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The Kingdom of God Is Within You

by Bryan Matthew Dockens

Child with hand over heartAccording to Jesus, "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" (Luke 17:20-21). Contrary to popular theory, the establishment of God's kingdom would not be a visible event. The coronation of Christ the King would not be witnessed by millions on earth. Rather, the kingdom is seated in the hearts of men.

There are those who say that when Christ returns He will be enthroned in Jerusalem, reigning over the earth for a thousand years. However, the Lord Himself said, "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). Shortly before the kingdom of Judah fell to Babylonian captivity, Jeremiah prophesied that Coniah would be the last of the independent, sovereign kings of that nation: "For none of his descendants shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling anymore in Judah" (Jeremiah 22:30). Jesus was the fleshly descendant of Coniah who also known as Jeconiah (Matthew 1:11); therefore, Jesus will never rule from David's throne in Judah. It is true that He reigns on David's throne (Luke 1:32; Acts 2:30), but not in Jerusalem.

It is also believed that Jesus has yet to establish His kingdom, thinking it won't take place until the end. However, in His life on earth, the Lord said, "There are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:27). Unless there are two thousand year old people walking the earth, the kingdom of God was established a very long time ago. The reign of Christ certainly will not begin at the resurrection because that is when it shall cease, as it is written, "Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet" (I Corinthians 15:24-25).

Jesus is reigning now and those who obey have already entered His realm. Paul wrote that the Father "has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13-14). Entrance into this kingdom is predicated on rebirth, as Jesus declared, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5), with the application of water being a clear reference to baptism (Acts 10:47; I Peter 3:20-21).

Kingdoms ruled by mere men are subject to being overthrown and replaced (Daniel 2:39-40), but God assures us that "we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken" (Hebrews 12:28); indeed "the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18-19). Hundreds of years before Jesus came, Daniel foretold, "The God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Daniel 2:44). We can take confidence in the unshakeable and enduring nature of this kingdom because of who reigns over it. Isaiah prophesied of the Christ: "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" (Isaiah 9:6-7). Are you in the kingdom (John 3:5)? Is the kingdom in you (Luke 17:21)?