Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 3:2’

The kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven

June 30, 2018

The Verse of the Day for June 30, 2018 comes from the New King James  Bible:

Zechariah 14:9

And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be— “The Lord is one,” And His name one.

The New Living Translations renders the verse this way:

And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord—his name alone will be worshiped.

This verse brings to mind that not only shall the Lord be king over all the earth, but “of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Other scriptures also proclaim that “of his kingdom there shall be no end,” as Revelation 11:15 makes known:

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.

Throughout the Old Testament we find references to the Kingdom of God which shall stand forever. We find such a declaration in Daniel 7:13-14:

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

In 1 Chronicles 17:11-12 we find a similar pronouncement regarding the throne of the everlasting kingdom of the Lord:

And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.
He shall build me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.

Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God

The Verse of the Day and related verse refer to the Kingdom of God which is different from the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of God rules over all. It is eternal in the Heavens, having no beginning and no ending. On the other hand, the Kingdom of Heaven requires the actual presence of a sovereign or king; Israel rejected the King from Heaven(s) and thus the Kingdom of Heaven is in abeyance until the second coming when the Kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of Lord and of Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.

Two days ago the Verse of the Day focused on repentance, the noun form of the verb to repent, to turn from one path to follow another. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus Christ strongly exhorts Israel to turn away from their sinful ways, and repent. The term means to turn around or turn away from, to change from disobeying to obeying God’s revealed will, placing trust in Him, turning away from all evil and ungodliness.

Throughout Gospels Jesus Christ challenges Israel to repent in light of the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. In Matthew 3:2, Jesus Christ says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

“Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Not only did the Lord speak this strong exhortation to the people but he commanded his followers to do the same. Matthew 10:7 states:

And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

I recall hearing a teaching based on Matthew 3:2 and other verses, inspiring this response:

“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” he said.
The Righteous One shall come to judge the living and the dead.
In the midst of perilous times we still watch, fight and pray.

As followers of Christ we are called to trust and obey
These words now sharply addressed to the Church from Christ, the head.

Not by flesh but by the Spirit of God we are led;
Our food is to do God’s will and consume the living bread.
All we do must perfectly align with all that we say:
“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

Released from the bondage of the past, we now look ahead.
We forsake all idols to serve the living God instead
And leave our old dark roads and pursue a bright new pathway.
God gives another chance with the dawning of each new day.
The bridegroom is coming for his bride that they might be wed:
“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

Steve Green offers a personal song of repentance: “I Repent”