THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:2).
Matthew, in the verse above, used the term, “the kingdom of heaven” as he talked about the message that John the Baptist came preaching. But when you read Mark’s account, he (Mark) used the term, “the kingdom of God”: “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
Whenever the writers of the Synoptic gospels— Matthew, Mark, and Luke report the same event, with some disparity, Matthew’s account is likely to be the most verbatim in quoting Jesus, because, among
the three writers, he was the only one of the twelve apostles, hearing directly from Jesus. A good example is when He used the expression “kingdom of heaven” and when He used “kingdom of God.”
You might ask, “Is there a difference between the two?” Though synonymously used, both expressions are clearly different. The Kingdom of Heaven is that part of the Kingdom of God established in the earth, and headed by Jesus. In fact, the Greek rendering is
“Kingdom of the heavens,” which means a kingdom from heaven.
“Kingdom of God” refers to the rulership of God, the dominion of God, the realm of God. The Kingdom of God is universal; it goes beyond mere territories. It goes as far as to your heart—which is why the Kingdom of God can be established in your heart. Jesus said the
kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21).
Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of Heaven in the earth, to project the Kingdom of God, as the ambassador of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of Heaven is the Embassy of the Kingdom of God. So, Jesus sets up His headquarters in the earth and His job is to bring people into God’s Kingdom.
In essence, the Kingdom of Heaven is about the work of Jesus Christ in the earth; it’s the extension of the Kingdom of God in the earth, headed by Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of Heaven is here now, of which
we’re a part. Hallelujah!
Dear Father, what a life you’ve brought to us, and brought us into! I thank you for the Kingdom of God has been set up in my heart: the peace, the beauty, the glory, grace, and the life of God are fully
functional in my spirit; expressed in and through me. I’m determined, more than ever, to tell the whole world this glorious news. The Kingdom of God is here in Christ and functional now in my heart. Blessed be God!
John 3:3; John 3:5; Matthew 10:7
1-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: Acts 2:22-47 & 2 Chronicles 8-11
2-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: Luke 1:1-10 & Deuteronomy 9