Today’s devotional: where is the Kingdom of God?

Is the Kingdom of God a distant place, located far away in a heaven we won’t see until we die? Or is it here with us today—and if so, what does that mean? In the Slice of Infinity devotional, Jill Carattini explains

In the minds of many Christians, a chasm… exists between the kingdom of heaven and the world in which we now live. The kingdom of heaven is seen as the place we are journeying toward, the better country the writer of Hebrews describes. In contrast, our place on earth is seen as temporary; like Abraham, we are merely passing through. As a result, chasms stand between kingdom and earth, today and tomorrow, the physical and the spiritual. Whether intentionally or otherwise, the earth becomes something fleeting and irrelevant—one more commodity here for our use, like shampoo bottles in hotel bathrooms—while Christ is away preparing our permanent rooms. When the Christian pilgrimage is seen an ascent to another world, whether articulated or subconscious, this world soon becomes superfluous and God a distant caretaker.

This chasm not only belies a posture irresponsible for those called to love their neighbors and cultivate their surroundings, it betrays the identity and decree of a good creator, and negates the words of our most sacred prayer. What does it mean that we pray God’s kingdom come, God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven? What does it mean that Christ repeatedly declared the kingdom of God is here and now among us? What does it mean that for lack of human praise the very rocks will cry out at the glory of their creator and the trees will clap their hands?

Read the full devotional at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

Christians have often been guilty of focusing too much on the world to come and not enough on the world we live in now, as Carattini explains. But to ignore opportunities for Christian ministry right now is to surrender a large part of the Christian life over to the enemy!

5 Responses to “Today’s devotional: where is the Kingdom of God?”

  • Carattini is a friend of mine and I appreciate her thoughts.

    Onto the reflection of this blog, we have to understand something quite deep in Biblical theology that is very often overlooked in our popular views of Jesus and our purpose on earth.

    “Kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” are synonymous phrases used by Jesus (depending on the gospel you are reading). And they do not mean “heaven” as we usually talk about it. It isn’t about our souls floating away if we just believe the right things.

    The Kingdom of God is a geo-political rule of the Jewish Messiah over all the earth. God is king of the whole world, king of the nations, residing in Jerusalem. This is the theme of the entire Scripture, all the way to Revelation. All the talk of pearly gates and streets of God are not descriptions of a heaven we go to after death. It’s God’s capital city, the New Jerusalem (as opposed to the old Jerusalem), where Jesus will sit in David’s throne forever.

    Jesus is inviting us into this even now, to bring the presence of this kingdom before the King finally arrives. This is why Paul calls us “citizens” and why Jesus tells us we need to forsake our dying allegiences (family, lands, friends, etc) for “his sake,” these allegiances that keep us from the Kingdom and walking in it daily.

    This is the only way the Lord’s Prayer makes sense… and why the “kingdom is within you” has its starting point as an invasion of God from within, not without, as he spreads his goodness throughout the earth, prearing for his coming. Then the New Earth will be made (Isa 65, Rev 21) and the country we seek will be one where we will be appropriately human, body and soul.

  • Daphne Gibbs says:

    Jesus gave his disciples and us a five point commission;
    to heal the sick
    Cleanse the lepers
    cast out demons
    raise the dead
    and preach the kingdom of God

    Obeying this brings the kingdom of God more fully into focus and the things of earth go strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.

  • Amanda says:

    our greatest comision to go out and preach the word so many will be saved

  • Abraham says:

    The kingdom of God is within us.As citizens of heaven we have our rights and responsibilities here on earth.We eagerly look forward to our new home where there are no tears and peace for evermore.