The Kingdom of Heaven

HEAVEN

Image by Telstar2000 via Flickr

What exactly is the Kingdom of heaven?  In short, the kingdom of heaven is the revelation of God through His Son Jesus.  Jesus Himself spoke to this in saying: “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; (commentators tell us that the terms kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven are used interchangeably) repent and believe in the gospel.” – Mark 1:14 NASB  Once again we see this illustrated by Jesus in the Bible as He reads from Isaiah in the synagogue: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.  To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord” – Luke 4:18 NASB.  Paul expounds on the subject by saying: “Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” – Philippians 2:6-7 NASB

So, the kingdom of heaven is a process.  It is the process of God revealing Himself through His Son.  It is a process that was taking place, is taking place, and will continue taking place, until Jesus comes back to make the process complete.  But, how exactly is He revealed?  The simple answer is through Jesus.  However, it is only revealed through Jesus when we know who Jesus is.  That being said, we can not really know who He is unless we enter into relationship with Him.  This should not seem odd seeing as though we can’t really get to know anyone until we form a relationship with them.  For example when you first get married you think you know your spouse, and you do.  However, you don’t know them nearly as well as you do after you have lived with them over for an extended period of time.  We can even see this principle taking place in friendships.  You know your close friends a  lot better than you know your acquaintances don’t you? To say it another way, the kingdom of heaven is communion with Christ.  I really like looking at it in those terms and here is why.  The word “communion” as defined in the dictionary is: the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.  John Piper puts it like this: “The kingdom of heaven is the abode of the king.  The longing to be there is not the longing for heavenly real estate, but for camaraderie with the king.”


So, if the kingdom of heaven is communion with Christ how does one enter into this communion.  Let’s go back to the example of marriage.  When we enter into marriage we enter it because of love.  We do not love because we entered into marriage.  To take that a step further, I think it is fair to say that we do not love someone unless we greatly appreciate them. In a since we stand in awe of them.  Likewise, we do not enter into a true relationship with Jesus unless there is first a love for Him.  We should stand in awe of Him.  We should have a great reverence for who He is.  “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” – Matthew 13:44 NASB.  So it is that the kingdom of heaven is a treasure  which we find to be of unsurpassable value for it is life with the King.

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