When most people think of the kingdom of Heaven they think of a place up in the clouds. The most common thing we think of when we think of a kingdom is a large area of land ruled by a king.
The Kingdom of God is the number one thing Jesus talked about while on earth. So to start off with what is it: What is this mustard seed like, or pearl, or treasure hidden in a field? First we must ask what a kingdom is. A kingdom is one of two things. It can either be a group of people united by a common ruler, or it can be a piece of land under the control of a single person. In Mark 12:34 Jesus tells a teacher of the law that he is not far from it. This after the teacher had asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was. So was Jesus talking about a physical place or a that was close by or a condition of the heart. In this case it is clear that Jesus was talking about an attitude of the heart.
The next question is when is it? We know from the word that it will never end. So the only question is when the does it begin. Of all the questions this is one of the hardest ones to answer. The most interesting illustration we heard (but still true) is that it is like a train: It is here but still coming. It is the idea that parts of it are here already, but it will not be here in full until the return of Christ.
A final question is who does the kingdom of God belong to? Mark 10:14-15 says “let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” What is it about children that Jesus says the kingdom belongs to them? Personally, I think it is the trust that children have in their parents, the security they have in their parents, and the dependence in their parents. In Mathew 5, Jesus says Blessed are poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. I think poor in spirit means those who know that they have a long way to go those not proud of where they are. Just as important though is the question who is it not for. The first group that sticks out is the legalistic such as the Pharisees. Another group is the proud for such people it is not impossible but it is still very difficult.
The Kingdom of God still provides many questions. Even though we have answered a few questions about it there are still many questions about it. Such as when will Christ return and bring it in full and what will heaven be like. Such questions will be asked until the we see them for ourselves.
This lesson was prepared and
presented by Zac Ahrens
at the TFC Youth Group on 3/1/2010.