However, Jesus clearly stated, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Earthly kingdoms are subject to decay and ruin, but Christ’s kingdom is eternal! And the nature of his kingdom is much larger than we think.
“This kingdom was not, as they [Christ’s disciples] had been taught to believe, an earthly empire. Nor was it that future, immortal kingdom which shall be set up when ‘the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;’ that everlasting kingdom, in which ‘all dominions shall serve and obey Him’ (Daniel 7:27).
Two Kingdoms: Grace and Glory
As used in the Bible, the expression ‘kingdom of God’ is employed to designate two kingdoms. This includes both the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. The kingdom of grace is brought to view by Paul in the Epistle to the Hebrews. After pointing to Christ, the compassionate intercessor who is ‘touched with the feeling of our infirmities,’ the apostle says: ‘Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace” (Hebrews 4:15, 16, Great Controversy, p. 346).
Only those who enter into the kingdom of grace will get to see and experience the kingdom of glory. Yes, grace is a prerequisite to glory!
Rich DuBose writes from Northern California.
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