What does it mean that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us? What does it look like? How does it make us different from others?
The kingdom of heaven is within us. It is not coming with signs that can be observed
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us:
Now He was questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, and He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” And He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look there,’ or, ‘Look here!’ Do not leave, and do not run after them. For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. (Luke 17:20-25 NASB)
The Pharisees were those who sought the Kingdom of God, but did not understand that the Lord Jesus Christ was the central person in that Kingdom. They did not realize that He was the King of kings. They were waiting for the Kingdom of Heaven to come in a way that strikes the eyes, but the Lord Jesus tells them that the Kingdom of God will not come to strike the eyes of man. “It won’t be said, ‘Look here, or look there.’” Jesus says that this Kingdom is within us. Then He spoke these words in the present tense, because He was there with them. Then he tells the disciples that there will come a time when they will want to see one of the days of the Son of Man and will not see it.
The kingdom of God is a state of the heart in which there is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
Another text that speaks to this subject is in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Here the apostle Paul speaks of different opinions. Some Christians believe in one way, others in another way about various things that make up questionable opinions, because they are not essential to our salvation.
Therefore let’s not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this: not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s or sister’s way. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to the one who thinks something is unclean, to that person it is unclean. For if because of food your brother or sister is hurt, you are no longer walking in accordance with love. Do not destroy with your choice of food that person for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:13-17 NASB)
Here they refer to the things they were discussing: food, drink, Sabbath, and more. Here again we see that the Kingdom of God is not food and drink, but a state of heart in which there is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. A state that cannot be attained without the presence of the Holy Spirit and without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Only when the Holy Spirit dwells in a man is the Kingdom of Heaven in him. This state begins here on earth when man begins to believe in the Lord Jesus. Without Him it is impossible to have this state. Jesus wanted to reveal these truths to the Pharisees. They wanted this to be something that caught their eye, but they overlooked the most important thing in the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
May God bless each of us to have this Kingdom in our hearts. We must also be aware that without the Lord Jesus Christ this is impossible. If we do not have Him in us, this Kingdom cannot be in us. If we do not have the Holy Spirit in us, we cannot know this state of righteousness, peace, and joy. This can only be known by being born again and by a sincere faith in the Savior. Only when man makes a final decision to enter into the New Covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ through the water of baptism and to follow in all His teaching as we find it in the pages of Holy Scripture, can his Kingdom have such a state in that person. God begins to work. May God bless you so that everything we have said in the Holy Scriptures may come into being in you.
Translated by Nicoleta Vicliuc