When Will the Kingdom Come?

If we only had eyes to see and ears to heaFor_Such_is_the_Kingdom_of_Heavenr and wits to understand, we would know that the Kingdom of God … is crying out to born both within ourselves and within the world
― Frederick Buechner

Jesus believed that the people of his time were ripe for the coming of the kingdom of heaven on earth. When he felt they were ready, he called his disciples to him and said:

The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest will send out additional laborers to his harvest.

He thought that within the lifetime of his disciples, the kingdom of heaven would be revealed. What went wrong? When will the kingdom come? I believe the answer lies in what Jesus said had happened to the kingdom of heaven after John the Baptist had preached of its coming:

What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken in the wind? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing live in king’s houses. A prophet? Yes, and more than a prophet. For John is the one of whom it was written: ‘I send my messenger before you to prepare your way.’ Among men there is none greater than John the Baptist, notwithstanding that the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than him.

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent try to take it by force.

This last statement explains why the kingdom of heaven is yet to be revealed, even today. As long as the world is dominated by violence, the kingdom of heaven will remain hidden in plain sight. Where? As Jesus says in the gospel of Luke, as correctly translated in the King James Version:

The kingdom of God is within you.


About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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2 Responses to When Will the Kingdom Come?

  1. Tim Shey says:

    The Kingdom of Heaven is a spiritual kingdom. It has been revealed to many people over the past two thousand years.

    • jimbelton says:

      Jesus and the people of his time believed in a physical kingdom. The apocalyptic Jews of the first century believed that a cosmic judge, the Son of Man, would come, walking in the clouds, to establish the kingdom of heaven on earth. The Son of Man would judge the living, and the dead would be physically resurrected and judged as well. Those found worthy would live in the kingdom, those who weren’t would be cast into the outer darkness. By the time the gospel of Matthew was written in 80 AD, about 50 years after the crucifixion, Jesus’s followers believed that when he had died, God had raised him from the dead and exalted him to heaven, and the he was the Son of Man. To quote Bart Ehrman, this was “a view that is prominent in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and among other Jewish texts not in the Bible; it was the view of John the Baptist; it was the view of the Pharisees; it was the view widely held throughout Jesus’s world.”

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