Most of our concepts of kingdoms probably come from fairy tales. We think of princes and princesses, just and unjust kings, knights and court jesters, etc. These kingdoms always have place and time. They have limits.
When I first heard of “the kingdom of God” and “the kingdom of heaven” I’m sure I thought of a place. It was a place I would go one day. Later, it became in my mind, a place that would come and then, maybe a place I would go.
The people of Israel in Jesus’ day wrestled with their concept of the Kingdom of David. They looked for a Messiah who would ascend and re-establish the throne of David, the beloved king of Israel. He would crush the enemies of Israel and rule forever. Needless to say, they were not prepared for Jesus.
Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven as being near, breaking in and being joined to earth. He spoke of it in the present tense. He spoke of it in the future tense. And then there’s this.
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:20, 21 KJV
How can a kingdom be within you? If the kingdom is a person and that person is Jesus Christ then he can be in us in the person and work of the Holy Spirit. If “kingdom” means the rule and reign of God then Jesus could rule and reign in our hearts.
If Jesus is Lord and rules and reigns in our heart then the kingdom has come. The life of Jesus resident in us and reigning over us accomplishes his will on earth. The kingdom has come. That reality does not keep his kingdom from “yet coming” when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
We must not limit Jesus to space and time. He is not Lord only for a few hours on Sunday and Wednesday. He cannot be Lord in our lives and our lives be segmented. He is Lord over all or not Lord at all.