I believe that understanding the ‘nature’ of the kingdom is very important in order for us to know how we fit into the bigger framework of the kingdom of God. However in understanding the ‘nature’ of something we all need to start at the same basic point understanding or interpretation. It seems to me that one of the problems when trying to understand the nature of God’s kingdom is that we often leave too much open to individual interpretation! In the process of discovering what the kingdom or ‘church’ really is, too many people improperly interpret the church by what they have experienced.
If they’ve experienced harsh leadership, inflexible attitudes or hypocritical relationships, their interpretation is bound to be skewed. I believe that we can only really arrive at the right understanding when we let the Lord tell us what His kingdom is all about!
There a re many scripture passages that talk about the Kingdom of God but I want to quickly remind you of two. In John 18:36 Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” The nature of the Kingdom is not about fighting to establish our particular brand or a group identity to outshine some other religious group. The nature of the Lord’s Kingdom is about being all that He wants us to be and to accomplish that by being in ‘submission’ to his divine will and purpose, which is to reflect Him in all that we do so that others will be drawn to Him also.
The bible also states in Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” I believe that the apostle Paul wanted to convey to us that the nature of the Kingdom is not based on the material things that impress people or the felt needs of those looking to get what they want out of life. Rather, it is understanding the deeper spiritual principles that lead us to live righteous lives before God and one another. When we begin to understand this, we find the peace and joy in the spirit, which I believe, truly embodies what the nature of the Kingdom is all about!
~ John Phillips Jr ~