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The kingdom of heaven within us

The kingdom of heaven for many people is a vague concept. For some, the phrase conjures up visions of human perfection set in another world, a place far away and completely separate from earth. They may view admittance into this heaven as a reward in the afterlife for living morally on earth. Some people, however, accept Christ Jesus' freeing concept of heaven, which is described in the Gospel of Luke as "the kingdom of God ... within you" (17:21).

The New Testament records that Jesus discussed this kingdom frequently. It is apparently a subject he wanted his followers to grasp clearly. For instance, in the Lord's Prayer—that greatest of Christian prayers given to us by Jesus—kingdom and heaven are the only subjects mentioned twice. The Master also presented numerous parables explaining the kingdom of heaven (see, for example, Matt. 13:24—50). He brought up the subject three times in the Beatitudes (see Matt. 5:3–12).

In next week's Sentinel—
June 27, 1994

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