Most people that have even just a passing knowledge of the Bible believe that the Bible promises a better life in a better place. Some believe that better life is in a place called heaven while others believe in a heaven on earth. You will find, in most Bibles, lots of references to “the kingdom of heaven” and to “the kingdom of God”. These references to a kingdom can be used interchangeably and are talking about the same place. Jesus used the term “kingdom of heaven” in Matthew 5:3 & 7:21, but uses “kingdom of God” in Matthew 6:33 & Matthew 19:24. There are many more examples of this we could turn to, but notice that both phrases, (kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God), don’t say kingdom IN heaven. As a matter of fact, you won’t be able to take a Bible like the King James Version and find one place that makes a clear statement that says the Christians are going to a place called heaven. You will find heaven mentioned 583 times in your KJV. You will find kingdom of heaven mentioned 33 times. We can say that the kingdom of God is in heaven right now, but the question is where will it be when Jesus returns? Before we look for that answer let’s define just what a kingdom is. A kingdom would have to consist of 4 different elements.
The following scriptures will show that Jesus will be our ruling King. (John 18:37, Revelation 11:15) The next scriptures show where that Kingdom will be. (Revelation 5:9-10, Revelation 2:26-27) Are there nations or kingdoms in heaven that need ruling over? No, but there are and will be people on earth that will be ruled over by Jesus Christ and the saints. Before we go to the next scripture you need to remember that there are 3 heavens in your Bible. Genesis 1:1 says heavens, in the plural. Later we will look at a scripture where Paul mentioned the third heaven. What are the three heavens? Some people have said that the next scripture (I Thessalonians 4:16-17) means we are going to heaven upon the Lords return, but does it clearly say that? Again, the question is: where is Jesus going to be ruling?
Remember our key verse? When Peter said to Jesus that “we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” Jesus didn’t say that Peter could look forward to retirement in a place called heaven. Turn to Matthew 19:28-30 for His answer. Who did the angel Gabriel say that Jesus would rule over? (Luke 1:33) In Zechariah 14 he talks about “the day of the LORD,” a term that almost always means the time at the end, either just before, during or just after Christ returns. Christ returns to the Earth and His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. See Zechariah 14:3-9. During the last days or “the day of the LORD” a lot of people will die because of the seven last plagues that are poured out on the earth. (Revelation 15) However, some people are left alive on this earth. Compare Isaiah 24:1 and then verse 6. Next turn to Isaiah 2:2-4 for more evidence of a Kingdom here on earth with flesh and blood people that Christ and the saints will be ruling and teaching over. God’s ways and the earth itself has been greatly distorted by the effects of sin for the past 6,000 years. This world and this world system of corrupt governments is not the world that God made. This world is a junkyard compared to the original world that God made at the beginning. The world we live in now is the world that Satan has influenced and led astray, but The Good News is that God will restore the earth to even better than it was in the Garden of Eden, and The Kingdom of Heaven will be here on Earth. Isaiah 35 says that “the desert shall blossom as the rose, the eyes of the blind shall be opened” (physically and spiritually), and “the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” Would you like to help people see and hear the truth? To show them a better way? To heal someone physically and spiritually? And to be able to do all this with a perfect mind and body because you have been born again into the family of God and you will help, serving under Jesus Christ, to rule or show the world a better way. The way of the Kingdom of God.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
Isaiah 11:6-9 Animals of prey will live in peace with the animals they used to hunt and kill, they will no longer be a threat to mankind, and the Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD.
Isaiah 25:7-8 God will remove the blindness of His ways from the people, there will be no death and no tears of sorrow.
Isaiah 29:18-19 In that day shall the people will hear and understand the words of God and those who have suffered for His Word shall have their joy increased.
Isaiah 65:17-25 The old sorrows will be forgotten and there will be no more pain or destruction or injustice.
Micah 4:1-8 In the last days the government of the LORD shall be established over all nations and they will come to the LORD and He will teach them of his ways and there will be no more war.
Matthew 5:3-10 The Beatitudes.
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