The Kingdom of God is eternal not temporal
Session 1: The Kingdom of God is Eternal not Temporal
A brief aside: Isaiah 32: 1-4; 8; 15-20:
This chapter captures, for me, some of the key elements of the vision of the King and His Kingdom that motivate and drive me. I want to keep this end game vision in mind both as we explore the teaching concerning the Kingdom of God, and in life.
That the Kingdom of God is eternal is stated directly in the Bible.
Let’s look at some verses together which show this very clearly from both the Old and New Testaments.
Psalm 145: 13:
This is one of the Psalms attributed to David, who was promised by God that there would always be a King from his line to sit on the throne. The Gospels point out very clearly; especially Matthew that Jesus is from David’s line; and Hebrews (1: 3) shows Jesus sat at the right hand of the majesty on high. The literal translation here is “throughout the generations” which has the implication not only of eternity future but also eternity past.
Psalm 29: 10:
Here again we have a verse which speaks of the past with the flood as a reference point; then the present and the future – thus taking God’s Kingship His Rule outside time – though still with reference points that are understood in human terms.
1 Tim 1: 17:
Here Paul concludes his personal testimony of God’s grace in saving him, breaking into praise and worship and specifically worshiping Christ Jesus and God the Father as the Eternal King. This is the quotation from scripture that led the hymn writer to pen: “Immortal, Invisible, God only wise”
2 Peter 1: 11:
In this scripture Peter has been reminding his fellow Christians of the virtues they need to possess and grow in if they are to prove fruitful and the reason for this reminder is that we “make our calling and election sure” and that in addition we will receive “a welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”.
Each of these four passages are explicit regarding the eternal (past, present & future) kingdom into which we have been adopted as sons and daughters through the salvation that was won for us at such great price by Jesus going through the cross, despising its shame, for the joy set before him.
The significance of the eternal nature of the Kingdom of God, as we have looked at in this particular teaching session can be summarised as follows:
We were created to be eternal beings, and once we become part of the Kingdom of God, through being born again and recognising Jesus Christ as Lord, our eternal nature has become our birthright.
We live in an instant society in which everything is wanted yesterday if not sooner, the eternal perspective of the Kingdom of God should change our view on these things so that we live our earthly lives in the context of eternity.
The Kingdom of God does not necessarily change our circumstances, or the things we have to face, but it fundamentally changes how we face them, by providing a context of an eternal reality. In particular, becoming a Christian does not make your problems disappear, but gives you a set of resources and a perspective upon the problems which changes how you deal with those problems.
Reflection and Questions on Session 1
What does eternity mean to you?
When, in Revelation, it says that Jesus (as the King) “was, and is, and is to come” what does that re-emphasise for us about the Kingdom of God?
What situations am I facing right now in which I need to get hold of an eternal perspective in order that I may live out the Kingdom of God in my circumstances?
Why does Matthew, in his Gospel, refer exclusively to the Kingdom of Heaven rather than the Kingdom of God?
What is Peter’s aim when he talks about
“making our calling and election sure”?