Kingdom of God
1 Cor. 15:25
Eph. 1:3; 2:6
1 Peter 2:9
- Romans 14:17
- "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
- The Church of Christ argues that the kingdom cannot be political in nature since the Apostle says that the kingdom is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Hence, the kingdom must be the "church".
- The passage does not state that the kingdom of God is the "church", and for the Church of Christ argument to stand, it must be shown by its expositors that the language used in this passage is incompatible with belief in a future political kingdom. But can this be done? It cannot. Consider the evidence:
- To say that the kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, is not to say it is only these things. Other Scriptures refer to the kingdom as "breaking in pieces" and destroying "all . . . kingdoms". (Dan. 2:44). The two references are complementary. One provides what the other does not.
- Baptized believers of the one Gospel come under the jurisdiction of the King of the kingdom. They are now in training for future rulership. (Rev. 2:26,27). Only upon a faithful completion of the training program can the believer expect to enter the kingdom. (2 Pet. 1:11; Matt. 25:31-46). Since believers are training for future rulership in the kingdom they are instructed to seek the kingdom and God's righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit for such blessings will constitute the kingdom. (Isa. 9:6,7). It is at the time of the establishment of the kingdom that ultimately those who mourn "shall be comforted" (Matt. 5:4); those "that hunger now shall be filled" (Luke 6:21) and those who "weep now shall laugh". (Luke 6:21).
- It needs stressing with the Church of Christ that the believer is an heir of the kingdom (James 2:5), not a present possessor. It is only through "much tribulation" that the kingdom will be entered. (Acts 14:22). The kingdom of God is something to be entered, not by joining "the church", but by finishing the race which entry into the ecclesia begins. (1 Cor. 9:24; 2 Tim. 4:7,8 cf. vs. 1; Matt. 24:13; 2 Pet. 1:10,11).