A few years ago, it was rare to hear anyone speak about the Kingdom of God. Now, people are writing and speaking about it everywhere.
Jesus spoke about the Kingdom all the time. When Jesus was on earth, the main theme of his teaching was the Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:23). Many of his parables illustrated the Kingdom of God (e.g., Matthew 13). Jesus told his disciples to heal people and tell them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you” (Luke 10:9, NKJV). After his resurrection and before his ascension, Jesus spent forty days talking to his disciples about the Kingdom (Acts 1:3).
Although the epistles of Paul tend to focus more on church, we know that he spoke about the Kingdom too. Acts 28:30-31 describes Paul's message when he was imprisoned in Rome: "For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!"
A focus on the Kingdom means a focus on the King. Who is on the throne of our lives. In the Kingdom, we live surrendered to King Jesus in every area of our lives–living for him every day.
What difference does a focus on the King and the Kingdom make to us as his body today? I believe it is one of the reasons we are seeing a blurring of the distinctives between Christians. We refuse to let the things that have traditionally divided us from our brothers and sisters continue to be a barrier. We will not be divided into charismatics and non-charismatics, or into Baptists and Presbyterians. Furthermore, we will not separate clergy and laity (we are all called to be full time in the Kingdom) or let our lives be divided into sacred (church meetings) and secular (our everyday jobs). All becomes part of the Kingdom. We are as focused on the Kingdom when we do our job for the glory of God as when we spend time at a Christian conference.
What other differences does a focus on the Kingdom make?