Kingdom Of God – Introduction



The interpretation of a book is strongly influenced by the preconceptions the readers bring to their study.  Bible study is a prime example of this phenomenon.  All of our comments on the scriptures in the Bible are nothing more than our concept of the word of God.  Since many of our concepts are planted by others, it should be understood that most people always interpret the Bible with the beliefs of others as their set of preconceptions.  Our preconceptions of the theme of the Bible may determine our final interpretations – our set of beliefs, our faith.

It might be profitable for each of us to attempt to make a statement for ourselves about our concept of the theme of the Bible.  This could prevent us from blindly accepting another person’s faith.  It certainly will help us to approach our Bible study with more meaning.  If we do not find the theme we expect, then let us make a fresh study of God’s word.  A fresh approach is what many of us may need.

The author of these lessons believes God’s kingdom always was, is now, and always will be, it is eternal.  This is not the theme of the Bible, but this concept of the kingdom is the underlying theme, or background, that must be accepted in order to appreciate the true theme.  The main theme is the work of God through Jesus Christ “in bringing many sons to glory” as it is stated in Hebrews 2:10.  We were all individually created to be a son of God in His eternal kingdom, a kingdom existing before the world was created.  Since we understand all lessons, whether presented orally or in a written form, have been constructed from the author’s preconceived ideas, it can be stated, that the writer of this series has preconceived ideas.  One idea is that the theme of the Bible is how Jesus Christ will bring many sons to glory.  All of the lessons have been developed from this premise.

The aim in this series of lessons is to show what the Bible reveals about God’s eternal kingdom in relation to His plan to add a new dimension.  This new dimension is made up of people with the status of sons of God.  Because of this plan God created us with the potential to develop His attributes of character and personality.  They have been related to us by Jesus Christ.

There is a kingdom of God described in the Bible.  Its territory includes both heaven and earth and its citizens are those who subject themselves to God’s will.  A unified and glorious life is enjoyed by its inhabitants.  This life transcends the world and outlasts the ages; therefore, it is eternal life.  Jesus Christ is presently the divine king over God’s kingdom and His throne is in heaven.  God, Himself, is not under the rule of Jesus Christ.  Although the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, it contains the same elements in a physical kingdom.  God’s kingdom has a territory, citizens and a culture, or quality of life.  This life is described in God’s law of life for His children.  Like a physical kingdom it also has a sovereign power, or king.

Many other things that relate to God’s kingdom have probably been excluded from Jesus’ mission as king and priest (I Cor. 15:27).  Over two thousand years ago Jesus appeared in this world by physical birth in the nation of Israel.  He revealed the nature of God’s person so mankind might understand the quality of life God possesses.  By this incarnate manifestation of deity the law of life was revealed for the citizens of God’s kingdom.  With this enlightenment we can perceive and attain our unique potential; therefore, God is able to achieve His purpose for His creation of mankind.  This is the sphere of Jesus’ reign.

This study has been divided into six parts.  The first part is about the nature of God.  When we speak of God, we mean the One and only God who created mankind and the world (I Cor. 8:6).  We will consider the concept of time and eternity and God’s purpose for creating man.  Furthermore, we will see the compatibility of how God created Adam, the first man, with His purpose for creating all people.  Finally, we will consider the phenomenon of life as Jesus Christ revealed it and show how His life is the only quality of life in God’s kingdom.  Consequently, we will understand Jesus’ life is the law of life for mankind (John 1:4).

Part Two is a study about what went wrong on man’s part after Satan began to communicate his schemes to separate mankind from our Creator.  Satan’s nature and his action against God’s plan for man will be revealed.  The Biblical concept of sin and death will be defined; therefore, the man in the world who has succumbed to the powers thereof can be understood.

Part Three is about God’s creation of the world and the man-dimension of His kingdom.  In other words, we will start at the beginning of time, which is the beginning of the Bible narrative.  Adam and Eve were the first citizens of God’s kingdom on earth.  Because God created them for the role of children and not angels or robots, He gave them opportunity to exercise their own free will.  Unfortunately for them and us, they chose to become self-willed rather than choosing God’s will for their way of life.

The remainder of Part Three is about how the spiritual condition of mankind determined the spiritual level and method God employed to maintain the man dimension of His kingdom.  God adjusted His way of dealing with people at key points in history until Jesus Christ, the Messiah, came to finalize God’s plan.  For instance, when God’s faithful people became an endangered species, He chose a faithful man, called Abram, whom He renamed Abraham, to develop a special nation.  Physical Israel was the nation.  It is now Spiritual Israel.  This is the story revealed in the thirty-nine books commonly referred to as the Old Testament portion of the Bible.  The written narrative closed after the prophecy of Malachi more than four hundred years before the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

A part of the Old Testament books are classified as books of prophecy.  In Part Four, consideration will be given to some prophecies proclaiming the arrival of Jesus Christ in the world during the time of the Roman Empire.  We will learn from these prophecies how, for a time, God used Israel to maintain His kingdom on earth and also as a tool to evangelize the other nations, the Gentiles.  From the New Testament portion of the Bible we will see how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about himself that were made several hundred years before His coming.  Part four also contains lessons about Israel crucifying Jesus on the cross according to prophecy.  God used their evil deed to offer mankind a new covenant in His blood.  God raised Jesus up from the dead and gave Him the reign over His kingdom.

In Part Five we will view the new spiritual realm which has been developed for believers in Christ.  It is developed for us by our faith in God, certain doctrines and other blessings.  We will learn how God calls people out of the world and into Christ where Jesus serves us as a king, priest and sin offering.  The root meaning of the word church is the called out; therefore, those who accept the gospel call are Christ’s church.  We are the called out.  The gracious blessings “in Christ” produce a healthy mental environment for Christians.  This serves us in our sanctification as we are being socialized into God’s eternal kingdom.

In the final part, Part Six, we will explore the Bible concept of eschatology – that is, physical death and things beyond.  After mankind got the knowledge of good and evil because Adam and Eve sinned, it became impossible for people to maintain a righteous and holy life on earth, in and of ourselves; consequently, God blessed us with physical death, a resurrection and judgment.  Also, our final lessons will reveal how those who are judged unfit for eternal citizenship in God’s kingdom will be condemned to hell, and how the innocent and faithful will inherit eternal life and God’s kingdom.

It is quite possible exceptions will arise about certain points made in this discourse on the Kingdom of God, especially if the reader has a different theory about the theme of the Bible.  As you study this series, remember to check the author’s concept of the theme against the proof text offered.  The point is every serious Bible student must, sooner or later, develop their own theory, or faith, about the major theme of the Bible.  We all read the Bible with some preconceived thoughts about the purposes of God.  Let us develop our own, listen to others and, above all, be willing to adjust our preconceptions according to the word of God.

People interpret the Bible differently, but often without realizing the reason.  One reason is we approach it with a different concept of the major theme of the Bible.  Sad as it is, some blame these different interpretations on the way God’s word is written and give up their study of the Bible.  Pray we never quit our Bible study because our faith can only be attained by our own study of God word (Rom. 10:17).

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply