The Kingdom of God vs. the Kingdoms of the World

Here is a quote from a book by Gregory A Boyd that is the basis for this post:

The heart of Jesus’ teaching was “the kingdom of God”. He spoke about that topic more frequently than any other, and it pervades all his actions as well. Indeed, the Gospels make it clear that Jesus was the embodiment – the incarnation – of the kingdom of God. When Jesus was present, so was that kingdom (Matt 12:28 and Matt 3:2 & 4:17). Though the world as a whole was and remains part of the domain in which Satan is king, in Jesus the domain in which God is king has been introduced into the world. A central goal of Jesus’ life was to plant the seed of his new kingdom so that, like a mustard seed, it would gradually expand. Eventually that kingdom would end the rule of Satan and reestablish God, the Creator of the world, as its rightful ruler (Matt 13:31-32). In other words, Jesus came to destroy the cosmic “power over” lord and establish the kingdom of God upon the earth. (Heb 2:14, 1John 3:8)

The kingdoms of the world are all about power. They have big police forces to enforce their rule, big armies to drive people into submission, and overall power to enforce their wills. The kingdom of God is about service, love, and fellowship. It is about taking care of those on the margins of society, being our brothers keeper, being a servant not a ruler.

We Christians should never be too aligned with the kingdoms of the world. It puts a bad face on God and is certainly not furthering the kingdom of God on earth. Given the sinfulness of man and Satan’s rule over the earth it is quite impossible for any kingdom of the world to be like the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God must be won one soul at a time.