Have We Found
The Kingdom of God?
The Bible teaches that Christians have received an unshakable kingdom. "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." (Hebrews 12:28) Daniel foretold this kingdom in Daniel 2:44. "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." Jesus taught that the kingdom would come with power in the lifetime of some of those that heard Him teach. (Mark 9:1) Every person should have a deep interest in the eternal kingdom of God.
Many people find difficulty in considering "the kingdom of God" without thinking of an earthly kingdom. Let us understand that the "kingdom of God" or "kingdom of heaven" and the "church" in the Bible are the same institution. (Matthew 16:18-20) The kingdom is a spiritual kingdom. "Nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21) The church or kingdom of Christ is eternal and indestructible. Therefore, the church of Christ is in existence today. But, how may we know we have found Christ's kingdom or church?
We may know we have found Christ's kingdom by considering the foundation and founder. Jesus Christ purchased the church with His own blood. (Acts 20:28) He is the foundation and founder of it. (1 Corinthians 3:11, Matthew 16:18) Christ is the chief cornerstone for the church. (Ephesians 2:20)
We may know we have found Christ's kingdom by observing the beginning place and time. From Isaiah 2:2-3, Micah 2:4, Luke 24:46-49, Mark 9:1; and Acts 1:8 we learn that the church of Christ or kingdom of God was established in the city of Jerusalem, on the first Pentecost following the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The word of the Lord went forth from Jerusalem after some of those that had heard Jesus speak received power from on high. Any church beginning at any other place or at any other time cannot be the church or the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
We may know we have found Christ's kingdom by observing the law by that it is governed by. Christ's church or kingdom is not governed by creed books, manuals, catechisms, confessions of faith or prayer books. Christ's church is governed by the Bible. The Bible is the word of God. The New Testament was sealed by the blood of Christ. (Matthew 26:28) We today live under and will be judged by that New Covenant. (John 12:48)
We may know we have found Christ's kingdom by observing the worship engaged in by the people. The true church worships "in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) "In spirit" means from the heart. "In truth" means according to God's word. Acts 2:42 describes the worship. True worship includes: (1) The Lord's Supper on the first day of each week (Acts 20:7), (2) Singing from the heart (Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19, with no instrumental music), (3) Sincere prayers offered to God (Acts 2:42), (4) Preaching or teaching of God's word (Acts 20:7), and (5) Giving unto God. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God? If so it is time to become a Christian now! To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (John 6:44-45), believe in Jesus (Hebrews 11:6), repent of sins (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized to be saved. (Acts 22:16) After baptism follow Jesus in faithfulness as He leads you home to heaven. (Matthew 10:22)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA