The kingdom of God (which is the same thing as the kingdom of heaven) is one of my favorite topics. I think it was one of Jesus’s favorite topics. John the Baptist considered it a favorite topic, too. Matthew, Mark, and Luke also thought it was important enough to tell us that the first teaching of John and Jesus when they began their ministries was the same – “the kingdom of God is at hand.”
Unfortunately, most modern day Christians fail to understand what that means. I know because for most of my life I didn’t realize that I didn’t understand it. I was taught that the kingdom of God/heaven was the place where I was going after I was dead, assuming that I believed the right doctrines.
But that’s incorrect information.
According to both John the Baptist and Jesus, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” At hand means anything from “within your reach” to “now.”
If the kingdom of God is not a place to go to after you’re dead, then what is it?
It’s a state of living today that is an image of the Garden of Eden. All things are working together in peace, harmony, and unity. It’s that simple.
Let me explain it in Aramaic terms. The Aramaic name for God is Alaha. It means “oneness” or “unity.” That means the kingdom of Alaha is a kingdom of Unity. The Kingdom is a state where all things are working together for the good of everyone and everything else.
This is the kingdom Jesus was hoping to usher in—a place where all people are working together and living in peace.
I explained most of it in my ebook, The Kingdom of Heaven is for Real and It’s Open to Everyone! (or at the iBookstore here), so I’ll go on with the rest of the text.
After Jesus proclaimed his message about the kingdom, he went looking for ordinary people to help him bring a state of peace and harmony to Israel. He didn’t need professionally trained clergy to do the job. He needed ordinary people.
Today’s clergy seem to be more focused on bringing peace and harmony to people after they are dead than to bring peace and harmony to them today. Whenever you see that happening, you know they still believe the kingdom of God will only be seen when people are dead, even though Jesus and John said something different.
Anyway, you and I are called, as followers of Jesus, to bring peace and unity into the lives of people today. Whenever we can do that, many will be grateful. Some will be curious. And some may even want to hang around with us and try to keep the peace and harmony going.
Following Jesus is about making the kingdom of God a reality today. You have been given the power to bring the peace, hope, and harmony into someone’s life today. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or an ordained clergyperson to do that. It just takes someone with compassion and love.
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Thanks so much to all of you who pre-ordered my new ebook about the power to forgive that was released Monday!