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4 Truths About the Kingdom of God

Politics and religion can both feel extra fragile because both are making claims about who has the right to rule the world. Both are saying, “Here’s who is in charge,” or “Who should be in charge,” or “Here’s how it should be done.” Sports and entertainment don’t make those claims. Art and finance don’t do that. Hobbies and education don’t try to rule the world. But that is the claim of politics and religion. As followers of Jesus, we have a couple of deep convictions about these things. First, God alone has the right to rule the world. He’s the only true Sovereign, Creator, and Redeemer of humanity. And secondly, in a mysterious way, in Jesus, God has entered our world of broken politics and broken religion to show us what his loving rule is really like. In fact, Jesus talked about this all the time. He called it the “Kingdom of Heaven” or “the Kingdom of God.” It shows us what God is really like, what his reign is really like, and what his people should be like.

So, the question we ask ourselves is — what is the kingdom of God, and how does it work? Here are four truths we know about God’s kingdom.

1. The kingdom of God is comprised of and advanced by the people of God.

In 2 Samuel, David is portrayed as a kind of suitable husband for Israel, reflecting the Divine Husbandry of Yahweh himself. This is a simple observation, but it has glorious implications. It means that you’re never really and truly alone. It means isolation and abandonment aren’t your inheritance. In God’s economy, you will always have his people. If you belong to his covenant family, no matter where you go in the world or how you feel, his people will be there. And beyond this, you will always have a purpose – to enjoy and extend his kingdom.

2. The kingdom of God is built on and sustained by the promises of God.

God’s kingdom always includes people, but it isn’t built on the foundation of human willpower or ingenuity. It is founded on God’s covenant promises and faithfulness. When David was privately anointed as the future king, it was a promise that he would be publicly anointed as king one day. Scripture never says emotional pain won’t weigh you down. It never says you won’t have health problems. It never says you’ll never have family fights. It never says you’ll always dodge financial crises. It never says you won’t have questions and doubts. Better than all these things, God’s Word promises his love, forgiveness, and eternal life in the here and now for those who belong to him by trusting Jesus. He promises you’ll be a part of his people and his family. This is the rock-solid, immovable foundation of the kingdom of God – that God is good to his word.

3. The kingdom of God offers assurance and hope because of the presence of God.

This is actually one of the most specific and repeated promises of God through the biblical story — “I will not leave you or forsake you.” As we read the Psalms, we see that David loved and cherished the idea of God’s presence with him. And as followers of Jesus, we should do the same. This is how God’s kingdom comes, and his will is done on earth as it is in heaven, through his presence in our lives.

4. The kingdom of God has as its source, centrality, and goal the glory of King Jesus.

Jesus said all of Scripture is about him (Matthew 5:17-20, John 5:39-40, Luke 24:25-49). Jesus’ kingdom is the full substance of which David’s reign was a shadow. This is why the entire New Testament calls Jesus “the son of David,” because Jesus is climatically what God’s reign looks like and how it works. It’s his kingdom. It’s for his glory. He is kingdom-come in a person. “His is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen."

*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.*

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Written by Jim Thompson