Understanding The Difference Between Religion and The Kingdom of God As It Relates to Humanity
I have been evolving in my understanding regarding my personal life development.
I can’t exclude the importance of growing up in my spiritual understanding and purpose as a spirit being.
So today, I will focus on religion and the Kingdom of God as it relates to my individual purpose. And our purpose as a species in the Earth domain.
I’ve also wanted to talk about this subject for some time. However, I wanted to know what I was talking about before I began.
I was raised in the church. And growing up, I was churched and knew everything to do that we as churchgoers do.
I was guided on how to have a relationship with God and His people. I was trained in how to have church and serve the community. I was prepared to look forward to going to heaven one day.
I discovered there is more to the human experience than practicing religion to get to God. That there is more to life than going and being a part of a local church.
But as I became an adult, I had questions. And some things just weren’t adding up for me.
My Mom gave me a book one day by Dr. Myles Munroe. “Rediscovering The Kingdom.” This day Dr. Myles became my spiritual mentor.
This book opened my eyes to the truth of God’s purpose for humanity and the meaning of our spiritual development.
I found that religion is not what Jesus came to Earth to establish. But instead, He came with a specific message. He came to give us the Kingdom.
The constitution for believers (The Bible) quotes Jesus saying…
“What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and how he works fuss over these things, but you know God and how he works.
Steep yourself in God-reality, God’s initiative, and God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the same Kingdom itself”. Luke 12:31-34 (MSG)
The Kingdom of Heaven was the central theme of Jesus’ preaching ministry. By the “Kingdom of Heaven,” Jesus meant a distinct level of human consciousness, not a place to which Christians are destined after death.
Jesus replied, “My Kingdom is not of this world [nor does it have its origin in this world]. If My Kingdom were of this world, My servants would be fighting [hard] to keep Me from being handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My Kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36 (AMP)
Jesus, grilled by the Pharisees on when the Kingdom of God would come, answered, “The Kingdom of God doesn’t come by counting the days on the calendar. Nor when someone says, ‘Look here!’ or, There it is!’ And why? Because God’s Kingdom is already within you.” Luke 17:21 (MSG)
While Jesus was coming of age in Nazareth. Before He began His earthly ministry.
Another central Bible figure was also on the scene doing his part to fulfill God’s plan – John the Baptist.
John was a relative of Jesus, a second or third cousin through Jesus’s mother, Mary.
The context of Matthew 3:2 and why it is so important to repent now in this present age is what we are going to explore further.
“Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2 (AMP)
“While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s Kingdom is here.” Matthew 3:2 (MSG)
Other translations read:
“Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” (Common English Bible)
“And saying, Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn nigh.” (Young’s Literal Translation)
John was telling God’s people the Messiah was coming. Warning them, they must return to the right relationship with their Creator to be among those ushered into God’s Kingdom.
What Does It Mean To Repent?
Strong’s Concordance defines basileia as “kingdom, sovereignty, royal power” and ouranon as “heaven.”
He forewarned the people that their Messiah was coming soon, and they needed to prepare.
At this moment, I want to encourage all who will hear to repent.
Change your thinking. Ask God, the Creator of the universe. Open your mind and heart to the truth regarding His purpose for your life and humanity as a collective.
We will start by seeking an understanding of the difference between religion and the Kingdom as it relates to our humanity. This is the first part of this. Keep reading.
"Religion vs. The Kingdom of God"
The power of religion resides in its capacity to serve as a standby for the Kingdom of God.
Therefore hindering humanity from pursuing the genuine answer to their dilemma.
Religion is created by human beings, not by Christ.
In this study of the nature of religion. And how it affects the process of man’s pursuit of the Kingdom. It will uncover several significant realities.
Consider some of the critical ways religion changes the message of the Kingdom.
Religion preoccupies man until he has found the Kingdom.
Religion prepares man to leave Earth.
However, the Kingdom empowers man to dominate planet Earth.
Religion is going up to God; the Kingdom is God coming down to man.
Finally, religion wants to escape Earth. The Kingdom impacts, influences, and changes the Earth.
Perhaps this is why Jesus addressed the religious leaders of His day so strongly when
“I’ve had it with you! You’re hopeless, you religion scholars, you Pharisees! Frauds! Your lives are roadblocks to God’s Kingdom. You refuse to enter and won’t let anyone else in either.
“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert. But once you get him, you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned. Matthew 23:13-15 MSG
What Corrupts Your Life?
Afterward, the Pharisees and religious scholars came to Jesus from Jerusalem. criticizing, “Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?”
But Jesus put it right back on them. “Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God’s commands?” Matthew 15:1-3 MSG
“Underestimate even the smallest item in God’s Law. And you will only have belittled yourself.
