The Kingdom of Heaven Is At Hand
Usually on Mondays I write something about politics and Christianity. However, today I was reading and was struck by Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
I read it numerous times and passed over it thinking hey people confess your sins and change your heart because you are going to be judged. Then today I was stopped even though I thought I was done meditating on chapter 4 and trying to go to the next chapter.
So I asked myself what does “at hand” mean? What does repent mean? Who is He speaking to? What do they think about the kingdom of God at the time?
First, He was speaking to people in the synagogue where there would be Sadducee and Pharisees and Jews of all kinds of faith. I was raised Catholic and said the best part about being Catholic was that you can pick and choose what you believe. Now I go to a non-denominational church and the same holds true. Everyone has their own belief system and it evolves over time. I would think the Jews at that time were no different.
I think the thought was the Jews were going to have a Messiah that was going to get them their land back and out from under Roman control. Most of them didn't see Jesus coming as He did.
Jesus Christ is talking to Jews who think the time is near for their nation to be a nation again. But I think “at hand” means it is here now. Jesus is the fleshly representation of God on earth. He was healing the sick with power. He was preaching with power and truth. He was making an impact.
Most people say repent means change your mind or turn from sin. Repent is always looking at the past and changing the mind about the past. I think Jesus was trying to get them to think different and was going to reveal the plan of heaven on earth over a couple of years.
How Do We Access The Kingdom Now
He was saying you can have the kingdom of heaven right now. For us it is even more true. Since they had to walk with Him and go to Him physically. For us, all we have to do is believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God; that he Died for our sins and was raised from the dead.
Now we can have the kingdom of God here on earth. It is now. It is the power of God in us, it the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and defeated death. It is not a place it is royal power from the King of kings that is in us. It is the peace and joy that surpasses all understanding.
Here are just a few things to think about.
Phillipians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
The kingdom of heaven is in us and is manifested by what we think.