So many people, it seems, believe the kingdom is yet to come. The idea that the kingdom is future even to us is, in fact, a major part of premillennial doctrine. It makes me wonder…
When John the Baptist came preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is AT HAND” (Matthew 3:2); did he mean at hand… in two thousand years?
When Jesus came preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is AT HAND” (Matthew 4:17); did he mean at hand or in two thousand years?
When Jesus said to the Pharisees, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God HAS COME upon you” (Matthew 12:28); did he mean that it had come upon them or would come some two thousand years later?
When Jesus, explaining that the kingdom was not a locality, said, “the kingdom of God IS within you” (Luke 17:21); did he mean the kingdom will be within you in two thousand years?
When Jesus said to Peter, “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19); did he mean he would give him the keys of the kingdom in two thousand years?
When the disciples asked Jesus, “Who then IS greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1), did they mean who would be greatest in the kingdom in two thousand years?
When Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present (having come) with power” (Mark 9:1); did he mean you who are listening might live to be over two thousand years old?
When the thief said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42); did he mean remember me in two thousand years?
When Paul said that “He HAS DELIVERED us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13); did he mean that God would convey them into the kingdom in two thousand years?
When John wrote to the churches in Asia that he was their “brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:9); did he mean that he was their brother in the tribulation and patience of Christ but not the kingdom? That would come two thousand years later.
Doesn’t it seem odd that all that was said and done in regards to the kingdom in the time of the first century was all about a kingdom that not only was two thousand years away, but still has not arrived?