Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world (1 Cor. 15:3; Rom. 5:8). Thereafter, Jesus was buried, resurrected, and ascended to the Father where He is presently reigning in Heaven, seated at the right hand of His Father (Eph. 1:20-21; Col. 3:1, Rom. 8:34). Repeatedly, the Scriptures remind us that the Father has said to the Son, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES UNDER YOUR FEET” (Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Heb. 1:13). At the Second Advent, Jesus Christ will return physically to Planet Earth. At that time, God will subjugate all things to His will, and in an important sense, Heaven and Earth will merge. We should not forget that God possesses the power to subdue all things to Himself in His timing (Phil. 3:21). However, the Kingdom of God is also a present spiritual reality on Planet Earth, characterized as righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:7). All believers are called to enter into this new type of living (Kingdom Living) in the Kingdom of God. By spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God and by our participation in the New Covenant Spiritual Life (Kingdom Living), we advance God’s plan.
Around AD 30, after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples several times over a period of forty days (Acts 1:3). During this time, He provided them many convincing proofs regarding His resurrection (Acts 1:3). He also taught them many things about the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). In one of these interactions, the disciples of Jesus asked Jesus, “Lord is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Jesus responded, “It is not for you to know periods of time or appointed times which the Father has set by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in both Jerusalem and all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:7-8).
Many Jewish believers of the First Century were hyper focused on whether or not Israel would be freed from the yoke of Rome and be reestablished as the greatest and most unique nation on Earth. However, God had a much bigger plan. The Gentiles were going to be invited to join the People of God. The Church has not replaced Israel; Christians have been grafted into Israel (Rom. 11:17-23). We are descended from the Heroes of Faith like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by faith, not genetics. The most important connection is spiritual descent, not physical descent (Rom.9:6-8). The Kingdom of God is open to all people who trust in God, regardless of race or ethnic background (Col. 3:11). And, yes, with the addition of many Gentiles, faithful Israel (at the time of Christ’s return) will be placed at the head of all nations, with their King, Jesus Christ, just as God promised (Ps. 22:28; Isa. 60:1-22; Dan. 2:44; 4:3; 7:14, 18, 22). Obedient Israel (with the addition of faithful Gentiles) is promised blessings above all other people groups (Deut. 28:8-13).
As commanded by Jesus prior to His ascension, the disciples went about, by the Spirit, preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:7-8; 8:12). The Spirit is the source of power for Kingdom Living and evangelization (Acts 1:8; Eph. 3:16). At Acts 8:12, Luke used the Greek word euangelizo, which means “to announce or declare good news or good tidings.” This good news was first preached in Jerusalem. In a similar manner, Paul and Barnabas preached the good news of the Kingdom of God in eastern Asia Minor (Acts 14:21-22). They strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged their faith. Specifically, Paul reminded them that “it is through many tribulations that we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Every Christian should expect and anticipate occasional and periodic trials and tribulations. We must learn to trust in God’s timing and provision for periods of testing and suffering. Such suffering can break the stranglehold of the flesh and free us to, more and more, live in God’s Kingdom, under His authority. It is our strong inclination to live according to lust (inordinate desire) and pride (1 John 2:16-17). We easily move from a normal desire to lust, then to sin, and finally death (insensitivity to God) (Jas. 1:14-15). When consumed with lust, we cannot hear the Spirit, who resides in every Christian.
According to his normal pattern, Paul would first teach in the local synagogue. He would preach boldly about the Kingdom of God, both discussing and persuading his listeners about the Kingdom of God (Acts 19:8). Eventually, some in the synagogue would become hardened and reject the message about the Kingdom of God. Thereafter, Paul would withdraw from the local synagogue to teach at a more neutral venue. As an example, in Ephesus, after leaving the synagogue, Paul taught daily at the Tyrannus lecture hall for two years (Acts 19:9-10)! Great numbers in western Asia Minor heard Paul’s teaching about the Kingdom of God, both Jew and Greek.
Inevitably, the good news of the Kingdom of God had to be preached in Rome, the political capital of the world’s First Century superpower. In his book, Paul: A Biography, author N. T. Wright opines that Paul arrived in Rome around AD 60. Paul, a Roman citizen, had been accused of sedition (but which was actually a religious dispute) in Jerusalem (Acts 24:5; 25:18-19). He appealed to Nero Caesar. When Paul arrived in Rome, he was not a condemned prisoner. He was simply an accused. Paul was allowed to lodge in a private residence, guarded by a soldier (Act. 28:16). It should be noted that Nero’s persecutions of Christians did not begin until towards the end of AD 64.
N.T. Wright discloses that some archeologists believe that they have discovered the house where Paul resided in Rome during this time. The First Century house is located below the modern street level. The hidden ruin is adjacent to the Corso, a street running southeast to northwest through Rome, located about halfway between the Pantheon and the Forum. The site is underneath an ancient Church found in the lower part of the building which now houses the Palazzo Doria Pamphili, an art museum. N. T. Wright notes that if these archeologists are correct, Paul would have been situated in the very heart of Ancient Rome. For two years Paul lived in Rome where the people were given free and open access to hear his preaching about the Kingdom of God. Luke, the writer of Acts, described Paul’s teaching in Rome as follows:
When they had set a day for Paul, people came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.
Now Paul stayed two full years in his own rented lodging and welcomed all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching things about the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.
As we have stated before, the Kingdom of God “is a governing motif” of the New Testament. It is a dominant idea that unifies all of the New Testament writings and their authors. This dominant theme was emphasized in Jesus’s earthly ministry, to include His 40-day ministry following His resurrection, before His ascension. Thereafter, the governing motif of the Kingdom of God was taught by the Apostles and disciples of Christ to those interested persons scattered around the Roman Empire.
The featured image on this page is titled “Sermon on the Mount” by Carl Henrich Bloch. Available on public domain. Courtesy of www.carlbloch.org.
 “G2097 – euangelizō – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (nasb20).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 8 Feb, 2022. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g2097/nasb20/mgnt/0-1/>.
 Wright, N.T. “Paul: A Biography.” iPad Ed., San Francisco: HarperOne, 2018, 384-386 of 465.
 Wright. .
 “Kingdom of God.” Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, edited by Leland Ryken, et al, InterVarsity Press, 1998.