What is the Kingdom of God?

Several answers are given to this question:

  • Heaven, where God is
  • The Church ruling spiritually on earth
  • Jesus Christ ruling in men’s hearts
  • Jesus Christ ruling on the earth.

Only the last of these fits Bible teaching. After his resurrection Jesus spent forty days with his disciples, “speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God ” (Acts 1:3). At the end of this time the disciples “asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel ?”. He did not tell them that their idea of the Kingdom was wrong, but said:

“It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power” (Acts 1 v. 6,7).

When Jesus ascended to heaven the angels promised the disciples that he would return.[1] The apostle Peter also said that Jesus would return. [2]

Putting these passages together, the Kingdom of God is to do with:

  • The restoration of what once existed
  • The nation of Israel
  • The return of Christ
  • The teachings of the Old Testament.

Israel – the original kingdom of God

The Old Testament kingdom of Israel established under David was the original kingdom of God [3] . The various elements of this kingdom were all God’s:

1 The king.
David said that God had made him king over Israel.[4] .

2 The subjects.
The subjects of the nation of Israel were the Jews [5].

3 The land.
The land of Israel is God’s land [6] .

4 The capital.
The capital of the kingdom of Israel was Jerusalem [7] .

5 The law.
The law operating in Israel was given by God to Moses [8] .

The future Kingdom

The Kingdom which Jesus Christ is to set up at his return is based on the original kingdom of Israel. But, this new Kingdom will be worldwide, with Jerusalem as its capital as before.

This is shown by considering the future Kingdom under the same five headings:

1 The King.
Jesus Christ will rule Israel and the world as the descendant of King David [9].

2 The subjects.
Both Jews and Gentiles will be the subjects of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ [10] .

3 The land.
The rule of Christ will extend over all the earth, not just the land of Israel. [11] .

4 The capital.
Jerusalem will again be the capital of this new kingdom of God. [12] .

5 The law.
The ‘word of the Lord’ will be the law that governs all the world. [13] .

When will the Kingdom be established?

The Kingdom of God will be established when Christ returns. Jesus Christ provides two indications of when this will occur:

  • When Israel is restored.  After nearly two thousand years, the Jews now control Jerusalem again [14].
  • When the world is in trouble.  This situation has arisen in the twentieth century, especially in recent years. [15] .

Following this situation:

“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” [16]

“when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand” [17]

The Kingdom of God will soon be established. Now is the time to prepare for it.

Bible references

1 Acts 1v11
2 Acts 3v20-21
3 1 Chron. 28:5.
4 1 Chron. 28:4
5 Deut. 7:6
6 Lev. 25:23
7 Ps. 132:13,14
8 Deut. 5:5
9 Lk. 1:32,33
10 Ezekiel 37:21-24; Ps. 72:11
11 Zech. 14:9; Ps. 72:8
12 Jeremiah 3:17
13 Isaiah 2:3
14 Lk. 21:24
15 Luke 21: 25,26
16 Luke 21: 27
17 Luke 21: 31