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.
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