Heaven is for Now
Director of Discipleship
So just what is the “good news” of the Gospel? Most Christians would probably say that the good news is that Jesus came, died for our sins, rose from the dead and made it possible for us to go to heaven. That is all certainly true. But Jesus had a central point that He emphasized over and over throughout His ministry. He encouraged people to “repent, for the kingdom of heaven (or of God) is at hand”. The idea of the Kingdom was by far the most repeated point in all of Christ’s teachings and was conveyed almost every time He preached. It is mentioned 50 times in the book of Matthew alone. Almost all of Jesus' parables describe the Kingdom of God.
So what is “the Kingdom”?
Most of us think of it as heaven—something that will affect us sometime in the future—and while that is true, Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God has come near and is available now. This was breaking news! According to James Bryan Smith, “The good news about entering heaven when we die has overshadowed the equally good news that we can enter heaven now.”
Back to Eden!
Try pondering that today—let it really soak in. The good news is that the colossal gap separating us from God has been bridged and we can experience heaven right now! Ever since we got ourselves kicked out of Eden, God has been executing a massive rescue operation to restore us to that close relationship with Himself. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we have access to the Kingdom NOW!
The Kingdom of God is both a present and a future reality—one day God’s Kingdom will be fulfilled in a final and tangible way. But the fact that we are residents of his very real Kingdom right now begs the big question—Do we act like it?