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Books on the Kingdom of God and Church

Describe about the Kingdom of God and Relates to Church.

George Eldon Ladd, 1993, A Theology of the New Testament, Revised Edition Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.  

The first book that is a part of this annotated bibliography is also by George Eldon Ladd and is titled, A Theology of the New Testament. The theology of the author is rich with the substance of kingdom of God. Therefore it can be said that this is Biblical theology that has been shaped by inaugurating eschatology from start to finish. The result is that it can be said that the book in itself makes a fantastic reading. However the only complaint that can be made regarding this book is that it does not as comprehensive as expected by the the readers, for example in context of some sections of NT like Hebrew are not as robust as the readers would have liked them to be. However overall it is a good book concerning the topic of kingdom of God and how it is related to the church.

Derek J. Morphew, 2007, Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom, Vineyard International Publishing  

The next book that is a part of this annotated bibliography is Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom, by Derek J. Morphew. Regarding this book, it can be said that the book provides a vineyard perspective regarding the kingdom of God. This is an easy to read book and it provides an explanation of the heavier scholarly books of the other authors. Therefore, it can be said that in this book the author has done a significant job of tracing the Old Testament and the New Testament perspectives regarding the kingdom of God and at the same time, this book has also provided a clear-cut section related to the implications of inaugurating and enacted theory relating to the kingdom of God. Therefore, the author mentions that a specific way is present to live in the kingdom of God with specific commitment to active rule and reign of Jesus that is demonstrated by the work of the Spirit through the church.

Russell D. Moore, 2004, The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective, Crossway Books.

The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective, by Russell D. Moore can be described as the place to start for the evangelicals who are interested in how the framework of kingdom of God should be integrated into a movement. Regarding this book, it can be said that it is too bad that a number of theologians and pastors have overlooked this book. This book provides significant insightful thinking regarding the kingdom of God and also explains how he inaugurated eschatology has an impact on ecclesiology.

The Significance of the Kingdom of God for Christians

George Eldon Ladd, 1996, The Presence of the Future: The Eschatology of Biblical Realism, William B Eerdmans Publishing Co.

The last book of this annotated bibliography is The Presence of the Future: The Eschatology of Biblical Realism, by George Eldon Ladd. This book can be described as one of the best scholarly work regarding the kingdom of God. In this book, the author has traced the kingdom of God by adopting a redemptive and historical perspective and has conclusively demonstrated that the kingdom of God started to Jesus and will be consummated after the death of Jesus.

Bender, Harold and Friedmann, Robert (2010) Hutterite Studies, H. B. Book Centre

In this book, the author has stated that according to the kingdom of God theology, a difference is present between the current world that is ruled by Satan in which we live and the world that is ruled by God, or his kingdom. In this way, according to the kingdom of God theology, significance is attached to the kingdom of God as a core value and it teaches that the kingdom of God is present in the world currently but it is not yet in its fullness.

Bielo, James (2011). Emerging Evangelicals: Faith, Modernity, and the Desire for Authenticity. NYU Press

The author states that the kingdom of God will come in fulness with the second coming of Christ. In the future fulfillment, Satan and evil will be destroyed and the complete rule of God will be established on the earth.

Bowden, John; Richardson, Alan (1983) The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology, Westminster John Knox Press

It has been argued by this author that the kingdom of God encompassed the signs and wonders as well as social justice. Although the kingdom theology has presented history as the struggle that is going on between God and Satan, the eschatological expectation is also present according to which God will triumph over the Satan, which is the reason due to which, suffering for the sake of the Kingdom has been excerpted.

Enns, Peter (2011). Ecclesiastes. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.

In this work, the author has stated that according to the kingdom of God theology an attempt has been made to explain both the spiritual victory as well as the continued spiritual warfare and also the reason why some people are seen to be healed by the Holy Spirit and why some are not.

Essay: What is the kingdom of God and how does it relate to Church?

