God’s kingdom is glorious!

“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever!” (Matthew 6:13).

“All Your works shall praise You, O LORD,
And Your saints shall bless You.
They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,
And talk of Your power,
To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,
And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations
(Psalm 145:10-13).

God is the King of all the earth.

“Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding. God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne” (Psalm 47:6-8).

“The LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King” (Jeremiah 10:10).

“I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever” (Psalm 145:1).

“The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19).

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom” (Psalm 45:6).

“For the kingdom is the LORD’S, and He rules over the nations” (Psalm 22:28).

“The LORD reigns; Let the earth rejoice!” (Psalm 97:1).

“The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble!” (Psalm 99:1).

“The LORD shall reign forever!” (Psalm 146:10).

God chose Israel to be a kingdom of priests.

“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5, 6).

With few exceptions, however, they did not keep His covenant! They did not obey His voice! They failed to be a holy nation!

Because of disobedience, the kingdom was divided into Israel in the north and Juda in the south.

As punishment for idolatry, God sent Israel into Assyrian captivity in 733 BC.

As punishment for idolatry, God sent Juda into Babylonian captivity in 597 BC.

God promised an eternal kingdom.

God revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that, although the Babylonian empire was great, God would establish an eternal kingdom that would supersede all earthly kingdoms. Daniel explained: “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

This would happen during the time of the third empire after Babylon, which was the Roman Empire.

The prophets foretold that God’s eternal kingdom would be ruled by a great King, a descendant of David. In ancient Israel, kings were appointed by anointment with oil. Thus the prophesied King was called “the Messiah” which means “the Anointed One.” “Messiah” is “Christ” in Greek.

Christ is the King of the eternal kingdom!

When Jesus was born, the Jewish nation was expecting the Messiah. The time had come. Herod learned from the scholars that the Messiah would be born at Bethlehem (Matthew 2:3-6).

God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Christ. John preached: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2).

Jesus preached: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel!” (Mark 1:15).

When Jesus sent out His disciples, He told them to preach: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 10:7).

Jesus said the kingdom would come while some of his listeners were still alive: “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1).

Jesus told His followers: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

When Pilate asked Jesus if He were the King of the Jews, Jesus replied: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Pilate asked further: “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). Pilate responded: “What is truth?”

After Jesus rose from the dead, He sat down with God on His throne: “So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19).

On the Day of Pentecost Peter said: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).

The Messiah had come! He reigned from the right hand of the Father!

The church of Christ is God’s kingdom on earth.

Paul wrote to Christians: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13).

When God adds the saved to the church, their names are registered “in the book of life” (Philippians 4:3). “Only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of Life” may enter heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 21:27). They are the “church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23).

We are in the kingdom (Colossians 1:13), we are citizens of the kingdom (Philippians 3:20), but because it is “the kingdom of heaven,” we are foreigners on earth (1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13). We are on a journey, on a pilgrimage to our heavenly homeland.

Because God’s kingdom is not an earthly kingdom, Christians are not to focus on earthly things: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1, 2).

We are not like the enemies of the cross “who set their mind on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18, 19), “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

The church of Christ is a holy nation: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Only true believers remain in the kingdom forever.

In God’s kingdom on earth, there is still a mixture of good people and bad people, but in the judgment, the bad will be removed. Jesus explained this in the parable of the tares. “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:40_43).

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10, 11).

What have we learned?

God’s kingdom is glorious! God is King of all the earth. God chose Israel to be a kingdom of priests, but they failed to keep His covenant and obey His voice. God promised that an eternal kingdom would be established in the days of the Roman Empire. Jesus is the King of God’s eternal kingdom! The church of Christ is God’s kingdom on earth. Those who remain faithful until death, enter the heavenly homeland and have eternal life! Amen.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979, 1980, 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.

Published in The Old Paths Archive