Matthew 3:1-2 Kingdom of Heaven; Kingdom of God

Kingdom of Heaven Matt 3:1-2 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

When John began preaching he said, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  However, when Jesus preached, he not only preached the kingdom of heaven, he also preached the kingdom of God (Mk 1:15).  The question arises, “Are these the same kingdom or are they different?”

To the casual observer they may appear to be the same kingdom.  Indeed many preachers and teachers believe they are the same.  In fact, these two kingdoms do have numerous similarities.  Nevertheless, they also have irreconcilable differences that clearly show these two kingdoms cannot be identical.

In the following table, you can identify the similarities and disparities between these two kingdoms and locate the verses where they are found.  The reason for the similarities in these two kingdoms is readily apparent when you consider that both kingdoms have the same king.

A careful examination of the disparities, though, demonstrates that the kingdom of heaven definitely has something to do with an earthly, visible kingdom.  Righteousness in that kingdom is obtained by “doing” the commandments and it is a kingdom that can be taken by force.  It is also a kingdom that is only mentioned by name in the book of Matthew.

You might ask, “If it has to do with a visible kingdom on earth, then why does the Bible call it the kingdom  of HEAVEN?”  Actually, the answer to that is fairly simple.  The word “heaven” is not solely a reference to the place where saved people go after they die.  Heaven is also a reference to the “firmament” that contains the solar system (Gen. 1:6-8) and to the expanse in the sky where birds fly (Gen. 1:20).  That’s why Paul referred to the place we normally call “heaven” as the “third heaven,” (2 Cor 12:2).

The kingdomof God, on the other hand, is a spiritual kingdom that is entered by the new birth apart from keeping the commandments.  When you get saved, you enter that kingdom and it is within you.  When you die and go to heaven, you will be able to “see” that kingdom.  It will be visible on earth only when the Lord returns.  By dissimilarity, it is a kingdom that cannot be inherited by flesh and blood; it can only be inherited by those who have received a glorified body.

Confusion abounds when you fail to make the distinction between these two kingdoms.  For example, when churches view these kingdoms as the same, they will teach that salvation
in the New Testament has something to do with keeping the law.  This belief is very common.  Many others will profess that the Lord will not rule over a literal earthly kingdom.
Instead, they believe that he is already ruling spiritually from heaven, thus denying the literal return of the Lord to rule on earth for a thousand years.  That’s dangerous business!!

At hand Matt 3:2 Mk 1:15 At hand
Jesus preached it Matt4:17 Mk 1:15 Jesus preached it
Disciples preached it Matt 10:7 Lk 9:2 Disciples preached it
Has a mystery form Matt13:11 Lk 8:10 Has a mystery form
Entered w/ child-like faith Matt 18:3 Mk 10:15 Entered w/ child-like faith
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and those from East
and West
Matt8:11 Lk 13:28-9 Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and those from East
and West
Hard for Rich men to enter Matt19:23 Mk 10:23 Hard for Rich men to enter
See it come w/ power Matt 16:28-
Mk 9:1Lk 9:27 See it come w/ power
Must do the commandments Matt5:19 Jn 3:3,5 Must be born again
Righteousness must exceed Pharisees Matt5:20 2 Cor5:21Rom 10:3 Righteousness must be God’s
From John the Baptist suffers Violence
violent take by force
Matt11:12 Lk 16:16 Law and Prophets until John, preached since
Keys for binding and loosing Matt16:19 Jn 10:7 No keys, a door
Pharisees shut Matt23:13 Rev 3:7 No man can shut
Ten virgins meet the bridegroom Matt 25:1 2 Cor 11:2 Bride marries the bridegroom
Parable of the talents Matt 25:14 Lk 19:12- Parable of the pounds
Lk 17:20-1 Comes not w/ observation, it’s w/in you
Mk 14:53Lk 23:51 Joseph waited for it
Lk 19:11 Some thought it would appear then
1 Cor 15:50-55 Flesh and blood can’t inherit it