From that time, Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near” Matthew 4:17
Many times when we talk of the kingdom of God what comes to our mind is the second coming of Jesus Christ to reign on the earth. This is true in that all kings and kingdoms will fall and only God’s kingdom will stand on earth as the prophet Daniel prophesied saying, “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever” Daniel 2:44. However, this is the fulfillment or the complete manifestation and dominion of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God actually came with the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ.
The Kingdom of God is then all of the rule, dominion, power, righteousness, holiness, and and the glory of God. The Kingdom of God is the manifest glory and sovereignty of God. Jesus gives a description of God’s kingdom when He says, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade” Mark 13:31-35. Therefore, from the words of Jesus we see that the Kingdom of God starts as a seed. It is sown on the earth as a small seed which will then grow and become dominant. The Kingdom of God is then planted on earth, first as a small seed by Jesus Christ, and then at the consummation of time, will endure forever.
John the Baptist came in the wilderness preaching the message of the Kingdom of God saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has drawn near. Repent, and believe in the gospel” Mark 1:15. The kingdom of God was actually near at the time of John. It started to manifest when Jesus Christ came to preach the gospel. The manifestation of the Kingdom of God was evident in the life of Jesus when He was healing the sick, raising the dead, setting the captives free, and preaching the gospel to the poor. Therefore, when Jesus came, He brought the Kingdom with Him. He was preaching the gospel of the Kingdom which was good news to those who would accepted it, and bad news to those who rejected it. That was the reason why Jesus ministry was like no other prophet. When the people saw the works that He did they said, “What manner of man is this” and “they were astounded at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”, and again ” they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new teaching is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him” Mark 2:27. His teaching and miracles was different than any other. He was introducing the Kingdom of God to the earth with His mighty power of setting the captives free, and restoring every thing that the devil had stolen.
Later on when Jesus was going to the Father, He tells his disciples, ” this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached to all the earth, and then the end will come” Matthew 24:14. The Kingdom, just as Jesus said, started only with Jesus Christ, but in the end it would be preached throughout the earth, even now with the gospel reaching out to places that have never heard about the Kingdom of God. Now, through out the nations, the gospel of the kingdom is known. There is no nation that does not know about Jesus and it is increasing even more. Once the gospel reaches every human being on the face of the earth, then what was prophesied by the prophet Daniel will come to pass; the kingdom of this earth will belong to God.
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15
The Kingdom of God is already here, working in the life of believers as Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within you”, and is proclaimed by preachers as Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is among you”. From the time of John the Baptist till now, Jesus said, the Kingdom of God has suffered violence and people are making every effort to enter in it. God has already set up a time when He would end all this worldly activities, but just like the days of Noah, He has created an opportunity for everyone to enter the Ark and be saved from His wrath. He has provided the way into the Kingdom through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But when the door is finally shut, the time for repentance would be over, the the Kingdom of God will be established forever.