The church in America has turned entering the kingdom of God into a prayer to go to heaven. I don’t think that’s what Jesus meant by the kingdom of God at all, at least not entirely. Every time He healed someone or performed a miracle, He told them, “The kingdom of God has come near you.” It’s not a far off place, it’s a lifestyle for us here and now.
Jesus described the kingdom in so many ways, it sounds like the blind men describing an elephant. And because of that, we pick and choose what parts we want to believe and hold onto that truth as if it’s the only truth. But the reality is, the kingdom is amazing and dynamic and unfathomable. It crosses boarders and joins hearts all over the world, transforming them into a magnificent bride. And yet, despite its narrow gate, it’s simple enough for the smallest child to enter.
The kingdom allows us to live like Jesus lived. That means we heal people. We raise loved ones from the dead. We go off alone and commune with our God to hear His voice and receive His great pleasure. We shine the light of this gospel from the mountain top, unashamed of who we are in Christ. We are known by our love.
We have to be transformed to live like that. We have to allow our old attitudes to be shaken and undone. We have to learn to love like Jesus loves, to believe that He is exactly who He says He is. When we can do that, the kingdom of God will not only be in us, it will all but burst to get out, and that will change the world.