The True Meaning of the Kingdom of God on Earth

One of the most beautiful and enduring themes of religion is the idea that someday, this imperfect world will be made more perfect, transformed into a world in conformity with higher ideals — in Christian parlance, the “Kingdom of God on earth.”

I believe the vision of the Divine Kingdom should be all-embracing, not limited to one particular religion or religious tradition. If there is only one God, who is the God of all people, then that God cannot be limited by the perceptions or conceptions of one particular group of people. And if we want to talk about the “Kingdom” (or “Reign”) of God in our world, we therefore must realize that this reign transcends the boundaries human beings create in setting up their own little kingdoms, whether political or religious or whatever else.

Some Charismatic Christians call themselves “Kingdom” in their spirituality, yet seem to think the Kingdom of God is primarily found within the walls of the church — their own particular type of church. I don’t see how this is meaningfully different than the age-old claim that the Roman Catholic Church is the Kingdom of God on earth.

You could speak in tongues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, like a computer voice synthesizer running continuously, producing an endless stream of random syllables, and you wouldn’t be one millimeter closer to the Kingdom of God. You could eat the eucharistic bread and drink the wine every day, filling your stomach religiously with what is said to be the body and blood of Christ, and you wouldn’t be one millimeter closer to the Kingdom of God.

Building God’s Kingdom on earth is not about churches and religious traditions. It is about working to create a world of peace, love, kindness, compassion, understanding and reconciliation, and true happiness, meaning, purpose, and dignity for all people. Religion may either help or hinder that goal. But the goal is what matters, not the religion that might endorse it.

We should always ask ourselves: What am I doing to further this great and noble goal? How am I working to build the Kingdom of God through my actions in the world at large, not just the world of the church?

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7 Responses to The True Meaning of the Kingdom of God on Earth

  1. Dena Brehm says:

    Wondering … what if peace isn’t something that we “make” happen … but something that already IS. What if we have to realize (“real-eyes”) it … and participate, rather than to “do” anything…?

    It is obvious right now to anyone not living with their head in the sand that we are currently experiencing an escalation in all levels of our human experience. Each day, somewhere in the world, there is another earthquake, flood, mining disaster, political expose, financial crisis, public revelation of some form of unethical behavior, and massing civil unrest. Whole countries are splitting at the seams and resorting to violent retribution.

    If we examine our immediate environment closely we shall witness the evidence of this shake-up right within our midst. What is happening upon the macrocosm of the world’s stage is also manifesting as the content of the conversation upon everyone’s tongues. Conflict and chaos in one form or another is now on the rise. Great change is afoot.

    It is crucial right now to therefore to pay homage to an experience which appears to be taking a back seat while all of this unfolds: Peacefulness. Right now there is nothing more important than our daily remembering that the experience of peacefulness is a personally accomplished responsibility – not a right handed to us by any political, economic, social, or religious organization. The experience of peacefulness is always first encountered as a personally felt state, and only once personally felt, is it then radiated as a collective experience. Authentically felt-peace emanates only from within.

    One of the greatest deceptions we play upon ourselves, individually and collectively, is our putting forward the notion that, ‘we need to make peace’. Have you noticed that nothing we have done throughout our entire documented human history in an attempt to ‘make peace’ has ever worked? This is because the very idea that ‘peace is something that can be made’, whether by war, discussion, debate, agreement, or signing of treatise, is deceptive and therefore misleading.

    Any country or organization who claims to have accomplished peace through such means has in time demonstrated that all that was accomplished was ‘temporarily enforced control’, resulting only in people living for a time in quiet desperation and subdued states of passive aggressiveness, before discontentedly rising up again.

    This is because peace cannot be ‘made’ – not in The Middle East, South Africa, Indonesia, or anywhere. Peace already exists within the experiential fabric of Creation. The felt-vibration we humans experience as peacefulness was created long before we showed up and will exist long after we have been replaced by another dominant species. The vibration of peace is everywhere. Peace is available even in the midst of war-torn countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and any other region currently enveloped in human conflict.

    The absence of conflicted humans from any environment immediately reveals an obvious radiance of felt-peacefulness. Just because conflicted human behavior obscures this resonance does not mean it no longer exists.

    We only continually enter behaviors and conversations intended to ‘try to make peace’ because we do not realize what authentic peace is. Because of our current states of physical, mental, and emotional turmoil, we do not realize authentic peacefulness as an experience we only ever feel personally. Instead we assume it to be some arrangement we make happen collectively, by agreement. This is not true. Peacefulness is ours to personally feel in any moment we choose, because it is a resonance that envelopes us wherever we are. However, it is up to us to choose to feel it.

    Right now, in this moment, anyone reading this piece of writing may feel peaceful – if it is chosen. It is not an experience that someone has to organize for us through debate, discussion, or agreement. No other group has to be subdued or relocated for us to be able to feel peaceful. Such notions are ongoing detractions from the authentic realization of peacefulness. We do not have to make peace with anyone – we have to become aware of it as a feeling within our own heart, and then choose to occupy this awareness, no matter what.

