Day 8 - What is the Kingdom of God? What is the Kingdom of Heaven? | Our King and the Kingdom of God 21-Day Devotional

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Scripture Reading:
Matthew 13:24, Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.

Romans 14:17, For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Some words/terms in the Bible have both similar and different meanings. For example, we often see the word “church.” We know the church is the people of God in union with Christ, whether inside a building or not. We also think of church as a building. The Bible Greek word for church is ἐκκλησία, which we transliterate as ekklēsia meaning “assembly” AND 
“church.” We almost always associate ekklēsia with ourselves as Christ's church. In Acts 19 ekklēsia is used for an “assembly” of angry and confused people.

And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him. Then some of the officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that he would not venture into the theater. Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly [
ekklēsia] was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together. (vv. 30-32)

These were not church people, but an assembly of other people. It is important to understand that some words/terms in the Bible have BOTH a specific meaning and a meaning based on the context in which it is used.

In the Bible, we see clear descriptions of “Kingdom of God” and “Kingdom of Heaven.” In almost every instance, the two are not the same. In a few instances the terms are interchangeable such as,
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23–24)

The term Kingdom of God is used to describe the realm where God exists in complete authority, full of righteousness and holiness, and where His rule is acknowledged in the hearts of believers. The Kingdom of God indicates all of God’s rule, which has a moral and spiritual force that man does not have outside of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. (Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)

Examples of the Kingdom of God as His rule:
Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

Romans 14:16, Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.

The Kingdom of Heaven, on the other hand, is inclusive of everything, good and bad, godly and sinful. The Kingdom of Heaven is always under the Kingdom of God, but the Kingdom of God is never limited to the Kingdom of Heaven. Only the people of God and the things of God are part of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of Heaven will be purged of evil things. (Matthew 13:41)

The Kingdom of God is eternal and spiritual in nature, while the Kingdom of Heaven is temporary and physical

The important thing to remember is that God rules over all through Christ! (Psalm 103:19)

Reflection Questions:
1. In your own words summarize the difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.
2. Why is context important when interpreting Bible words and terms?

My Action Items: