THE KINGDOM IS NOW BY STEVE FINNELL
Is the kingdom of heaven now or at some future time? The answer is both. The church is the kingdom on earth but there will be an eternal kingdom at the end of time.
Notice : The term "kingdom of God and "kingdom of heaven" are used interchangeably.
Matthew 3:1-2 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
John said the kingdom was at hand. He was not referring to the end of time.
Mark 1:14-15 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
JESUS SAID THE KINGDOM WAS AT HAND.
Luke 9:27 But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God."
Jesus said some would not taste death before the kingdom of God arrived. Why? Because Jesus was talking about His church which came into being on the Day of Pentecost.
Matthew 16:18-19 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven....
Jesus made it clear that Peter would have the keys to the kingdom of heaven on earth (the church of Christ).They were the same keys to enter the eternal kingdom of heaven.
THE EARTHLY KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ARRIVED ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST. THAT WAS THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.THEY WERE ONE AND THE SAME!
Peter used those keys in the 2nd chapter of Acts. Peter preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. When they believed Peter's preaching they ask what they should do. Peter said: Acts 2:38 ...."Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
NOTICE, WHAT PETER SAID WERE THE REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD (THE CHURCH OF CHRIST) AND WHAT JESUS SAID ARE IN AGREEMENT.
JESUS SAID: Mark 1:15 "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
Jesus said belief and repentance are essential to enter the kingdom of God. (His church of earth).
PETER PREACHED THE GOSPEL: (ACTS 2:22-36)
JESUS SAID: John 3:5 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly,truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus said unless you are born of the water (baptism) and the Spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of God (which is the church of Christ).
The apostle Peter links belief in Jesus, repentance, water baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit to entry into the kingdom of God. JESUS DID THE SAME.
You have to be a member of the church of Christ on earth, (THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ON EARTH) in order to to become a member of God's eternal kingdom.
Acts 2:41,47 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 47 .....And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
They were only added to the church of Christ after they believed Peter's preaching of the gospel and were baptized in water. The Lord was adding the saved to His church.
THE KINGDOM GOD ON EARTH, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN OF EARTH, AND THE CHURCH OF CHRIST ON EARTH ARE ONE AND THE SAME. YOU ARE EITHER A MEMBER OF ALL OF THEM OR NONE OF THEM.