Jesus Christ is King over the entire world – as sovereign Judge, yes; as a Redeemer, no. No one is a citizen of Jesus' kingdom by virtue of his humanity. With vested interest let us examine and consider the nature of the kingdom of God, also known as the kingdom of Heaven. (These are not two separate kingdoms, as the dispensationalists teach, but these interchangeable terms refer to two aspects of the kingdom, as will be evident below; it is God's kingdom, and it is heavenly.)
At Jesus' hastily arranged meeting with Pontius Pilate, The Savior and Pontius' boss told him My kingdom is not of this world, not of this world's means, methods, or devices; not mob ruled but God ruled; not as men pleasers, nor after the flesh but after the spirit. Furthermore, He told Nicodemus that except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. One's very ability to even detect or observe the kingdom of God requires the new birth, ending all hope of the wicked desiring to prosecute God on His turf, or the Jehovah Witnesses earthly paradise based on their false gospel, or even of those who profess Him as Lord, Lord. To His elect, Jesus says it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them — the Pilates, Herods, false professors, and all the unrighteous — it is not given.
This kingdom is entered through much tribulation. Its citizens are poor in spirit, even persecuted for righteousness sake, yet are rich in faith. This God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed ... but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever. The kingdom of God comes with power, and is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Perhaps you are sensing this is a very different kingdom, and in this case, your senses do not lie to you. In a single setting Jesus told His audience that this kingdom can be compared to a man which sowed good seed in his field, a grain of mustard seed, leaven, treasure hid in a field, a merchant man seeking goodly pearls, and a net. This kingdom has keys, and Jesus freely gives them to His children. Speaking of children, Jesus said except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus also disclosed unusual insights about this kingdom. He preached that the kingdom of God was at hand, requiring repentance for entry. He told the chief priests and elders that harlots and publicans entered the kingdom of God before them because the latter repented, while they did not. Worse yet for them, He declared the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Jesus went to a shocking extreme, warning that if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. He skewered all godless magnates with a harsh proclamation, saying, How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God, noting that camels could enter through a needle's eye with greater ease. Given America's great wealth, this should send a chill through our entire land. For true religion is the love of God, rather than the world; the love of Jesus and His cause, more than gold.
The bottom line is that the kingdom of God cometh not with observation, but the kingdom of God is within you. It is a spiritual kingdom, silently working in men's hearts, to conform them to the image of Christ. When He comes, this kingdom shall be revealed in its full glory, as when a grain of corn becomes the towering stalk. It is in progress even now. It is a kingdom when at the end, He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. Press on dear Christian, and endure all hardships, for we are inheriting a perfect, righteous kingdom which has no end.
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.
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