Three Common Misunderstandings of the Kingdom of God

As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. (Luke 19:11 ESV)

Many believers struggle to understand God’s kingdom. Grasping this concept is crucial for embracing our personal and corporate calling in Christ. This devotional addresses three misconceptions: the kingdom as a physical kingdom, reigning over people, and the belief that it’s only a future occurrence.

When we hear “kingdom,” we often think of historical or contemporary kings and their dominions. It’s easy to mistakenly equate God’s kingdom with earthly ones. However, as Jesus told Pilate, His kingdom is not of this world—it is different from the kingdom Pilate ruled over.

The second misconception involves earthly kingdoms, where rulers exert authority over subjects. God’s kingdom isn’t about controlling others. While God instituted an authority structure in the Church, He commands His leaders to serve His people rather than reign over them as earthly kings do( Matthew 20:25-26).

The third misconception is that the kingdom of God is still to come. Though Jesus will physically reign as the expected Davidic king during the Millennium, this is a small facet of the kingdom, focused on God’s purposes for Israel. Today, God’s kingdom is here, with King Jesus both present and still coming!

When the Apostles asked Jesus when the kingdom would come, they expected Israel’s physical kingdom restoration. Jesus’ response revealed the kingdom begins with the Holy Spirit—the power of God—enabling them to begin reign here and now by pulling people from hell, building His Church, living for God, etc (Acts 1:8, Luke 11:10).

God’s kingdom is marked by righteousness, joy, peace, love, and triumph over sin, Satan, fear, disease, shame, lack, etc. Consider Jesus’ life, the embodiment of the kingdom, always in command without being an earthly king or authoritarian leader.

May the Lord help us understand and enforce His kingdom.

Meditate

What is the kingdom of God?

Apply the Word

Are you a kingdom man or woman? Is God’s kingdom established in your life, home, and world? The Lord desires His kingdom to grow like a stone, becoming a mighty mountain filling the earth. Seek first His kingdom!

Pray

Ask the Father to help us understand and function in His kingdom.

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