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Chapter 13 - Kingdom Citizenship

As the Jews waiting in Jerusalem demonstrated, one can be a citizen of a kingdom that has not yet arrived. It might be seen as comparable with being ambassadors of a foreign country. This does not make the kingdom any less real.

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. - John 18:36

Jesus told Nicodemus that one had to be ‘born again’ to enter the kingdom and that ‘which is born of the Spirit’ is able to have this life.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. - John 3:5-6

Entrance into the kingdom was by faith. However, it had to be as sincere and complete as the faith a child has who trusts his parents.

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 18:3

It is by faith that we receive new and eternal life in Christ, we are placed into his ‘body’, and are translated into the kingdom.

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: - Colossians 1:12-14

However, when the actual kingdom is to be established on earth an even more radical change needs to occur to enter this kingdom

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. - 1 Corinthians 15:50-53

The arrival of the kingdom of God will be a monumental event unparalleled in the history of the world. Those who have been placed into the kingdom but still live in this world in anticipation of the future establishment of the kingdom are somewhat like Abraham.

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. - Hebrews 11:9-10

  

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