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The Kingdom of God
Pear gates, marble stairs and a throne of gold, or an inner area in the hidden depths of our own soul? Which can describe the true kingdom of God, a real physical world or a place that is only seen in ones hearts. Some would say it to be a place above man, built by God to be a home for peoples' souls after death. Others might say that it is no more than a place inside us that can only be reached through the right decisions and acts of kindness. A place that is not seen or discussed but only felt in a way that is incomparable to any feeling ever felt by the living. Yet while people retain their own images of the Kingdom of God the Bible itself gives a subtle definition through a series of parables or short stories, told by Jesus in order to pass along the message of who is God and what is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus, through his sayings and parables showed that the kingdom was being revealed in his own life and work. He preached his message of the coming of the kingdom through memorable stories, which in his day could and did relate to things of everyday life. Though most of Jesus' followers didn't recognize the kingdom till after his death it was still brought to them by the Holy Spirit with a full understanding of his word and actions. Yet it was evidently difficult for them to understand before his death due to the previous ideas of the kingdom as a whole. Like many people of today those in Jesus' time viewed Gods' kingdom as a place above them yet unlike people today thought more literal terms actually believing that God was above them and was looking down on them. Even now, when in prayer, one may have a tendency to look up at the heaven in reverence since next to God it is the most endless, unexplainable thing in the world. Yet people are still able to know that as they look up they see God just the same as if they shut their eyes in prayer were to the people of Jesus' time God was seen as truly sitting above them in his kingdom in which only those who follow the laws exactly would ever see.
To truly understand the kingdom of God people have to have ways to describe it. One type of description used is the Kingdom as the redemptive or saving presents of God. By this one would say that the kingdom is seen through the natural love, kindness, and common curtsy people show each other ever day. Through these acts Gods redemptive prussic and the growth of his kingdom are evident. The Kingdom being understood as Gods one action, this universe, to create an environment in which all persons can enter into Gods community is another idealism that stands to represent the K of G. With this view, the kingdom is not thought to be a place in which our good deeds will gradually build but as a place were our good deeds will help us be in tune with Gods one action enabling us to discover the kingdom that God has already placed for us. Then for many people there is the kingdom of God in the literal sense. Some think that the kingdom is heaven or a spiritual sanctuary was those who lived their life for the Lord would eventually go after death. This outlook, as common as it maybe, depletes the real message behind the teachings of Jesus who tough that there is so much more to the kingdom than just a place for the faithful after death.
Throughout the Bible Jesus' adds a list of saying as a type of guideline for one to enter the Kingdom of God known as the Beatitudes. Phrases such as "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy" God revealed in his own life and work. He preached his message of the coming of the kingdom, yet before his death, due to the previous ideas of the kingdom most of his own people did not understand his teachings. It was hard for them to change their already set views of God being so far above them. Yet after his death the holy spirit helped to guide them to the truth. This shows Jesus was part of Gods' plan to show the apostles and all who wanted to listen the true path to the Kingdom. And for some the kingdom was found and was a part of their life if they chose to except it. But what was there for some was not there for others.
At times when reading the bible one hears a numerous amount of contradictions in the bible. Jesus said that the kingdom is coming or that it was soon be here while at other times he says that it was among them and is present. In a way Jesus says to the people that the kingdom is here, but not yet. In reality this is not as contradictory as it may sound. Through Jesus' death and resurrection God mad himself present and in doing so relieved man and provided all that was needed to fight against sin making the kingdom very close at hand. This justifies "it is here". Yet in freeing us from sin, we were still aloud the free will that separates us from the animal. The will to live, love and if we so chose sin. And it is those times when we chose to sin that pushes the splendor of Gods' kingdom out of our reach, justifying the "Not yet."
In today's times people live the values of the Kingdom in there own ways. Some spend there hours in a church worshipping and paying. Other just try to live a life free of sins that can be avoided. I do a little of both. I'm not the most religious person, nor do I spend too much time at church but I do know good from bad and right from wrong. In my life I rely on what I now and feel. To hurt others feels wrong so I try not to. To steal feels wrong so I don't. Though this sounds easy enough, maintaining such a simple set of guidelines is a most difficult thing to do. Everyday so many temptations arise, so many chance to fall into greed and hatred yet to resist everyday, to say no to the things we want so bad but will only mean trouble for us is and always has been the real challenge. So maybe I don't do great deeds or save the world from evil but I can save myself from it, I can chose not to do wrong and I can certainly take those small steps closer to the kingdom god has waiting for me to find.
I feel that right now in my life I am a "Kingdom person." God and I have our disagreements at times but all-in-all I do all I know how to do to be the best person I can be. I don't always go out of my way to help those who may like it but I will give my life to help any one who needs it. So as a person of God I feel that right now I am a "Kingdom person."
The Kingdom of God is a place yet not a place. It is here but not yet. It is to be found and looks to find us. And no matter who you are or what you believe the kingdom is, if one lives right, follows their heart and does as all men were given the right to do, which is chose God, what ever they feel is the utmost beauty of Gods creations. For it is one's faith that will lead him and what he has faith in he'll find.