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Understanding the Kingdom of God and the Church
Written by arkwriter   
Monday, 20 December 2010 01:20

Understanding  the 

Kingdom  of  God

and  the  Church  

 

                                              Biblical  Facts  Concerning  the
                  Kingdom  of  God  and  the  Church

 

h

In the Old Testament books the concept of the Kingdom of God is clearly stated directly, but the “Church” is only referred to symbolically and indirectly .
hIn the New Testament books the Lord Jesus Christ taught directly on the Kingdom of God 68 verses in Gospels of Mark, Luke and John, and 31 verses as Kingdom of Heaven in the Gospel of Matthew.  Only Matthew recorded 2 verses Jesus Christ spoke on the “Church”.  They are in 16:18 (universal church) and twice in 18:17 (local church).

 

 The  Lord  Jesus  Christ  placed  Great
Importance  on  the  Kingdom  of  God

h

Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God  

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” (Mt.9:35)

h“Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (Jn. 3:5)

 

 Jesus  Christ  taught  the  Kingdom  of

God  in  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount

hEight Beatitudes (Blessings) of the Kingdom of God(Mt. 5:1-12)   
hJesus Christ came not to destroy but to fulfill the Law (Mt. 5:17-19) 
hLove the enemies.  “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Mt. 5:35-48) 
hThe Lord’s Prayer – Praying for God’s Kingdom to come and His will be done. 
hOne of the most important teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning the Kingdom of God is not to worry about daily food, drink and clothes. “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Mt. 6:25-34)
hAfter His death, burial and resurrection the Lord Jesus Christ “. . presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”  (Acts 1:3)

 

 What  is  the  Difference  between  the

Kingdom  of  God  and  the  Church ?

h

Difference  in  Origin:  The Kingdom of God had existed in Heaven before this earth was created (Psm. 103:19; 145:10-13).  The Lord Jesus Christ said, “My Kingdom is not of this world.”  (Jn. 18:36)  The Church was established by Him, and it began in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost.

h

Difference in Duration of Time:  The Kingdom of God has no limitation of time.  “His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.”  (Dan. 7:14, 18) The Church on this earth has a limitation of time.  It began after the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it will end when He returns to take the saints to heaven.

h

Difference in Nature:  The Kingdom of God refers to the realm, domain or sphere in which God’s reign is experienced by His believers.  The Church refers to an assembly of people in the world who are called out by God for salvation.

h

Difference in Conversion:“Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (Jn. 3:5)  One needs to be baptized in water to be a member of the Church (Acts 2:41,47).

hDifference  in  Visibility  “He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, "See here!' or "See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." (Lk. 17:20-21) The Church is the visible “Body of Christ” on this earth.  “And the Lord added to the Church daily those who are being saved.”  (Acts 2:47)
hThe Lord Jesus Christ said, “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.“  (Mk. 10:15)  A  church member who is not humble cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
hIn terms of time and space the Church has only a small part in the Kingdom of God.

                            

                             The  Kingdom  of  God  in
                             the  Old  Testament  Time

h

God’s condition to Israel: “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel. . . . Then all the people answered together and said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do." (Ex. 19:5-8)

 Israel  did  not  keep
God’s  Covenant

h“When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; . . . They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.” (Jdg. 2:10-13) “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Jdg. 17:6; 21:5)

 Israel  rejected  God as  their  King

h“Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, "Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations." But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the LORD.  And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”  (1 Sam. 8:4-7)

 Israel  chose  Democracy  over

Theocracy  for  their  Government

hSamuel spoke to the people of Israel:  “But you have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversities and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, "No, set a king over us!' Now therefore, present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your clans."  (1 Sam:10:19)

 Israel  was  destroyed  for

rejecting  the  Kingdom  of  God

hGod says:  “O Israel, you are destroyed,  But your help is from Me. I will be your King;  Where is any other, that he may save you in all your cities? And your judges to whom you said, "Give me a king and princes'? I gave you a king in My anger, And took him away in My wrath.”  (Hos. 13:9-11)

 God’s  Plan  to  Establish  His

Kingdom  in  the  New  Testament

h“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6-7)
h“Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."  (Lk. 1:30-33)
h“And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.” (Lk. 2:40)

 The  Lord  Jesus  Christ  confirmed

Himself  to  be  the  King  of  the  Jews

h“Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."  (Jn. 18:37)

 The  Lord  Jesus  Christ  was

rejected  as  the  King  of  the  Jews

hPilate said to them, "What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said to him, "Let Him be crucified!"  Then the governor said, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they cried out all the more, saying, "Let Him be crucified!"  (Mt. 27:22-23)  And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (Mt. 27:37)

 Prophecy  of  the  Kingdom  of  God

to  be  taken  away  from  the  Jews

hThe Lord Jesus Christ prophesied to the Jews:  Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.” (Mt. 21:43)
h“Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said (to the Jews) , "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46)

 The  Lord  Jesus  Christ  built  His

Church  to  include  the  Gentiles

hAnd other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” (Jn. 10:16)
h“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh .  . .  You are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”  (Eph. 2:11-22)                                 

 One  Church  with  Two  Basic  Forms

hThe church is called the “Body of Christ” (Eph. 1:22-23) “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope  of your calling.”  (Eph. 4:4)
hThe “universal church” consists of all believers from the apostles time in the First Century to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the End Time. (Mt. 16:18) 
hThe “local church” refers to the Christian congregation in any locality.

 One  Universal Church  comprises
many  Branch  Churches

h“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (1 Cor. 12:12)
hRevelation chapters 2 and 3 describe the one Universal  Church with seven branch churches that represent all the Christian churches in the world.  Every church has faults and the Lord Jesus Christ had warned each one of them to repent and reform so that they can receive God’s rewards in Heaven.

What is Gospel of the Kingdom ?

hThe Gospel of the Kingdom is that God has manifested Himself in the flesh as the Lord Jesus Christ who is the “King of kings and Lord of lords”, the only Savior of mankind in the world.  He died and shed blood for our sins, was buried and resurrected from the dead.  He ascended to heaven and poured down the Holy Spirit to establish the Church that continues His sacred work on earth that includes administering worship services including the sacraments, keeping God’s commandments and preserving holiness . 

 Jesus  Christ  instructed  the  Church

to  preach  Gospel  of  the  Kingdom

hThe Lord Jesus Christ Himself preached the Gospel of the Kingdom (Mt.:9:35)
hJesus Christ sent His twelve apostles to preach the Kingdom of God (Lk. 9:1-2)
hAll the ministers of God (including the apostle Paul) in the Early Apostolic Church preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. (Acts 8:12; 28:30-31)

 Preaching  the  Gospel  of  the

Kingdom  in  the  End  Time

hThe Lord Jesus Christ prophesied:  “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. “ (Mt. 24:14) 
hOur Church must preach this Gospel of the Kingdom to every nation in the world to hasten the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

May God bless You

 

This Article is based on the Sermon preached by Paul Wong
to a Congregation in Houston, Texas on November 20, 2010.

 

Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the President of ARK International.
His ministry also serves as an architectural service company in Houston.
The ARK Forum on the Internet is international and non-denominational

 

 

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Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 02:06