Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36, N.K.J.V.)
What I’d like to do with this post is briefly walk us through what the Bible teaches about Christ’s kingdom. I’ll do this by way of stating 10 facts. I won’t provide much commentary alongside each fact, but I would encourage you to sit down with a Bible sometime and read for yourself the references that I cite. Okay, here we go:
Fact #1: Jesus is a King and He does have a kingdom, but His kingdom is a heavenly one, not an earthly one. Jesus Himself referred to His kingdom as “the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 4:17) and “the kingdom of God” (Matthew 12:28). This kingdom was a major focus of His preaching (Luke 8:1; Luke 9:2). The New Testament even refers to the gospel of Christ as “the gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 9:35; Matthew 24:14) and “the word of the kingdom” (Matthew 13:19). Christ’s kingdom was also the subject of many of His parables (Matthew 13:24-52).
Fact #2: Even though Christ’s kingdom is not an earthly one, God remains sovereign over all creation and that includes the earth. Some proof texts for this are: 1 Chronicles 16:31, Psalm 24:1, Psalm 47:7-8, and 1 Corinthians 10:26,28.
Fact #3: Because of mankind’s sin God is allowing Satan to occupy the place of rulership over this world system (not the planet itself but the system that marks it). Basically, this means that right now Satan is the acting ruler of every earthly kingdom (Matthew 4:8; John 12:31-33; John 14:30; John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4). He is the true power behind each throne. Each earthly kingdom is a part of his one worldwide kingdom.
Fact #4: To be a citizen of Satan’s worldwide kingdom, all you have to do is be born on planet earth. It is an automatic type of deal (Colossians 1:13).
Fact #5: When a person believes in Jesus as Savior and in so doing becomes a Christian, that person becomes a citizen of Jesus’ heavenly kingdom. 1 Thessalonians 2:12 teaches that the Christian has been “called” into Christ’s kingdom, and Colossians 1:13 teaches that the Christian has been transferred (“conveyed,” “rescued,” “translated” “brought”) from Satan’s kingdom into Christ’s kingdom. The fact is that each Christian is a citizen of a kingdom that he or she has never visibly seen (Philippians 3:20).
Fact #6: In order for the Christian to get to visibly see Christ’s kingdom, he or she must physically die and go out into eternity. In the afterlife, Christ’s kingdom awaits those who have made their citizenship in that kingdom sure while living upon the earth (2 Peter 1:10-11).
Fact #7: Jesus brought a touch of His kingdom everywhere He went by teaching, performing miracles, and casting out demons. As He says in Matthew 12:28, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28, N.K.J.V.).
Fact #8: Now that Jesus has died, resurrected, and ascended backto heaven, He expects each Christian to carry on His work of bringing the principles and standards of His kingdom to bear upon every situation. This is the whole point of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7). As Christians live out Christ’s principles and standards (go the second mile, love your enemies, don’t brag about your charitable deeds, don’t publicize your prayer life, trust God to meet your needs, don’t judge hypocritically, etc.) we bring a touch of His kingdom down to the earth. To use Jesus’ own descriptive language, we bring Kingdom “salt” and “light” into this world of Satan’s kingdom.
Fact #9: The Bible teaches that one day Jesus will return to this earth and it’s then that His kingdom and the kingdom of this world will become one and the same.We call this event Christ’s 2nd Coming. (Please note that this event and the Rapture are not the same.) At Christ’s 2nd Coming, Satan will be bound and imprisoned in a bottomless pit for 1,000 years and Jesus will reign over the earth from His throne in Jerusalem for those 1,000 years (Isaiah 2:2-4; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 3:17; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Zechariah 14:9; Micah 4:1-3; Matthew 25:24; Revelation 20:1-6). This is why Jesus taught His followers to pray to God the Father, “Your kingdom COME. Your will be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Fact #10: Following Christ’s 1,000-year reign upon the earth, His kingdom will seamlessly become the one and only eternal kingdom (Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:14; Luke 1:32-33). For the record, the eternal home for the citizens of that kingdom will be the glorious capital city of New Jerusalem that is described in detail in Revelation chapters 21 and 22.