The Kingdom of God

From the very earliest days of Christianity, the kingdom of God, or the city of God, has been a subject of hope or of aspiration to the religious-minded. It has been the theme of hymns, of sermons, of books; and yet we must acknowledge that to the great majority of Christian the views entertained about this kingdom seem to be based more on the symbolic imagery of the book of Revelation than on the many statements on the subject made by Christ Jesus, the Founder of Christianity.

Modern thought has no doubt shaken the foundations of this imaginary heaven, leaving in its place only a vague belief in a state of contentment or satisfaction; but it is doubtful if many professing Christians could give a definite answer to the question, "What or where is the kingdom of God or heaven?" All they would say positively is that it is not to be attained here and now, but in some future state, that is after death.

This view is the more surprising when one considers that in the many things Jesus of Nazareth said about the kingdom of God in no instance did he make any assertions that resemble the prevailing beliefs about it. He intimated three very definite conditions as pertaining to the kingdom of God: first, that it is a state of progressive activity; secondly, that through repentance it would be found to be "at hand"; and thirdly, that it would not come through observation, that is, from without, because it is, as he said, "within you."

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July 27, 1935

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