If Jesus wanted an earthly kingdom, He already had the opportunity to usher it in, and refused it. Where we find this is in John 6:15: “When Jesus therefore perceived that they [the Jews] would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.” This verse shows that the Jews were ready then to establish an earthly reign with Jesus as their king. Jesus, however, wasn’t there to set up a physical, earthly kingdom, for when He was asked whether He was a King or not, Jesus answered Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm” (John 18:36 NASB). Jesus said here that His kingdom was not of this “cosmos,” so why do some still say Jesus’ greatest desire is to establish a kingdom on this terra firma?
The Bible never says God’s Kingdom was for a select few persons chosen by their natural birth, neither does it say it has boundaries that are defined by physical borders. Rather the Bible is very clear that the people of God’s Kingdom are those who were born again through Jesus’ Gospel of death, burial, and resurrection. Their obedience to that message makes them a partaker in the spiritual inheritance of the fullness of God. This inheritance does not consist of a physical city, physical land, or religious organization, but is instead the Church, the New Jerusalem, the true Israel of God (see John 17:20-23; Romans 8:17; Hebrews 11:10)!
Paul describes the location of Jesus’ Kingdom in Romans 14:17: “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Paul went on to describe this Kingdom as, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). The Bible shows the Lordship Jesus desires is not within the borders of a country, but rather within the hearts of mankind. The writer of Hebrews acknowledges this, and proclaims that this is only available through the New Covenant message: “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” Here the writer says Jesus will NOT establish His people through the Old Covenant of Law, but that God will establish His Kingship in a new place: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:8-10). This is not speaking of a physical land, but a spiritual reality that believers in Jesus receive from the New Covenant message of Jesus Christ.
The true message of Jesus Christ was His whole gospel to His whole world, which encompasses all Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles! Men of all races receiving this inheritance is the promise that God gave to Abraham. Paul relates this truth in Galatians 3:29 when he says, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Also see Mark 16:15; Luke 26:46-49; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:6, Romans 10:12; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11). Hebrews 11:16 shows that Abraham looked not for a Canaan that was a physical land, but that he looked for a spiritual land in which his descendants could partake: “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city” (Also see Matthew 25:34; John 8:56-58; Acts 3:18-26, Acts 13:26; Romans 4:1-25, Romans 9:1-33; Galatians 3:6-29. Galatians 4:22-31; Hebrews 11:8-16). A person does not have to wait for some coming last days to enter into the Promised Land, because it is available now, as an inheritance to every believer in Jesus Christ! Jesus is our inheritance and He is our hope (see Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 3:14, 26-29; Ephesians 3:3-6; Colossians 1:26-27)!
These first three lessons provided evidence that the literal interpretation for the fulfillment of Abraham’s Promised Land is now a past reality. The next set of lessons we will give scriptural evidence for why the possession of this land was lost, and what the Bible says must be done before anyone could return to live within its physical borders with God’s blessings.
Copyright © 2004 TK Burk. All Rights Reserved.