Jesus had constantly talked about the kingdom of God. Therefore, it can be said that concept of kingdom of God was at the center of his teachings and his life. In this essay, an attempt has been made to develop an understanding of the concept of kingdom of God and also how it is related to the church. In this regard, it needs to be noted that the kingdom of God has always remained in existence. It is the divine order, the government of heaven and the functions of the kingdom are eternal.[1] However the enemy rebelled against God and the result was that the kingdom was fractured and in one sense, a part of the kingdom was ‘captured’. The kingdom of darkness by the established by the enemy was trying to overthrow the kingdom of God or at least to thwart the purpose of God in his kingdom. However, God has allowed on this and it is being used by God for accomplishing his will and purpose.[2] God covenanted with the Son for the purpose of making him Man's redeemer and also restorer of breach in the kingdom. By his resurrection, Jesus was made savior and the Lord. God has established His King who is going to rule until everything is brought into subjection to Him. Then He will turn over the restored Kingdom.

The Kingdom of God in the Scriptures

In the same way, another question that needs to be asked in this regard is what is the meaning of the Kingdom of God for the Christians? For a number of people, it can be another irrelevant religious term that is used for describing the unrealistic vision of the Christians. In the same way, some persons may also consider the existence of the kingdom of God as a part of the church. When theologians are confronted on this issue, some of them claim that the kingdom of God comes by coming to individual by entering into his soul and by laying hold of it. For these experts, the meaning of kingdom of God is that the Spirit of life was to come and fill the people personally. In this way, this hope was a general hope for the whole creation.[3] The people were required to interact with each other and the whole creation was going to receive this eternal life. Regarding this issue, certain other experts have commented that the kingdom of God is supernatural and as it is that it is a part of the future. According to these experts, if the above mentioned explanation is taken as the only answers to the kingdom of God or if we should go to the Word of God and find what is it in their regarding the kingdom of God. The answer in this regard will be back definitely yes, they should find the truth present in the Scriptures in the Word of God where the kingdom of God has been explained for us.

In this context, it can be said that the kingdom of God is present where the God rules. For example in Jeremiah 31:33 LASB God has given the rights of His kingdom in our hearts. Therefore he wants that the people should obey Him in glory and honor. It can be said that His kingdom is present in the spiritual realm which is not visible to our eyes at present but we should keep faith that someday, the kingdom of God will come before us in all its fullness. While dealing with the issue, it has been mentioned in Psalm 103: 19 that the Lord has established his throne in heaven and as a result, his kingdom rules over all of us. In this way, the kingdom of God exists in present and also in the future. We have come across the line several times that Jesus had mentioned the kingdom of God in future tense. One example is when he says that I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of wine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God (Mark 14: 25 LASB).

In the same way, on other occasions also, He had given us hints that the kingdom of God was already in existence. In the same day, sometimes he also preached that the kingdom of God was not far away and we can even almost touch it. In this way, we see that they kingdom of God is progressing through us on the earth here and now (by spreading the Gospel). On the other hand, the kingdom of God is not a relevant to the persons who practice acts of sin. In this regard, it has been written in the Bible that the kingdom of God will not be inherited by the unrighteous. Therefore, we should not be deceived.[4] The kingdom of God will not be inherited by thieves, drunkards, covetous, extortionist or idolaters. Therefore, if a person is practicing the above and dies, such a person will not be inherit the kingdom of God. On the other hand, if the person has been cleansed and forgiven by the blood of Jesus, and the sin no more than such a person dies; the kingdom of God is available to such a person. In this way, it can be said that with resurrection, comes the kingdom of God.[5]

We find in the Old Testament the mention of kingdom of God for the first time, although this term has not been used in itself directly. Israel was not really concerned regarding the term kingdom of God and they were only concerned regarding themselves and their rebellious ways. It was a really sad state of affairs because in reality, God wanted to prepare Israel so that hope can be found in the coming of the King. This thing was going to deliver the people from slavery to sin. In the same way, in the New Testament, there has been a mention of establishing the kingdom of God. In this way, Jesus was born to act as Ruler. In this regard, it needs to be mentioned that when Jesus was facing trial for his life before Pilate, he was asked by Pilate if He was the king of Jews? In reply, Jesus said, “it is as you say”. Therefore we see that indeed Jesus had told him that He was a King but at the same time, Jesus also gave an indication that His kingdom was not of this world. It has been mentioned in the Scriptures that the Supreme Ruler was the gods and all the nations of the earth will be ruled by Jesus Christ.[6]

