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Question and Answer

What Is the Kingdom of God?


What is the Kingdom of God and could it be a central or unifying theme of Scripture?


Thank you for your question. It is a very important question.

The theme of the Kingdom of God is central to both the Old and the New Testaments. The emphasis is God’s sovereign reign over all the earth, with particular emphasis upon his reign over his elect people (1 Chron. 29:11; Ps. 24:7, 29:10; Dan. 4:3).

In Old Testament prophesy the coming suffering Messiah is announced as God’s anointed King who will eventually be enthroned as King of kings and Lord of lords (Isa. 40; Ps. 22; Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:1–5).

The Old Testament points the people to the future Kingdom, while in Matthew 3:2 John the Baptist announces that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. The nearness of that kingdom is expressed by John the Baptist in images such as “the ax is laid to the root of the trees” (Matt. 3:19) and “his winnowing fork is in his hand” (Matt. 3:12).

Jesus, in his own preaching, emphasizes the Kingdom. He declares that the Kingdom is in the midst of his people (Luke 17:21). At his ascension Jesus commanded his disciples to be his witnesses to the end of the earth (Acts 1:18).

Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings. The world, for the most part, denies that. But it is the call of his church—those under his rule as their Savior and Lord—to proclaim Jesus as King of the universe and the only Savior of sinners.

At his resurrection and exaltation Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom of God. He is now enthroned as King. His Kingdom is not yet fully realized. It will be fully consummated at his return. In other words, his Kingdom is both present and future. We serve a King who already is enthroned, but we await his return in all his glory when, as the Apostle Paul writes, every knee shall bow and “every tongue confess that he is Lord (Phil. 2:10).”

I hope that this is a help to you.

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

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You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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