We are watching a growing trend of rejecting the idea that Christ is coming back literally, physically (pre-millennial view) to rule over the nations and establish his governmental rule. They have replaced it with the concept of the church is to take over the world and establish the kingdom of God.
There are over 360 references to a Millennium period where the Messiah, Jesus, will be on earth ruling the nations. The book of Revelation speaks of a thousand years as the length of this period. It tells us where and what will take place as this kingdom is established. It is not possible for one to fit the Scriptures into a present kingdom on earth now.
The kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven is mentioned nearly 100 times in the New Testament, the majority in the Gospels [Matthew and Luke], (Acts 1:3,8:12,14:22, 19:8, 20:25, 28:23,31; Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 4:20, 1 Cor. 6:9-10,1 Cor. 15:50; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5; Col. 1:13, 4:11; II Thess. 1:5; 2 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 12:10)
Matthew 13 tells us about the mystery form of the Kingdom (Mark 4:11), the Gospel Age - in which the Kingdom of God has invaded Satans Kingdom (who is the ruler on earth), rescuing them and bringing them advanced blessings attributed to the millennial reign (Righteousness, peace, forgiveness, and joy, Rom. 14:17). It is the Kingdom without observation, but is discerned spiritually (John 3:3). It is mentioned only twice in Johns gospel by Jesus to Nicodemus John 3:3, 5. In John 3:3 Jesus told Nicodemus, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Jesus further explains in v.6 that one birth is of the flesh (natural) the other is a new birth, (a spiritual birth), which is a necessity. This birth which brings one into the Kingdom (we are to enter the kingdom of God Luke 18:17, 24, 25). It is produced by the seed (the word of God) being scattered on different soil (hearts) and springs to life and grows on the right ground. The seeds that produced the sons of the Kingdom grow together along with the sons of the Evil One until the end of the age - the harvest time. Those of the Kingdom, who have been born into it, will enter into the Kingdom Age with Christ ruling, known as the Millennium; those who do not believe will be rejected. This age has not happened, his literal- physical kingdom has not appeared yet. When we speak of the expansion of Gods kingdom today, it means the spiritual aspect.
In Greek, the word Kingdom is Basileia, which denotes sovereignty, royal power, and dominion. It further denotes the territory or people over whom a King rules (From Vines Expository Dictionary, p. 344). Thus, kingdom is a designation both of power and the form of government as well as, especially in the later writers, the territory and the rule - the Kingship and the Kingdom. Hence, the basic meaning of kingdom involves three things - a ruler, a people who are ruled, and a territory over which they are ruled. (Moody Handbook of Theology p. 352)
We are now servants in His Kingdom, we enter in through Christ by the New Birth, but there is still a literal future Kingdom to come. There is a spiritual aspect to the Kingdom, which is God being the Lord over the believer. This aspect is the invisible spiritual kingdom. Jesus explains in other places that the kingdom will come to earth. Jesus said when He was present on earth, "My kingdom is not of this world," so it has to have a future meaning.
God tells us in His Scripture that there will be a literal, earthly, millennial kingdom where Christ will rule the world from Jerusalem and so there will be a literal, earthly, millennial kingdom where Christ will rule the world from Jerusalem.
Eventually the churches that buy into this will discover they have made a bargain with the devil and their churches will be replaced with a world govt.
Love your input GN!
While the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God share many features, there are important issues which differentiate them. They are not the same. Matthew 13 is about the Kingdom of Heaven which was announced by John Baptist to the Jewish nation as being imminent and available right then, through Jesus. Jesus also proclaimed this until John's death.
KOH only appears in Matthew, and it was of this world. Through Herod, the Jews' King, by rejecting John's message, the Jews rejected the rulership of God in the flesh, and the moment of national redemption passed.
Subsequent to John's martyrdom, Jesus focused solely on the KOG -- "My Kingdom is not of this world."