27- The Future Kingdom of God

By Colleen Donahue

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It starts with the Kingdom of Heaven where God is. He created earth for man to rule and reign over. Adam and Eve (and the rest of us since) lost our Kingdom to Satan when we disobeyed God and chose to live by our own knowledge of good and evil. Jesus came to bring our kingdom back by bringing back the King to indwell man's heart.

During these days of grace, called the New Covenant period, all who repent of their sin (i.e. of living independent from God) and receive Christ's Spirit into their own, become Kingdom of God citizens here and now. We become citizens in the Kingdom of God (an invisible kingdom) at the same time we are citizens in some country here on earth. They run side by side. But the days of grace will end when Jesus comes back to earth to establish a future kingdom. If you are alive today and in God's Kingdom, you'll still be in his Kingdom after death and part of a new Heaven and earth without the taint of sin and death and evil.

Although we will go to be with God after we die on this fallen earth, we will not stay in Heaven. For God has made us for the earth where we will rule and reign with Him forever. Let's look at what the Bible has to say about a future Kingdom of God.

THE END OF THE BEGINNING

1. Jesus assures us that He will be coming back to set up a future kingdom. There will be a lot of speculation about it but in the end people will be living their lives as normal when Jesus comes and there will be many who won't be ready.
Luke 17:22-36

2. Jesus knew well that at the "end of the ages", before He would be coming back to earth, that his followers would live through things alerting them to the time when this first and fallen earth would be destroyed. As you read Christ's warnings make a list for yourself of what signs and symptoms we will be seeing.
Mark 13:5-31 (also Luke 21:8-36)

What is Jesus' advice to us?
Mark 13:32-37

3. Like Jesus, the Apostle Peter warned the early believers that this fallen world would not last forever and that Jesus would be coming again. What is going to happen to this current fallen world?
2 Peter 3:3-10

Since we know this is going to happen, Peter asks us a question which he then answers for us.
2 Peter 3:11-14

4. We are still waiting today for this fallen world to end and Jesus to return. What two reasons does Peter give us for what seems to us God's slowness to keep his promise?
2 Peter 3:8-9, 15a

It is an indication of how much God loves man. When he sees the last man come to the cross for redemption then the time will have come.

A GREAT TRIBULATION

5. The Bible speaks of a great tribulation coming upon the earth. Although there are differing opinions as to whether believers will need to go through this time, I believe God has a promise to all Kingdom of God citizens who patiently endure.
Revelation 3:10

According to this verse in Thessalonians, when the Lord returns, what will happen to believers who are still alive?
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

This is called "the rapture of the church".

6. If a Kingdom of God citizen is alive at the time the Antichrist makes his appearance, he will be forced to take a stand. What will he need to choose?
Revelation 13:16-18 / Revelation 14:9-12

A DAY OF JUDGMENT

7. Our Father wants all of us to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) and to be a part of the new Heaven and earth. But he cannot violate anyone's free will. A day of judgment has been set for this current world.
Acts 17:31

What will happen on this day of judgment?
Romans 2:16/ 14:12 / 2 Corinthians 5:10 / Revelation 20:12

8. We might think we can hide our true self before God's piercing eyes but that will be impossible. Why?
Hebrews 4:12-13

9. Jesus tells us that at the judgment there will be a lot of surprises. As you read his words in this passage what is the main pivot point that will determine where we spend eternity?
Matthew 25:31-46

Don't miss the fact that it's what we do with those Jesus calls "the least of these" that will make a difference as to our eternal destination. All throughout Christ's three years of teaching he emphasized loving one another. The way we treat others is the eternal pivot point.

10. We know for certain that before a new Heaven and earth begins, the old one will be judged. During this time of judgment the true will be sorted from the false, those who acknowledge the Messiah from those we refuse Him.
Revelation 14:14-20

Note: The harvest divides the wheat from the weeds. The "harvest of the vine" denotes Israel.

A 1000 YEAR REIGN

11. This world is heading for a great final battle between the armies of good and those of evil. We can know this is coming without fearing it because we already know who will win.
Revelation 19:11- Revelation 20:3

12. With the "unholy trinity" ( the Antichrist, false prophet and satan) bound and thrown into "the Abyss", a 1000 year reign will begin on earth. During this period, who will be privileged to reign with Jesus?
Revelation 20:4-5

The saints and martyrs who gave their lives for Jesus on earth will be honored by coming back to life first to rule and reign with Jesus during this 1000 year period.
Revelation 20:6

All other true believers will be raised in the second resurrection when all are assembled for judgment.

13. For all of us who endure patiently while on this fallen earth and hold onto what we have in Jesus, God promises us many things.
Revelation 2:10-11, 17, 25-28 / 3:5, 11-12, 21

Note: To have the name of God written on them means that they will have God-like characters.

14. One thing we know for sure is that God will take care of his own. 144,000 Jews will be brought into Christ's fold during the tribulation and they are dispersed around the world to share the gospel. How will they be kept from harm?
Revelation 7:1-8

15. When the 1000 year reign of Christ with his saints comes to an end, what happens next?
Revelation 20:7-9a

Notice that by all appearances evil has outnumbered the good and surrounded the camp of God's people for the final kill. But what does God do?
Revelation 20:9b

This is called deliverance. When we cannot do for ourselves, then God is able to undertake for us.

What is the final outcome for Satan and his forces?
Revelation 20:10

Note: Hell was made for Satan and his minions and not for men. Only those who choose it themselves instead of God's redemption through Jesus will go there.
Revelation 21:8

A NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH

16. When evil is finally destroyed for good and the first Heaven and earth gone, it will be time for the new Heaven and earth. As you read this chapter make a list as to some of the details for this new Heaven and earth.
Revelation 21:1-27 -- Revelation 22:1-6

EPILOGUE

"Religion" talks about going to Heaven when we die, but the Kingdom of God is all about man ruling and reigning on the earth. Heaven may be our home for awhile, but when God establishes a new Heaven and earth we will return to earth to develop the universe with Him. It's what we were originally created for. We will not be sitting on clouds playing the harp. We will be a partner with God in developing his ever expanding universe.

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