Open 1 John 4:7-12.
Search the internet and you’ll find kingdom of God used for whatever a speaker wants it to mean, e.g.:
- social justice: action to set right the injustices of the world
- personal evangelism: convincing people to put Jesus on the throne of their heart
- personal victory: I’m ruling and reigning with Christ, more than a conqueror
- spiritual warfare: taking a stand to rail against spiritual forces of evil
- political activism: lobbying / influencing human governments
- prophetic engagement: delivering God’s message to leaders; speaking truth to power
- the millennium: the reign of Christ for 1,000 years
- Israel: the nation that has represented God’s reign
- the church: the community that recognizes and implements Christ’s authority
- salvation: personally responding with faith to God’s grace.
The kingdom of God contains a wide spectrum of activities and ideas, but none of these on its own is the kingdom.
White light consists of the whole spectrum: red, green, blue, and in-between colours. If you think white light is red, you’re wrong: you’re wearing filters that stop you from seeing the green and blue. The problem is that most of us do wear filters that stop us seeing the multi-faceted nature of the kingdom of God. We fail to grasp the breadth of its spectrum.
So what is the kingdom of God?