Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What is the Kingdom?

What is the Kingdom of Heaven? The Kingdom of God?

Some say it's heaven, a place believers go after death. Some say at the end of this world, we are resurrected and go to heaven. Some say it's a place we go when Yahshua/Jesus is preparing and will take us to on his return.

There's also a view that it's a kingdom that will be set up on earth when Yahshua returns. This also sometimes includes a view that current believers will rule with him either on earth or from heaven.

Then there's a view that this kingdom is here. Yahshua said whenever the Father's power and love is demonstrated on earth, the kingdom is here, is among you. Scripture backs this up, but the other views are backed up too. (That's a matter for another post, the Word is "alive".) I just read something about this latter view that i find so true. It leads to other questions of course, but what doesn't? That's as it should be.

Anyway, it's nothing new. It's from a teaching on a site called Emet Ministries, the Keys series, this one is in Key to the Kingdom. It says the gospel is, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is here," and that the good news is "YHWH's reign is for today, repent and accept His will for your life and rule as you were created to!"

This doesn't sound any different than the usual teaching but in a small way...we're usually exhorted to believe, trust, all that. But no one can just go get belief somewhere and no one can trust someone they don't even know. The Bible says even our faith comes from Him in the first place; then we trust Him as He shows us He's trustworthy. Until He shows Himself to someone, that person has no way to "live in the kingdom here and now", anything they believe is just what someone has told them. Even the meaning of the word faith is disputed. I've read that it should be "faithfulness", and not the blind faith we're taught is so righteous.

What i'm trying to figure out right now is how this kingdom life now is different than positive thinking. Optimism and positive thinking are beneficial to humans in many ways; is a kingdom lifestyle merely that? Does the word "merely" apply? How can someone be optimisitic in the face of adversity without knowing there's a plan behind it all, or that somehow it will be the best?

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