- Category: Kingdom of Heaven
Theme Text– 'Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.' (Matthew 6:10)
1) Why does any Christian need to learn about the Kingdom of Heaven?
Well, because Jesus Christ was obsessed with it. Religious leaders usually teach new philosophies or rituals. But Jesus was no ordinary leader. His teachings were mostly about one thing from far-reaching Old Testament prophecies: the kingdom of God a.k.a. the kingdom of Heaven.
I) Most of his parables were all about the kingdom (about 30 of them).
II) His ministry’s message: God’s kingdom on earth is Man’s greatest hope.
III) When they asked him to teach them prayer, he told them the first thing to pray after praising God should be: ‘Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’ (Matt. 6:10). God’s kingdom to come on the earth! And his will to be done here as it is in heaven!
2) But isn’t the Kingdom of Heaven supposed to be in Heaven?
Only Matthew uses the phrase ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. Other New Testament authors use the term ‘Kingdom of God’. Matthew had a reason to replace ‘God’ with ‘Heaven’. His target audience were Jews who had restrictions on frequently using the name of God. They used Heaven to respectfully refer to God in the Bible (Eg: Luke 15:21, Daniel 4:26). Matthew followed that custom.
Even today, when people historically refer to the Empire of Britain, they don’t mean Britain. They mean the worldwide empire that was controlled by the government in Britain.
So the Kingdom of Heaven is simply the Kingdom of God.
3) What is the predominant teaching regarding the kingdom among present-day churches?
Historian H. G. Wells (The Outline of History) comments: ‘Remarkable is the enormous prominence given by Jesus to the teaching of what he called the kingdom of heaven and its comparative insignificance in the procedure and teaching of most of the Christian churches’.
If Jesus Christ ‘went about all the cities and villages preaching the gospel of the Kingdom’ (Matthew 9:35), why do the churches of today ignore it? Was Jesus wrong to preach God’s kingdom coming to the earth? Does the rest of the Bible support his views? Questions…!