In this regard, Matthews has mentioned that Jesus had used the phrase “Kingdom of heaven” and on the other hand, the phrase “Kingdom of God” has been used by Mark and Luke. When these two phrases are compared with each other, they appear to be nearly identical.

In this way, while the kingdom of God appears to be of particular concern for the Father, it appears that the Church was of particular concern for Jesus.[7] It becomes immediately clear when he told Peter about it. “And I say to you that you are Peter, and on this job I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). The 'rock' that has been mentioned by Jesus is the revelation of who he is - the Christ. In this way, on this revelation, Jesus was going to build His church. He is going to build His church and not of someone else. Therefore this construction project is basically centered on the work of Jesus. However, some construction foremen have been appointed by Jesus. These are the persons who understand the plans of the Lord and are going to receive instruction from Him. In this way, the men who have been given by the Lord to His people have to do two things. First of all, they have equipped the believers for work and they also have to edify the body of Christ. However the architectural plans are still with the Lord and He directs all the billing functions through the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, it needs to be mentioned that the foundation has been laid. We are going to act as the construction workers. Training has been provided to us by the fivefold ministry. The building material is also being selected by us. In this way, a temple is being built by us, according to the directions of the Lord. However in reality, the Lord's position has been usurped by men and therefore, instead of following the glands of the architect, they are building in accordance with their own understanding and using the materials that appeared good to the natural man but are inappropriate and unapproved by the Lord.[8] The result is that we move away from a spiritual building that is built of living stones to the natural buildings that had been by brick and mortar. Therefore, we move away from Kingdom workers to become the Church workers.

Therefore, in the end we can say that the kingdom of God and the Church are not synonymous. We have lost understanding and insight regarding the differences that are present between the kingdom of God and the church into the reason that our traditions have taught us that both of them are the same. However, even a cursory reading of the Scriptures will reveal that the Holy Spirit has spoken of the kingdom differently than He does regarding the Church.[9] On the other hand if the kingdom of God and Church would have been truly synonymous, then it would have been possible to substitute ‘church’ for ‘Kingdom’ in the Scriptures without effecting any change in the meaning. But this is not the case. The reason is that Jesus meant something different when He was talking about the “kingdom” as compared to the situation when He talked of the Church. It is very important for us to understand the difference that is present between the church and the kingdom of God.

Alexander, T. Desmond and Brian S. Rosser, eds., New Dictionary of Biblical Theology Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000

Alexander, T. Desmond and Brian S. Rosser, eds., New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000

Beale, G. K. New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2011

Couch, Mal, ed. Dictionary of Premillennial Theology: A Practical Guide to the People, Viewpoints, and History of Prophetic Studies. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1996

Davis, Christopher A. Revelation, College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin, MO: College Press, 2000

Davis, Christopher A. Revelation, College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin, MO: College Press, 2000.

Johnston, Gordon H. “Millennium, Old Testament Descriptions of,” in Dictionary of Premillennial Theology, ed. by Mal Couch, 267–72. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1996

Bender, Harold and Friedmann, Robert (2010) Hutterite Studies, H. B. Book Centre

Bielo, James (2011). Emerging Evangelicals: Faith, Modernity, and the Desire for Authenticity, NYU Press

Bowden, John; Richardson, Alan (1983) The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology, Westminster John Knox Press

Derek J. Morphew, Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom, Vineyard International Publishing, 2007  

Enns, Peter (2011). Ecclesiastes. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.

George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, Revised Edition Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1993

George Eldon Ladd, The Presence of the Future: The Eschatology of Biblical Realism, William B Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1996

Russell D. Moore, The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective, Crossway Books. 2004

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