The "kingdom of God" simply means the domain of the King. The place where He rules. The place where His will is done, and where His principles, laws, ordinances and culture prevail. In heaven, His will is perfectly followed, and the environment perfectly reflects it.
On earth, the kingdom of God is within us (Luke 27:21). However, we are also told to pray that His kingdom will come, and that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The earth is currently is in conflict between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness.
"Your kingdom come; Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10).
There are only two spiritual kingdoms: the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. In this world, the culture teaches us to think in terms of gray, but such should not be. Gray only reflects different degrees of darkness polluting pure light. As citizens of the kingdom of God, we are called, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to eliminate all darkness in our lives.
For most Christians, sanctification is a process. The Lord gives abundant grace as we struggle with our imperfect vessels becoming more like Him. The Holy Spirit is more than willing to assist us in the process. But we must be willing. Jesus paid the price for us and continually intercedes for us. He sent us a member of the Trinity to live inside of us and empower us with heaven's power. Are we willing to cooperate and be sanctified?
In the Lord's kingdom parables, He indicated that the kingdom of God should be growing. He compared the kingdom to a woman hiding leaven in three pecks of flour until it all was leavened. He also compared the kingdom to the tiny mustard seed which grows into the largest of garden plants where bids can nest. Increasing the size of the domain where God rules is growth in the kingdom of God.
" He told them another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like yeast which a woman took and mixed in sixty pounds of meal until it had leavened the whole batch'" (Matt. 13:33).
"He told them another parable, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. This indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it has grown, it is the greatest among herbs and is a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches'" (Matt. 13:31-32).
As we place more of the compartments of our lives under the direct rule of God, His kingdom increases. As we share the love and power of God with our demeanor, attitudes, love, behavior, words, material goods and godly actions with others the kingdom of God grows. If others accept Jesus, in part because of us, the kingdom grows. We are called to be more like Him. We are called to share the gospel of the kingdom with all. As we prepare for heaven, we are called to bring His will on earth now.
Let us use all the gifts and resources, which He died to give us, to expand His kingdom now, both within us and outside of us. Let us quit making excuses about the gray areas in our lives. Let us fully turn from darkness to light. Let us embrace the armor of light.
"'To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me'" (Acts 26:18).
" The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us take off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light" (Rom. 13:12).
The end of the Bible declares we win. Jesus announced that it is finished. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to our King! We can't lose if we enter the race. Let us cast off all sin, complacency and unbelief. Let us grow the kingdom of God to put more areas under His rule in our families, workplaces, churches and all areas where we have influence. May God bless us as we strive to bring a little bit more of heaven on earth.
Dr. James Russell is a professor of economics at Oral Roberts University.
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