We pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. Is God’s Kingdom already here? Actually, yes it is. Every time a sinner repents of ALL their sins and invites Jesus into his or her heart, that’s another small piece of God’s Kingdom that comes down from Heaven. Each new born-again believer immediately becomes part of the family of God. They become a child of God.
The phrase “Kingdom of God” is found 254 times in the New Testament (NLT). And “Kingdom of Heaven” is found 161 times in the New Testament (NLT).
The Kingdom of God is not a religion!
Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we could have religion! The Kingdom of God is actually a government — Jesus is the King — the monarch. It’s a monarchy. The King makes the laws/rules/commandments, we are brought before Him when we break the laws and He then passes judgement. By ourselves, we are sentenced to eternity in hell apart from God. That’s perishing. The Good News is that we have the option to be saved by God’s Grace — freely given so that no one can boast — you can’t earn it — no way. That’s why Jesus had to die.
Religion doesn’t get you into the Kingdom of God. You can only get there through Jesus. He told us…
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”John 14:6 NLT
Where did the Kingdom Start?
The Kingdom of God started in the Garden of Eden, but Adam and Eve screwed it up. God gave them one law. One rule, that had they obeyed — well, the world would be so different! God also gave mankind free will — the ability for us to choose right from wrong. But because man chose to be like God, the whole world was cursed.
22Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” 23 So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. 24 After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.Genesis 3:22-24
You notice, God says, “us” — that’s God, the Father along with Jesus and the Holy Spirit — the Trinity. So the earth is cursed and God shut the door and kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden. But our hope is that through Jesus Christ we have our place in God’s house.
The Door to the Kingdom was opened when Jesus was born. Jesus told a lot of parables that started with “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…”. Here are 3 short ones….
44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.
45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. 46 When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!Matthew 13:44-46 NLT
Parable of the Fishing Net
47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind. 48 When the net was full, they dragged it up onto the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates, but threw the bad ones away. 49 That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous, 50 throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51 Do you understand all these things?”
“Yes,” they said, “we do.”Matthew 13:47-51 NLT
There is no such thing as Purgatory! If Purgatory exists, then Jesus died for nothing!
That “fiery furnace” that Jesus talks about is hell. There are 2 choices — Heaven or hell. No in between.
Jesus told us…
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.John 14:1-3 NLT
What does it mean to live in God’s Kingdom now while we are still on earth?
Living in God’s Kingdom today means seeking His Face. Seeking the Gospel Truth. If we put God first, everything else in life will fall into place. Jesus assures us…
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.Matthew 6:31-33 NLT (bold emphasis mine)
Seek the Kingdom of God FIRST in your life. Obey His commands — that’s what living righteously means. And God promises to give you EVERYTHING you need.
Moreover, notice it says everything you need — not everything you want. Seek God’s will for your life. It may be totally different than what you thought you’d be doing.
Read the Bible Every Day
I start my day praying and reading the Bible. I use the YouVersion Bible app. It’s free and it has lots and lots of Bible studies and devotional plans to help you get to know God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You can search for exactly what you need to understand. You can connect with friends and even pray and study with them. That’s my morning routine.
As I’m getting ready for bed, I use another free app — ThroughTheWord.org — and listen to lessons on one or two chapters of the Bible. I love it because it explains each book of the Bible chapter by chapter, in a way that anyone can understand. It was Pastor Kris Langham that finally got me to understand the Book of Revelation! It was eye opening! Wow! It makes sense to me now!
When you have the Holy Spirit in your heart, He acts as a lie detector. It might be a subtle nudge or a burning feeling that what you’re reading or hearing is not right. It’s not the truth or it’s something that you shouldn’t be watching. That’s why we’re told to ask questions and search for the answers in the Bible. The Holy Spirit is truth. He cannot lie.
If you want to reap all the benefits of salvation including the 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven then…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Remember, Jesus is the door. Repentance is the key. Baptism is the water that cleanses us and the Holy Spirit refines and purifies us.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and my life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”Colossians 2:6-7 NLT
Next Steps in Your New Walk with Jesus…
- Start reading the Bible daily. If you don’t have one, I recommend the YouVersion, Bible.app and Through the Word app — both are free and have a lot of great daily devotionals and Bible studies.
- Pray every day. Talk to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you daily.
- Find and join a Bible-believing church — preferably a non-denominational one and be baptized!
“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”Matthew 24:14 NLT
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!