What and Where is the Kingdom of God?

Throughout the New Testament we read that Jesus came to establish a kingdom. In the opening section of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus begins his ministry by proclaiming, “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15 NIV) His preaching, healing, and exorcism ministry continued throughout the Gospels as a demonstration of the power of the coming kingdom of God. Indeed, in the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he asked of the Father, “Your kingdom come, your will be done…” (Matthew 6:9)

Later, the kingdom also proves to be the substance of the Apostle Paul’s gospel message: “He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” (Acts 28:23).

But what exactly is God’s kingdom? Do any and all acts of kindness or compassion qualify? Does it exist outside of the church? In today’s Seven Minute Seminary, Dr. Scot McKnight makes the case for what he calls a robust kingdom, which is marked by at least the five following qualities:

  1. The kingdom of God has a king, and this king is Jesus.
  2. The kingdom of God has a king who rules.
  3. The kingdom of God has a distinct people.
  4. The kingdom of God has a law.
  5. The kingdom of God has a land.

View all of the references to “kingdom” in the Old Testament on Scot’s blog here. View the New Testament references on Bible Gateway here. Scot McKnight has written a book about the kingdom of God called Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church (Brazos Press, 2016). Get it here (affiliate link).

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One Response

  1. Hi Scott,

    Thank you for a great talk and sharing your well studied perspective on the kingdom of God. As I was listening to you talk, I was reminded of another way of expressing the kingdom. There is a popular notion of replacing kingdom talk with that of kin-dom. To be honest, it seems to be growing as a very popular and acceptable concept to which I really am struggling with. It also seems to me to be a suble way to undermine the true biblical concept of kingdom that you most clearly pointed out in your discussion. Do you have any thoughts on how I should be absorbing this new concept and how it relates to what you so clearly pounted out? Also, are there good theolgical discussions that you are aware of that could shed more insight on the kingdom vs kin-dom conversation? I am only able to find support for the kin-dom side of the argument on line it seems and not ao much comes up with another voice countering “kin-dom” from the “kingdom” position.


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