Jesus frequently spoke about the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven. It appears throughout the New Testament. Jesus ushered in the kingdom of God.
What is the kingdom of God?
A kingdom is a domain ruled by a monarch. God is the King of all kings and Lord of lords. So, the kingdom of God is where God the King of all creation reigns. More specifically, it is any place where the will of God is honored and obeyed.
The Father has given to Jesus “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:19), and “as a result God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow —in heaven and on earth and under the earth— and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11).
Even though Jesus now has all authority in heaven and on earth, God still allows human free will and the freedom of action. Even though Jesus brought on earth the kingdom of God, we do not see his rule and reign everywhere in the world.
As we mature in our walk with God and become more fully obedient to the will of our Father both individually and as a church, the kingdom of God is more fully realized in our personal and communal life. As more people come to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord and walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the kingdom of God expands to every segment of society.
So, the kingdom of God is both here and not yet. It is first ushered by Jesus and is expanding through his people (church), but the kingdom of God will be fully realized at his second coming when “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—in heaven and on earth and under the earth— and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10).
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, he was the king over all of his creation. Then he created and appointed humans to rule the earth in partnership with him. But we rebelled against the king and lost our relationship with God and position and rights to rule with him. Instead, we became enslaved to the devil. Now the devil had the right to rule the earth. Sin became our nature, and death our destiny.
What the first Adam lost, the second Adam, Jesus, redeemed for all humanity. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost.
God’s salvation in Jesus is more than our personal salvation from sin, death, and hell. Jesus is restoring the rule and reign of God over all things. God’s original plan still stands. He wants to rule the physical universe through us. That is why our personal salvation is so critical. That is why our life here on earth really matters to God for his glory. We are saved not only from the domain of darkness but also for the kingdom of his Son. We are meant to rule with Christ. That is our destiny.