Heaven, or the Kingdom of God?


No parable has to do with Heaven as a place. The Apostles did not preach about going to Heaven. They did preach about the Kingdom of God, about the importance of inheriting the Kingdom of God. They did not preach about the importance of going to Heaven. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Paul says the Kingdom of God is a matter of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

“Heaven” as a Circumlocution or Substitute for “God”

The Kingdom is not a place but a condition of our personality. When we preach that our destiny is to go to Heaven as to a place, our Christian life becomes primarily one of waiting. When we advocate the usual Christian teaching that accepting Christ is a "ticket" that guarantees our entrance into Heaven when we die, we have a philosophy that works against our growth as a Christian. Why do we need to grow? Do we need to prepare ourselves that we may be worthy of Heaven? We are saved by a sovereign grace. We shall see at once the enormous difference between the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and the gospel of going to Heaven when we die.

We are not saying by this that there is not a place called Heaven, or that God, Christ, the saints, and the holy angels are not there. There certainly is such a place.

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This is where we are to place our treasures. This is where our citizenship is.

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This is where we hope to go when we die. This is where the Kingdom of God is at the present time. But the place called Heaven is not our destiny. It is a staging ground while the Lord is preparing to invade the earth and establish His Kingdom here. Entering the Kingdom of God begins the moment we are born again. It is not a ticket to anywhere. It is the bringing forth of a new creation within our personality. We do not wait to die for it to begin.

It is being pressed on us now, especially as we are approaching the end of the Church Age. As soon as we begin to realize the difference between Heaven as a place, and the Kingdom of God as a change of what we are, many verses that before seemed to have limited application to us suddenly make sense. And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? Why would it be hard for the righteous to be saved if the goal is to go to Heaven when we die, and we go there by sovereign grace apart from any change on our part?

This simply makes no sense at all and ought to tell us something is seriously amiss with contemporary teaching. But if we view salvation as inheriting the Kingdom of God, and if we enter the Kingdom of God through suffering and hardships, and if the Kingdom of God requires a radical and sometimes objectionable transformation of what we are, then these questions are answered easily. Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.

What precisely does it mean to enter the Kingdom of God, and why is being born again necessary for such entrance? No prophet of old, no matter how mighty, had been born again. It was not possible for anyone to be born again until the Word of God became flesh, was crucified for our sins, and then was raised from the dead by the Glory of the Father. The new covenant is the entering of the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, into the human personality.

The new covenant is not a change of our mind about the meaning of life, although such a change results from the new covenant.

Since none of the prophets had Christ in him, he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist or any of the other prophets. He who has Christ in him has the Kingdom of God in himself. It has been born in him. This is what it means to be born again. The moment Christ is born in us, the Substance of Deity is born in us, the Spirit is ready to lead us from the adamic life to the life of a son of God.

Every moment of our time is packed with opportunities to change from a mere human to a child of God. We are being transformed if we are participating in the new covenant. It is the transformation that is salvation. There is no scriptural basis that any aspect of the plan of salvation is for the purpose of bringing us to Heaven.

We are entering an age of moral darkness without precedent in the history of mankind. There have been many instances in history when rulers have been corrupt and surrounded with corrupt courts. The government of the United States seems to be heading in this direction with its suspect practices. But never before has there been so much sin on the part of the people at large.

Always before the rulers and their courts wallowed in the flesh while the peasants suffered.

Kingdom of Heaven (Gospel of Matthew)

But now entire nations are corrupt. I think the Western nations are due for Divine punishment. Because of the moral corruption the spiritual atmosphere is growing dark and oppressive. The only word, the only truth that is dependable, to which we can cling, is the Bible. And if we are not adhering closely to the Bible we are going to stumble and fall. We shall not survive spiritually because of the abundance of spiritual darkness and evil. We Christians claim to be fundamentalists. But a fundamentalist is someone who believes the Bible is the inspired Word of God. We are not teaching the Bible.

We are teaching our traditions, such as our destiny is to go to Heaven to live in a mansion. A careful study of the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John reveals that the second verse, supposedly having to do with mansions in Heaven, is actually referring to our living in Christ in God. Why then is it necessary for us to be transformed? We are transformed so we can have fellowship with God and so we can participate in our predestined role in the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom that soon is to come to the earth.

Why is it true, as Paul insists, that if we as a Christian walk in the flesh we will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Paul did not say we would not go to Heaven if we continue to sin, he maintained that we would not inherit the Kingdom. There is no fornication, no lying, no slander, no rage, no witchcraft, no drunkenness, no strife, no backbiting, no malice, in the Kingdom of God.

Textual Variants

The phrase “kingdom of God” occurs 68 times in 10 different New Testament books, while “kingdom of heaven” occurs only 32 times, and only in the Gospel of . There is no real difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. This power and authority to rule has been given to Jesus Christ by the Father, who is enthroned in Heaven. The phrase “Kingdom of Heaven” is only found in the gospel of Matthew.

The part of our personality that is doing these things is not of the Kingdom of God. When we receive the Lord Jesus Christ into our personality we receive the Divine Nature into our personality. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. While this passage indicates the two kingdoms are interchangeable, it is obvious either Matthew or Jesus chose to make a distinction and recorded them differently.

