Tag Archives: kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God

“Ron – what is God’s Kingdom?” The easy answer is: “Where God rules!” Fair enough, but you might want to know where that is and more about the Kingdom itself. Let’s start with a bit of information about what is the Kingdom of God.

Indeed, the Kingdom of God is where God the Father rules. His Kingdom is where the Bible calls the 3rd heaven.

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago–whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows–such a man was caught up to the third heaven. … was caught up into Paradise … —2 Corinthians 12:2-4.

The first heaven is the space above where birds fly; the second is the cosmos where the constellations hang.

… both humans and beasts, creeping thing and birds of heaven (Genesis 6:7, ESV).

And take heed, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven … (Deuteronomy 4:19, NASB).

The Father rules the third heavenly domain with the Son – the one we English-speaking folks call Jesus, the Christ.

When Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God —Hebrews 10:12.

 You might ask, “Doesn’t Jesus reign here on earth – in our hearts?”

Sort of … First, Jesus made clear that He and the Father are ‘preparing a place’ for the faithful. When ready, He will gather them. So, the Kingdom of Heaven isn’t physically here. But, you could say that the Kingdom of Heaven is ‘already within reach although it’s not here yet.’

Second, the Spirit of God given by the Father connects the faithful to His Kingdom and helps them persevere while they wait for Father and Son’s physical reign.

Third, heaven and earth will become one (in a sense) when evil, the world, and death are destroyed, and God makes all things new, returning creation to the perfection it enjoyed at the very beginning of human time. When that happens, the Kingdom of Heaven will be on the new earth and Father and Son will reign and dwell among creation.

To tie everything together, the Kingdom of God (the Kingdom of Heaven) is physically in the ‘third heaven’ but will be on the new earth in the coming age when the Father makes all things new and dwells with His creation. That Kingdom is now within reach for those who acknowledge Him as the King of their lives, entirely devoting all they are and have to Him (see Matthew 22:37). The Spirit He gives in return becomes the connection to the Kingdom until the new age comes.

Blessings and peace, Ron Braley

Being Nice is, well, nice . . . but Kindness is the Commandment!

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. —James 2:14-17.

But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. —Matthew 21:28-30.

A smile or nice word may make the initiator and recipient feel good. But being ‘nice’ or tickling peoples’ ears by saying what we think they want to hear does nothing for obedience to our God or Christ’s commandments. And that’s what matters.

Instead, love others with the love of our God and Christ – the kind of love that exclaims, “I’m going to do the right thing by you despite how I feel” – the Greek ‘agape’ love. Smile or not. Wax eloquent in speech or spew words dripping in honey . . . or don’t. Regardless, act out of faith and honor your heavenly Father in true worship (i.e. self-control of your body) and your fellow human through benevolence. After all, that’s how we’ll be judged in the last days.

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’” —Matthew 25:34-36.

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!

The “A-B-C’s” of Repentance and Forgiveness

True repentance, which is a ‘change in behavior brought about by a change of heart’, is absolutely necessary for forgiveness. And, forgiveness is indeed necessary for salvation from God’s judgment to come. Therefore, as the Bible points out so well, repentance is necessary for salvation.

Is repentance a saying, “I’m sorry”? No (see 2Corinthians 7:9-10)! This is why we tend to repeat sinful behavior. Yes, we must be sorrowful as a natural component of the ‘change of heart’ necessary for repentance. But, we don’t truly repent unless we’ve taken action to remove whatever is causing us to stumble (Jesus discussed this in Matthew 5:29-30).

To reiterate, doing something that’s sinful can be remediated (and forgiven) through repentance – acknowledging that what we’ve done (or intend to do) is opposite of God’s ways and then taking action to ensure the act (or intended act) won’t be repeated. Do this and God will be more than willing to forgive the offense or intention to commit it.

“Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.” —Ezekiel 18:31-32.

“and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” —Luke 24:46-47.

 “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;” —Acts 3:17-19.

“You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.” —Acts 8:21-22.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. —1John 1:9.

On a related note, repeating sinful actions constitutes sinful behavior – something God has no tolerance for. In fact, we’re taught that He will leave us to our own rebellious behavior and execute wrath at His judgment if we continue to practice sin.

Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” —Acts 17:30-31.

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS —Romans 2:5-6.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. —Galatians 5:19-21. (See also Ephesians 5:5-6)

So, ‘feel’ sorry, but turn that sorrow into action in the same way that ‘belief’ must result in action – obedience – to our God and Christ. Repent, obey, and live!

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!