    We even express the obviousness of this truth within our language. We do not say, “I think peace” or “I do peace”. We say, “I feel peace”. And because no one – no peer, politician, priest, profiteer, parent, or partner has the capacity to feel anything on our behalf – no one is therefore responsible for our feeling, or not feeling, peaceful. Peacefulness is a felt-experience already given freely to every human. However it is our responsibility to choose to enter and contain this felt-awareness.

    This of course is where it always becomes sticky. Peace is uncompromising. Either we choose to feel it – or we choose to feel something else. We cannot feel peaceful AND simultaneously entertain the feeling of being right and having our own way. We cannot feel peaceful AND simultaneously feel vengeful. We cannot feel peaceful AND simultaneously feel justified in having ‘the last say’. We cannot feel peaceful AND in any way behave hurtfully toward another human being or living creature. We cannot feel peaceful AND simultaneously enforce our will upon others. We cannot feel peaceful AND simultaneously have our religion be the only right way to commune with whatever God is for us. We cannot feel peaceful AND simultaneously take a side in any conflict.

    Peacefulness also requires willing release. The price of feeling peaceful NOW – in this moment – is always determined by our willingness to integrate wounds perpetrated in the past. This is because anything happening within our life experience right now that inhibits us from entering the felt-awareness of peacefulness always has to do with something that happened in the past.

    Right now, in this moment, if we choose it, we are welcome to feel peaceful.

    The real question we are to ask ourselves is: “Do we really seek peace?” This may appear as an obvious question with an equally obvious answer – but it is not. Most of us may immediately answer that we do choose peacefulness, but when push comes to shove, we also feel justified in choosing to feel right, feel avenged, or feel in control – instead of feeling peaceful.

    The reality is that no one stands between us and the feeling of peacefulness. We can experience this feeling right now. Peacefulness is a felt-resonance already created by whatever God is for us, not something that will one day be made by us humans. However, do we get up each day and choose to feel the peacefulness that is already created for us, or are we still mistakenly waiting for someone to ‘make peace happen on our behalf’?

    Peacefulness only exists in the world when we choose to feel it right now within our own experience while we move through the world. There is no other way to encounter it authentically.

    If we are not feeling peaceful right now, it is because we are not choosing to feel it. It is this simple. If we join the current flow of the masses and our personal experience deteriorates into escalating conflict, it is likely we are indignantly choosing to be right or to take a side in some ongoing human drama, rather than to feel peaceful. Remember the expression is, “Peace be with you”, not “Peace be with them”.

    Remember also that being peaceful is not and never will be an experience realized as an organized group activity. It is always a choice made through embracing a mature level of personal responsibility. We cannot realize peace by voting it in, by enforcing it, by earning more money to afford it, or by taking sides to impose our version of the truth. We only receive a felt-awareness of it as a direct experience by consciously choosing to feel it and to live from within this felt-resonance as best we can throughout each day. If we do not personally choose to feel it, it does not enter our experience. Only when we choose it as “a feeling we consciously carry within our own heart” does it then radiate outwardly and impact the quality of our thinking and our doing.

    Right now, as the masses of the world stumble unconsciously into escalating conflict and chaos, there is nothing more important than maintaining a personal awareness of what peacefulness really is. No one will pay us for being peaceful. No one will pat us on the back or write about our peacefulness in any journal. No one will give us The Peace Prize and hold a press conference about it. Authentic peacefulness will not become a news item in a world that still mistakenly believes ‘peace is something that has to be made’.

    Peacefulness is a quiet, calm, chosen, felt-condition, resonating within the individual heart.

    When we are able to awaken and enter each day remembering to choose to feel peaceful – even if only for parts of our day – then we are serving humanity by maintaining the clear light of sanity in the world when the masses are completely losing sight of it.

    You are welcome to walk this day in peacefulness. Peacefulness is a gift of God’s Will to all, not the outcome of any human declaration. Its felt-resonance is a personal choice of the heart, not a political right accomplished through any organization.

    Peace is available as an experience within you and me, right now. It is ours to choose. It always will be experienced only by choice.

    • Eric Stetson says:

      Hi Dena,

      Wow, you certainly have a lot to say on that issue! Thanks for your comments. I will have to reflect more on what you said, but my initial reaction is to say that peace is something both internal and external. A world of peace cannot exist unless people do things, actively, to work to raise up the good and keep in check the evil. Many people in this world have hell within their hearts, not peace, and their desire is to extend the fire that is burning themselves to others, because they want others to experience pain like they are feeling. It only takes maybe 1% of all human beings to think and act that way for the whole world to become a hellish place, if the people with peace within their hearts do nothing to spread peace into the structures of society and allow the people who are spreading suffering to be the only ones who are active, vocal, and organized.


