These days, it seems that much of the focus of Christianity is on the church. But 2,000 years ago, the central theme of Yeshua and the disciples in the Gospels was on the Kingdom of God. Yeshua emphasized that His main purpose on earth was to proclaim that “the time was fulfilled and the Kingdom of God was at hand.” Then, following His resurrection, He commissioned His followers to make disciples of the nations. What were they to do? They were to proclaim this same good news—that “the Kingdom of God was at hand!”
The Jewish people in Jesus’ day understood that when the Messiah appeared that He would announce and then begin to bring about the manifestation of the Kingdom of God on earth in Israel.
For someone who only reads from the New Testament, it is difficult to grasp what Yeshua is teaching about the Kingdom of God. The terminology can be confusing to someone who is not educated in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Jewish understanding about the Kingdom.
We have replaced our focus on the Kingdom with our focus on heaven. We see people die; where do they go? They go to heaven. So now it is almost as if we have transitioned to believe that the Kingdom of God is only in heaven. Or we are taught that a rapture will pull us up to heaven, where we will always be with the Lord.
But we are not going to be in heaven always with the Lord. Yeshua is coming to establish an earthly Kingdom as it was said through all the Scriptures, including the parable He told about the ruler who went away to get a kingdom and then bring it back. In the same way, the Messiah will go to heaven and bring a Kingdom back to establish it on the earth.
When we really understand what the Kingdom of God is, we will see the need for us to seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness with all our heart.
- Matthew 6:33. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
- Matthew 6:10. “Your kingdom come. Your will be done.”
- Mark 1:14-15. “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.’”
- Luke 4:43. “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”
- “Remember that for the first 15 years or more of the church, there were only Jews within the church. So, to say that the Jews rejected the Messiah means that there would not be a church.”
- “It is almost as if the church has transitioned to believe that the Kingdom of God is only in heaven.”
- “One of the main purposes of Messiah is to establish the Kingdom of God and the restore the Kingdom of God on earth into Israel.”
- “Even if we don’t have the most clear, concise understanding of what He meant by the Kingdom of God, we still can be obedient to Him and submit our hearts to Him as King over our lives.”
- Let us give ourselves to study and discover what Yeshua meant in the Gospels by what he called the “Kingdom of God” (or “Kingdom of Heaven”).
- Let us submit our lives to the Lordship of Christ, making Him our Lord and our King as we strive to live in obedience to His will.
- Let us live by our prayer and our proclamation that “Thy Kingdom Come”—so the Kingdom that has been established in heaven be brought into this earth.
- Let us proclaim Messiah and His Kingdom to the world, announcing the need to repent from our disobedience and to seek first His Kingdom in our lives.