The Kingdom of God in the Church Age
The Bible indicates a prominent shift from the preaching of Christ (and the apostles during the ministry of Christ) to the preaching of the apostle Paul. Christ’s preaching during His earthly ministry emphasized the kingdom, while Paul’s preaching certainly emphasized the apex of God’s grace. Yet, this remarkable shift in prominence does not indicate that Christ’s preaching was graceless; nor does the shift signify that Paul’s preaching ignored the kingdom. In fact, there are four references in the book of Acts stating that Paul preached the Kingdom of God. For example, consider the following:
Acts 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom ofGod, shall see my face no more.
Yet, some teachers discount this mentioning of Paul’s preaching of the Kingdom of God as only applicable during Paul’s Acts missionary journeys. However, this simply is not the case. The final chapter of Acts records that Paul, while in Roman bonds, continued to preach the Kingdom of God.
Acts 28:30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
The Kingdom of God—spiritual in nature
The Kingdom of God is presently spiritual in nature (the spiritual dominion of God) within only the redeemed—accessible only by grace through faith.
Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
God commissioned the Jews with the responsibility to evangelize the world, but they rejected their Messiah. Yet, the Lord prophesied that Israel’s rejection would mean that the Kingdom of God would be taken from them and given to a fruitful nation—the Gentiles.
Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nationbringing forth the fruits thereof.
The Kingdom of God is within the believer and enters the new believer at salvation—it is all about a relationship.