I have been asked both in conversation and in writing if the Kingdom exists today. This presents a very troubling question for some. For others, their reasoning brings them comfort in their belief regarding the what and when of the Kingdom. For the truth of the Kingdom establishment, the Bible must be used rather than an “I think” approach. Undoubtedly the Bible in Old Testament passages states that a Kingdom is going to be established. Daniel states, in speaking with Nebuchadnezzar in
Daniel 2:44-45, “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. Inasmuch as you saw that stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure”.
The great statue that was seen in this dream by Nebuchadnezzar was made of four different materials to symbolize four different kingdoms. These kingdoms would be the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, the Grecian Empire and the Roman Empire. In the days of the kings of the Roman Empire, the Kingdom would be established, and it would stand forever. The kingdom was established on the Day of Pentecost, when Peter opened the door through baptism to those believers who were pricked in their hearts. Thus, the Kingdom began on this day. Christ is the King and this Kingdom will stand forever.
Many differing opinions are offered regarding the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Some of these opinions include that it is not yet established. I have three scriptures that the Kingdom is now in effect. These scriptures are simply un-get-overable. (This phrase was used by one of my teachers in preaching school.) These verses must be considered when considering the establishment of the Kingdom. Please examine these verses with me.
- In Luke 9:27, Jesus states, “But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God”. If the kingdom is yet to be established where are these people that have not yet tasted death. This would make them nearly 2000 years old. It is my belief that someone who is that old would have raised some eyebrows over the past 1500 years. Are these people hidden? How can we not know of a person that would be that old? Fact is that some saw the glory of the Kingdom following the death of Christ and on the day of Pentecost. It came with power as the disciples were moved by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
- Colossians 1:13-14 states, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins”. I will not write this in the original Greek. However, the language that the New Testament was written in is koine Greek. It is a dead language meaning that it is unchanged in terms of approach, understanding and sentence structure. This verse is understood in the past tense. It is something that has already happened. Those in darkness had been delivered to light. From that darkness there is a transferring to the Kingdom of God. This is not something that was going to happen at a later point in time. Paul and the Christians he wrote to had been moved from darkness to the kingdom at a previous point in time. If the Kingdom is not established Paul could not have spoken this truth.
- Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth. As stated in Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen”. We see Jesus in His authority, assignment and assurance in this passage. It is His authority that makes Him King and over a Kingdom. Jesus as King has all authority over all things. His authority includes the church as He is the head (Ephesians 5:22). Death once had authority over all mankind because of sin. Because Jesus now has authority over death, we have escaped from the second death if we are in His kingdom. Only the king could bring this type of hope to those in a kingdom.
There are many scriptures that deal with the Kingdom. Some of these have led to confusion by many. In order to fully understand the kingdom, one must look at all verses to gain understanding of what is being stated. To fully understand the establishment of the kingdom, verses easier to understand are helpful in studying the more difficult ones. Certainly, Christ indicated that some would not see death prior to the kingdom coming. Paul states that those Colossians had been led from darkness into the Kingdom of God. The tense of this scripture cannot be disputed. It is past tense. Lastly, the King claims all authority. The authority cannot be changed. It is set and the authority of Jesus will stand forever.
I encourage you to study about the kingdom. Study these verses. Truth has been set forth. Member of the Lord’s Church are in the Kingdom and the King reigns supreme. One day, all that have drawn breath will stand before the great King.
Scott is the minister at the Elm Grove Church of Christ. Meeting times are Sunday at 9:30 a.m. for Bible class and 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. for worship. Mid-week Bible study is on Wednesday at 6:30p.m. Please visit our website at elmgrovechurchofchrist.org. He invites any questions or comments and love to sit down and study. He can be reached at the Elm Grove Church of Christ at 740-493-2451.