7 Dec 2023

Getting a Handle on the Kingdom of God

Our churches
Lately I’ve been trying to come up with a definition of the Kingdom of God. But I haven’t been able to nail it down yet.

Maybe that’s because Jesus himself didn’t give us a precise, concise definition. Instead, He explained its nature by a variety of diverse images, metaphors, and parables. None of them individually encompass the full meaning. Rather, Jesus’ teaching provides a variety of different perspectives on the Kingdom.

Recently, I came upon another illustration, this time a modern one by Bill Johnson, which helped me towards a better understanding of the Kingdom. Perhaps it will help you too.

At the height of its power, the Roman Empire was a huge kingdom that kept growing as respective Caesars continually sent out their armies to take new territory.

When a region came under Roman control, the Romans would use force to try to make that new territory as much like Rome as possible. They would build Roman temples and institute the Roman religion, which involved the worship of Caesar. They would institute Roman education, arts, and culture. They constructed buildings in the style of Roman architecture. In other words, they did everything they could to make the new territory just like Rome.

Why? So that if Caesar ever travelled there, he would feel right at home because the territory was just like his own home.

That is what the Kingdom of God is. The Kingdom of God is when everything in Heaven is instituted on the earth, so that God’s government, teaching, worship, glory, and power are manifested here on Earth, and Earth looks just like Heaven — except that the culture hasn’t been forced to change, but convinced to change by seeing from the example of Jesus followers that the changes are good and right and life affirming.

After all, the King is coming back here one day. When He does, we want Him to feel right at home just as if He were still in Heaven — that His will is being done here on earth as it is in Heaven.