if I think of the Kingdom of God as a lifestyle, then I will teach about it in a way that would get you to consider your behavior above all else. Therefore, to take this position, would be to consider how in the Kingdom, you are supposed to speak and to act in a particular way and I want you to speak and act in a predetermined manner as one aware of the Kingdom and its expectations. You get it?
All of this to say…
Be careful and thoughtful when people start talking about and teaching on the Kingdom of God…like I am here 😉
So with all of the interpretations and philosophies and teachings of the Kingdom of God, what does it have to do with you and me??
(More to come next week…)