The Pharisees asked Jesus an interesting question regarding the kingdom of God. Confronting Jesus, they demanded of him asking, Luke 17:20-21 “When will the kingdom of God come?” Jesus then answering them said, “The kingdom of God comes not with observation: Neither shall they say, lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
But just what was Jesus saying to his people when he spoke of the kingdom of God dwelling in us? Well, Jesus was relating to our desires, our passions to see the kingdom of God because as disciples of Jesus it is our responsibility to implement the policies of God’s kingdom on earth.
Why do we believe Jesus sent us out into the world? Let us listen to what Jesus commanded us as he leaves us behind in the world. Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: And as we go, Jesus said we are to teach them, that is the nations to observe all things whatsoever he has commanded us:” And as we go, Jesus is saying, he will support our work because “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” And we are to get the job done.
Why do we believe Jesus told us to say to the people of the cities and towns we visit, “The kingdom of God has come nigh unto you?” It is because God has taught us about his kingdom and has given us the authority to implement the policies of his kingdom. And just before sending us out into the world, Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in the earth.” Then he commands us to teach the nations.
God has set us above the nations and told us if the nations welcome us, they will accept him, and those who accept Jesus will also accept the Father. Matthew 10:40 “He that receives you receives me, and he that receives me receives him that sent me.” And by granting us this indwelling power of his Holy Spirit, God has installed in us his passions, and desires so that if we are guided by them, we will work to establish the kingdom of God on earth.
The kingdom of God will not come by observation, instead, it will be established through the cooperative work and dedication of God’s people because as we come together in unity Christ, we will bring the kingdom of God into focus through our commitments to work and establish his kingdom.
So, what does it all mean when Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is in us, is he only saying the kingdom is in us because of the indwelling of his Holy Spirit? On many levels it goes beyond what we believe because what we are to realize is that we are called to build the kingdom and what Jesus is saying when he made that statement about the kingdom in us. It is our responsibility to bring the kingdom in focus.
With that said, what is the role of the Church in this world? Jesus prayed an important prayer for his Church and here is what he said, John 17:14-16 “I have given them thy word; and the world hates them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
The desire of God is not for us to be taken out of the world because the world belongs to God, it is the kingdom of God we as Christians are allowing evil men to have rule over. Jesus once told us, Matthew 11:12 “from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” And how was is possible for evil men to have taken it by force? It is possible because this world is the kingdom of God to be reclaimed by Jesus upon his return.
Now, you may disagree with me on certain things pertaining to this truth because the world we live in today is an evil world, full of murder, and all sorts of misfortunes. How can a good God allow such evil to continue? And if God is all powerful, why doesn’t he put an end to the evil we see?
These are some of the questions being asked by people who are taking notice we are living in an evil world. However, what they are to also take notice of is the reality the world they live in are being run by evil men and until the Church begins to stand on the authority of Jesus Christ this world will continue on the way it is now until we begin to bring the kingdom of God in focus.
Now, coming back to the reality many of us are finding hard to accept concerning the kingdom of God being in us, and our role to establish the kingdom of God on earth. It is important to note, upon the return of Jesus Christ the expectation is that we have prepared a kingdom for him upon his return.
Let us remember why Jesus told us “All power is given unto me in heaven and in the earth.” It is because he wants us to recognize who the true ruler over the kingdoms of men is, and by sending us out into the world, and desiring not that we be taken out of the world, his expectation is that we are obeying his command to call the world to account and service unto their king.
Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.