As the church has retreated from the world, it has also lost its hope for the victory of the kingdom of God. But God is in control of this universe, and he has promised that his kingdom will be victorious. Jesus likened the kingdom to a mustard seed which is small, but grows into a might tree.
The kingdom of God started off small but will grow mighty and powerful, as the rule of God spreads like leaven through the whole of society (Matthew 13:31-33).
Jesus promised that the meek would inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). The meek are those who are submitted totally to God. As God's people submit to him, his kingdom will spread throughout the whole earth. It is because Jesus knew that God would fulfil this promise that he taught us to pray: Thy kingdom come. Jesus taught this prayer because he knew that the kingdom of God would eventually come in all its fullness.
There is a good description of the glory of the kingdom in Daniel 7. Daniel saw the Ancient of Days seated on a throne like flaming fire and surrounded by millions of angels. This is God the Father ruling over the whole of creation. Then Daniel saw,
In my vision at night I looked, there before me was one like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed (vv. 13,14).
This is not the second coming as Jesus comes on the clouds into the Father's presence. (If it were the second coming he would be going the other way.) Daniel saw a vision of the ascension of Jesus. He went into the presence and received authority and sovereign power. He sat down at the right hand of the Father and received the Kingdom of promise (Eph 1:20-23). Daniel then saw later stage of the coming of the Kingdom. He saw the Kingdom being established by God's people.
Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole of heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the most high. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him (vv. 27,28).
Daniel saw the people of God taking up the power and authority that Jesus would establish for them, by his death and resurrection. He saw all those who are in places of authority submitting to God. When this happens, the kingdom of God has truly come.
As the church has retreated from the world, the belief has developed that the kingdom will not be established until Jesus returns. This is a false doctrine. It has led Christians to sit round and wait for Jesus to come, leaving the world in the hands of Satan. But the Bible teaches that the kingdom of God will be established through the proclamation of the gospel, and renewed Christians applying the Word of God to every area of life. When the majority of people are Christian, and when they hold most positions of authority, and are exercising their authority on biblical principles, the kingdom of God will be a reality.
The Kingdom of God is to be established by the people of God, as they proclaim the entire Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ will be ruling his kingdom through the Church. When the kingdom has been established, there will be a final rebellion. Only then will Jesus return in glory, bringing the end of the world and the final judgement. The work of the Church will then be complete.
Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. I Corinthians 15:24,28
Return to the Kingdom of God.