There are currently two kingdoms that exist upon this earth – the kingdom of darkness (Ephesians 6:12), into which all mankind is naturally born (Ephesians 2:1-3), and the kingdom of God, which Jesus says belongs to those who are born again (John 3:3-7).
For all believers, seeking God’s kingdom should be life’s priority (Matthew 6:33). This kingdom is both at hand (Mark 1:15) and a future hope (Luke 22:18). Each believer experiences tribulation in his or her pursuit of the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22), but our hearts are not to be troubled by life’s perils and problems (John 14:1-3). Although from time to time we may get rattled by circumstances, the kingdom of God that we belong to is unshakable (Hebrews 12:28).
Presently, the nature of this kingdom is primarily spiritual, not physical. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17). It’s not just a ‘good talk’; it’s a Spirit-filled life in the here and now (1 Corinthians 4:20). However, it is also a future kingdom for us, and to enter this aspect of it we must put off this old tent (1 Corinthians 15:50). Furthermore, Jesus will one day bring His divine kingdom to this earth to rule for a thousand years on the throne of David (Luke 1:32,33), and then forever after, all in fulfillment of prophecy (2 Samuel 7:16,17; Isaiah 11:1-9; Revelation 11:15-17).
The practical application for us now as believers is that we need to be kingdom-minded people, and we need to fill our hearts with its present promises and future hope. God’s kingdom is within the grasp (Luke 17:20-21) of whoever takes the Lord’s invitation to heart (Revelation 22:17). As believers, we must be aware of the traps set by the enemy to choke the life of God’s kingdom out of us (Mark 10:23-23). We need a child-like faith in Jesus Christ (Mark 10:14,15) to receive the benefits of God’s kingdom, for His is a kingdom of righteousness and joy. “ ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.’ ” (Psalm 45:6-7)
But saints, there is a kingdom coming that is not like anything ever imagined (1 Corinthians 2:9). May each of us be encouraged as we await that glorious time! Until then, may we praise, worship and adore “the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, to whom be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17)