Is the Kingdom of God here today or is it coming at the end of time? The answer is “Yes”. Both are true. The Kingdom of God will be fully realized at the end of time, but it is here today. Too often we focus on the end and not on what God is doing today. If we focus only on what Jesus has done for us, we then miss out on what the Holy Spirit is doing in us and through us.
In the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) we learn to pray “Your kingdom come”. The Kingdom of God is not just about being with Jesus someday with a new earth and heaven (Revelation 22:1-5), because God is reigning now (Psalm 93:1-2) though we may not always see it. Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom of God was here right now (Mark 1:15; Matthew 3:2). The Kingdom of God is here today, because Jesus reigns in the hearts of all believers and through our witness the Kingdom of God is expanded. So when we pray “Your kingdom come”, we are asking that by his grace the Kingdom of God would be made known in our lives and the lives of others. God’s reign will be fully realized at the end of time.
The Kingdom of God comes to us when God saves us, forgives us, and calls us his own. But salvation is not just about forgiveness (Colossians 1:13-14). Salvation is also about restoration and healing (Jeremiah 30:17; Isaiah 53:4-5) now. Jesus paid the price for our sins (Romans 6:23; 1 Peter 1:18-19), but salvation is more than a legal transaction that brings us back to God. Salvation is also a way of life (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 2:24). Likewise, eternal life is not only something for us in the future (John 3:15-16), rather eternal life is something we have now (John 3:36). Also we are not just saved from Hell (Matthew 25:46), but we are also saved to restoration, healing and wholeness (John 10:10; Colossians 2:9-10).
This restoration, healing, and wholeness allows us to become Kingdom Ambassadors for God (2 Corinthians 5:20), sharing the Good News of God’s love for us. God has prepared good works for us to do (Ephesians 2:10) so that people may glorify God the Father (Matthew 5:16). Feeling overwhelmed! No need to worry. The Kingdom of God is all about Jesus and he with the Holy Spirit gives us the power to do those good deeds. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:1-11). The juice that nourishes us flows from the vine to us, the branches, to produce good fruit. We need to abide in him and let his grace transform our lives to produce good fruit that honors God.
Christianity is more than receiving a “Get out of Hell Free Card” for the future. It really is all about restoring your relationship with God, and that is life changing right here and right now.
This post was inspired by a table in an article by Robin Dugall.