In fact, the passage is purposeful to make the point there is something of significance which is different between the two. A thorough analysis of this reason is found in this answer: But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 5: Not only is God used offending the audience , the instruction is not to take an oath by heaven singular not heavens plural which seemingly misplaces the throne of God in heaven not in His Kingdom of the Heavens. This suggests there is at least some measure of difference between the two kingdoms.

Differences do not preclude similarities. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Kingdom of heaven - righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Kingdom of God - the righteousness of God. The consequence of righteousness: Kingdom of heaven - enter the kingdom. Kingdom of God - all things will be added to you.

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Required response to each Kingdom: Kingdom of heaven - have righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees. Kingdom of God - Seek first Kingdom of heaven - righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees. Kingdom of God - be born of water and the Spirit. A good picture to understand the difference is that the Kingdom of God encompasses all creation, while the Kingdom of the Heavens encompasses less. That is, the Kingdom of the Heavens is a smaller kingdom within the Kingdom of God. As Genesis 1 states, man has some measure of authority over the earth and life on the earth part of the Kingdom of God.

Simply, the earth at present is outside the Kingdom of the Heavens but remains a part of the Kingdom of God. One day there will be a new heaven and a new earth on which the Father's will will be done. Essentially the Kingdom of the Heavens will cease to exist it that it will no longer be distinguishable from the Kingdom of God. The correct translation is Kingdom of the Heavens plural not Heaven singular. All Scripture using the English Standard Version.

In the Bible, there are two different kingdoms that are mentioned. These two kingdoms are the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God. It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. Although the statements are similar, it is very important that you understand these two kingdoms are NOT the same! Neither shall they say, Lo here! Paul said the kingdom of God is not physical like meat and drink, but rather this kingdom is concerning spiritual things like righteousness, peace, and joy which you cannot see! The kingdom of heaven is a piece of land that has a man ruling over it as king somewhere on this earth.

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The kingdom of heaven is an earthly kingdom with a man as its king that is doing the will of God. Notice what Jesus says about the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 6: Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom that is present when the righteousness of God is present, thus allowing God to have control. These are the survivors of the tribulation no new birth required to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Here some people who are in the kingdom of heaven but get cast into the Lake of fire because of iniquity. If both kingdoms are the same everyone is subject to possibly losing their salvation.

The Kingdom of God KOG implies a person or group of people --the church-- who do the will of God in complete submission. The individual is the smallest unit of KOG. No one can do the will of God without the Holy Ghost. In short you are the kingdom of God. Thus when Jesus taught us to pray "thy kingdom come," the thought is, "make me thy kingdom. That is why it is important to differentiate both.

Please note that a believer or the church is the new Israel. The Father's plan of salvation was for the Jews. When Jesus came, many people besides Jews had believed in Him for salvation. He sent out his slaves to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn't want to come. Again, he sent out other slaves, and said, Tell those who are invited: Look, I've prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.

But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the others seized his slaves, treated them outrageously and killed them. The king was enraged, so he sent out his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned down their city. Then he told his slaves, The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet. So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good.

The wedding banquet was filled with guests. Satan hates the Jews, and this present evil world see Galatians 1: Hate and envy are the root reasons the word " now " is removed from John The unsaved world does not want the Lord Jesus Christ to return and rule over them. That is why the religious Jews killed their King the first time He came. Here is what their King will say about that when He returns: His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: The Lord Jesus Christ came to His own and preached a dualistic message. To the Jews, the heirs of the promised political Kingdom, the Lord preached the Gospel of the " Kingdom of Heaven " - a literal physical Kingdom soon to come: To the Jews and the entire Gentile world, He preached the coming " Kingdom of God " - righteousness and holiness: Because the Lord used the terms " Kingdom of Heaven " and " Kingdom of God " interchangeably in places in the four Gospels, most Christians think they are one and the same.

They will be, but not until the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ when He rules the world for a thousand years on the throne of His father David His father in the flesh, His human side at Jerusalem.

Is There A Difference Between The Kingdom Of Heaven And Kingdom Of God?

If you rightly divide the Bible, you will see that Jesus was preaching about two 2 components of the Kingdom. He preached that the political kingdom Kingdom of Heaven was coming, and if the Jews had accepted Him after His death and resurrection, He would have come back and established it after seven years of tribulation, as foretold in the prophecies:. Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: In fact, when Stephen was preaching to the Pharisees as they were stoning him, the Lord Jesus was standing up from His seat in the third heaven ready to come back, save the Jews, and establish the Kingdom:.

To show by the Scriptures the difference between the terms " Kingdom of Heaven " and " Kingdom of God ," the Holy Spirit has put this little nugget of truth within the Gospel of Matthew: Ask yourself this question: If the " Kingdom of God " is within you, and if the " Kingdom of God " and " Kingdom of Heaven " are one and the same, how could anyone take it out of you by violence? And if that righteousness, i. The answer is the Kingdom of Israel, which is God's people and Jerusalem, the Lord's chosen place from which to rule: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: Israel rejected their King when He came the first time.

To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. Although Satan has now lost the war, the final battle for physical possession is yet to come. This is the present status of the Kingdom of Heaven.