      • Michaels are says:

        I believe God the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the true source of true peace and security. I’m not speaking religiously but literally. Just the concept of the Deity in the lives of those that believe gives one hope for the future, and the more one focuses on promises and purposes put forth by God the more optomistic one becomes. You can hope all you want for some utopian society outside of the Creators purpose and will and it will be like striving after wind. I believe God through Christ has,is and will benefit every single human that has come forth one this earth and the heavens each in his own time.

  2. Angela Aberdeen says:

    After reading your article, Dena’s response followed by your statement to her response. I have concluded that the Kingdom of God resides in us here on earth. We all have a choice to live in GOD’s Kingdom by spreading , love, justice, kindness, forgiveness, peace and joy all of which are in us and must be spread where we are and beyond our boundries. However we cannot truly experience the Kingdom of God if we ourselves refuse to share these attributes which are in-born to all mankind. We were given by God freedom to choose how we will conduct our lives. The masses of the world has consciously made the decison to create conflict, chaos and hate and injustice naming this errant decision “Our right” it is prudent for all of mankind to consider what we are asking,when we pray God let thy kingdom to come on earth as it in heaven.

    I believe that God’s kingdom is already in earth. We must look deep inside of us to find that God has already placed all that we need to live a kingdom lifestyle here on earth. We were created with the recepie. It is already placed in us. The fact of the matter is we choose to pull out and use parts of the recepie to make the
    We must maintain a personal awareness of what peacefulness really is. The vast majority has chosen hate, anger, unforgiveness, brutlity to socall justify their ungodly practices. Yet we cre “Let there be PEACE on earth”.

  3. I’m very impressed with your views on Kingdom on earth. Peace must be reflective. We must come together as One people on earth. Every human being is made, created in image of God. The world is too divided. We are so much apart based on stupidity and ignorance. The ‘hate’ we have for each other has resulted in so much destruction. We human beings have developed deadly weapons to maintain the separation. We must come together–especially we the true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must take the lead. Not i pride, not based on how much we have, or our knowledge, but based on love, and undertanding. We must be together.

  4. pierre bulesah says:

    I am agree with what you actually stated, Eric, in a sense that many today’s and past religious leaders misinterprete the true meaning of the kingdom of God preached by Jesus Christ in the four gospels. They try to monopolise the kingdom of God inside the wall of their churches and claim to hold the whole truth about God…….
    I am one of the active church beleiver until the day i realise that church is like a prison. They want you to beleive what they beleive, do what they do, talk like they talk, dress like they do and the list goes one…..Church doctrines avoid people to freely search and find the truth for themselves…After this seperation from my church i finally find out myself this thruth about the kingdom of God which may contradict many: ” By preaching the kingdom of God, Jesus is simply refer to the inner being of every mankind, created in the image of God. That second person resides inside us full of love, compassion, peace, joy, kindness…but yet neglected by many. There is a proverb that says: Be humble cause you are made up with the earth, be noble cause you are made up with the star. This simple truth means that we all have two natures, the earthly and the devine one. Most people are more concern about their earthly nature and forget about the most important one which is their devine heritage from God the creator. Reason why Jesus said “Seek you first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”. The kingdom of God is within us like an hidden treasure or a muster seed but we have to nourrish it with the spirit of humbleness in order to spead up and become a temple of love, peace, patience, joy and every other good fruits human race needs for a lusting peace in this world. Humbleness and patient are the principal keys to enter the kingdom of God…. Jesus said, unless you become as a little child, you cannot enter the kingdom of God..In other verse, he said : It is more hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God than a camel to enter the eye of a needle. These two statements made by Jesus mean that men will never discover the suitness of the kingdom because they are more concerned about material things of this world. We will only enter that kingdom if we let that inner being which is God himself train us trought trials and temptation before we become a pure gold ready to enter the internal peace of God in his kingdom.

  5. Mindy Miranda says:

    I’ve read several of the messages here, how uplifting! Having attended the Islamic Convention here in Garland, Tx, I was appalled by the behavior of the hateful messages on the protesters placards, and on their faces. I attended to learn more, to rub elbows with Muslims and know more about them, as individuals as well as as Moslems. I am not a Muslim, but was so moved by the beauty and love. Not one negative comment, not one note of sarcasm. Amazing. If they have the event here next year, I WILL be out with a placard defending their beliefs. I’m still feeling very ill from it, and now close so I can go and say some prayers. One thing I’d like to add – one man was carrying a sign saying there’s only one God (I agree) and then it said that Allah was the devil. I called him over to our car (we weren’t able to get in because some of the protesters wrote “mohammed” on the way into park, and were trying to get the attendees to drive over it – which they would not – and the police stepped in, the name was removed, and in went. Fifteen LONG minutes of hate. May we all work arduously to discover the truth, and to be open and loving as we educate ourselves. Peace!

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