What is the Kingdom of God?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 21, 2014 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20b-21)

Based on that sentence spoken by Jesus, we can’t even observe this thing called the Kingdom of God, so what is it and what do we do with it? How do we know it’s actually in our midst like Jesus said, when it’s apparently unobservable?

The kingdom of God is not an earthly kingdom, like we would think of with a king and queen, knights, a castle, etc. God’s kingdom does have a king, however, and that King is God Himself. But He doesn’t rule over us like a tyrannical king would; instead His rule is one comprised completely of love. God rules over all people in earth, regardless of whether or not they acknowledge Him as the supreme Ruler, and whether they obey Him or not. (For more on how we can disobey God because of our free will, check out this post.)

So what do we do with the Kingdom of God? In last week’s post, I wrote about how the church isn’t a building or a place, but it is a gathering of people who are called by God. The function of the church is to build up and expand the Kingdom of God. Our mission as the church is to glorify God as our King by doing what He wants us to do. In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus said:

““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

That is exactly how we live out the Kingdom of God on earth - through love. As I wrote earlier, God is a God of love, so His Kingdom is love. We live it out by first experiencing that love ourselves, and then by sharing that love with everyone.

How do we know that the Kingdom of God is in our midst, like Jesus said? Think of it like the wind. We can’t actually observe the wind since it’s invisible, but we can observe the effects of the wind. We can’t directly observe the Kingdom of God, but we can definitely observe its effects. God’s love shown through us is observable in many ways - helping someone in need, showing kindness to a stranger, and caring for others.

What are you doing in your life to show others that the Kingdom of God is truly in our midst? How do you observe the effects of God’s Kingdom around you?