What Is the Kingdom of God?
Nicholas Perrin recently sat down with us to talk about the Kingdom of God. Take a look at some highlights from our conversation:
The kingdom of God is this compelling vision that Jesus shares with us. It’s rooted in a much longer story—a story shaped by great books like Daniel, like Deuteronomy, like Genesis. But I think for many Christians, if they’re honest, they’re not really quite sure what the kingdom is about.
Kingdom is one of those terms that we Christians throw around, as if we all know what we’re talking about, as if we’re all talking about the same thing. Often, if you scratch below the surface, you see that we’re not talking about the same thing.
What difference does the kingdom really make?
Many of us struggle with these questions. What difference does the kingdom really make to my everyday life? How do I work that out personally? If I belong to this kingdom, what’s my identity as a kingdom member?
I remember when I first came to Christ when I was a sophomore in college. I didn’t know anything about the Bible, didn’t know anything about God. But those who led me to Christ had me memorize Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you as well.”
Sometimes, I would have a choice to make. Do I go to this particular conference, or do I study for this test coming up on Monday? People would give me advice: “I want to show you Matthew 6:33. If you’re really seeking first the kingdom, you’ll go to this Christian conference, right?”
I would often say yes—I’d choose the Christian conference over studying.
But wait—do my studies matter to God? Is studying part of the kingdom? And how does what I do for a living matter to the kingdom?
The Kingdom of God and the Gospels
I’ve been studying the gospels for decades, and my specialty is in Jesus and the gospels. As I go through the gospels, I continue to be in awe about what Jesus has to say about the kingdom. It doesn’t matter how long I spend in the gospels, I’m always learning new things and it’s shaping the way I understand the kingdom.
What I really want to do with this book is bring the kingdom back where it belongs—not only square in the middle of the story of creation, in the middle of the story of Adam, but also in the middle of the story of Israel.
What the kingdom asks us to do is buy into its story and participate in a new identity.
Whether you’re a pastor or whether you’ve got a doctorate or whether you became a Christian yesterday and now starting to read the Bible, whatever level you may be, this book can begin to unpack the mystery of the kingdom.
Be sure to check out Nicholas Perrin’s book, The Kingdom of God: A Biblical Theology.