An Earthly Kingdom

An Earthly Kingdom in Jerusalem?
Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

For the past few days, we have been looking for the biblical Christan concept of God. We have observed that atheists, and even people who call themselves Christians, fail to understand what God is. We are familiar with the physical world, so we look for God to bring a physical earthly kingdom.

The New Testament calls for us to understand that Christians serve a God who is not a man—or woman. Galatians 3:28 tells us that “there is neither male nor female” in Christ’s kingdom, the Church. This same message appears in Romans 10:11-13 and Colossians 3:11. In John 18:36-39, Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world,” making it clear that He was not bringing in a physical earthly kingdom. Yet, even today, some Christian groups interpret Christ as a military leader who will defeat all other belief systems and establish a physical kingdom in Jerusalem.

This struggle to understand God goes back to Genesis 1:1, describing the creation of time, space, and matter/energy. When Peter describes the end of the world in 2 Peter 3:3:10-12, he says that time will end and the physical cosmos will “dissolve in fervent heat” (verse 12). God is in a higher dimension than time or the material cosmos. He created the human soul in His image–not our physical bodies.

In 1 Corinthians 15:35-55, Paul conveys the concept of a kingdom not of this world. People in that day didn’t understand it, and still today, many Christians don’t understand it. The fact that Christ’s kingdom is not an earthly kingdom makes it, unlike any human system. That brings us back to the biblical Christian concept of God, and that is where we will conclude tomorrow.

— John N. Clayton © 2022