But take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the Kingdom unless you do far better than the Pharisees in right living.
You won’t know the first thing about entering the Kingdom. Matthew 5:20 MSG
On another occasion, Jesus said, “Yes, and I tell you that crooks and whores will precede you into God’s Kingdom. John came to you, showing you the right road.
You turned your noses at him, but the crooks and whores believed him. Even when you saw their changed lives, you didn’t care enough to change and believe him.” Matthew 21:31 MSG
It seems clear from these words that religion. Is one of the most significant obstacles to the Kingdom.
Perhaps this may cause us all to look at religion’s power over our lives, culture, and society.
Christianity as a religion is the world’s largest and most well-known religion, with 2.8 billion followers.
In Christianity, we are established, well-studied, professionally researched, recorded, and distributed. Still, little or nothing is known about the Kingdom of God.
Most of those trained in official institutions understand the Christian Religion. And spread its professed message—Graduate without taking a single course in Kingdom studies.
Often, no such course is available. The result is that most ordained ministers and priests. Have no formal instruction in any Kingdom concept whatsoever.
Therefore, they cannot reproduce or teach its message.
They prioritize propagating the Christian religion rather than the message and concepts of the Kingdom of God.
This continuation of the Christian religion and its rituals, customs, and rites. It has left a great emptiness in the world that must and can be filled only by understanding the Kingdom.
True disciples of Christ have to learn what a kingdom is. Its functions and all the elements. That makes it unique to share this life-transforming message with others effectively.
You cannot correct what you don’t understand or experience what you put off.
The Kingdom is the most essential message humanity has ever received. A message the entire world desperately needs to hear.
What are your thoughts on Religion vs. The Kingdom of God?
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Have You Received Salvation?
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.
Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it.
And why? Because that person failed to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. John 3:16-18
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
“I assure you and most solemnly say to you. Unless a person is born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
How Can Anyone Be Born Again Who Has Already Been Born and Grown Up?
“I assure you and most solemnly say to you unless one is born of water and the Spirit. He cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh [the physical is merely physical], and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.” John 3:5-6
Born from Above
“Therefore IF anyone is in Christ, he IS a NEW creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become NEW.” 2 Cor 5:17
What does the Bible say about how you get salvation?
The ABCs of salvation is the acronym for admitting, believing, and confessing.
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and is justified; with your mouth, you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
Because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God]. And believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved.
With the heart, a person believes [in Christ as Savior]. Resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God].
With the mouth, he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation. Romans 10:9-10 (AMP)
We receive salvation in Christ through repentance and faith. This means changing our thinking, turning away from sinful ways (repentance) and, turning to God (faith), trusting in Christ.
Jesus will forgive our sins and set us on a path to life with Him. We cannot earn this right. It is His free gift.
It is a free gift because Jesus has already forgiven you. He is waiting on you to decide to choose Him in this very moment at this exact time in the present.
What If You Die Today?
Have you ever thought about that question? People die every day, and many of those deaths are totally unexpected. Have you ever considered your eternal destiny?
Choose to receive the Kingdom of God by Confessing that Jesus is Lord.
Pray this Prayer
“Father God, Holy is your name. Your Kingdom come, and Your will be done in my life.
Come into my heart and my mind as my Lord and Savior. Take complete control of my life and help me to walk in your Spirit and not in my flesh daily by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Father God, I welcome your word into my life and declare and decree that “Jesus is my Master .”
Embracing, my body, soul, and Spirit, I am calling out to you, God, trusting that you do it for your glory.
I believe God, you have set everything right between You and me! Thank You, Lord, for saving me and for answering my prayer. In Jesus’ Name. It is so. Amen.”
That’s salvation. With your whole being, you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!”
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Munroe, M. (2004, November 1). Rediscovering the Kingdom: Ancient Hope for Our 21st Century World. Destiny Image Incorporated.
Matthew 23:15 – Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Matthew%2023%3A15
Matthew 15:1-20 After that, Pharisees and religious scholars came to …. https://www.bible.com/bible/compare/MAT.15.1-20
Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 5:13-20 – The Message. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205:13-20&version=MSG
Matthew 21:31 “Which of the two sons did what the father … – Bible. https://www.bible.com/bible/compare/MAT.21.31
The Mission of The Church Is In Light Of The Kingdom Of God. C. Rene Padilla. –
Religion vs. Kingdom. Advancing Kingdom. https://advancingkingdom.org/2018/11/03/religion-vs-kingdom/
Luke 12:31-34 The Message. Bible Gateway. Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2012%3A31-33&version=MSG,AMP
Luke 17:21 The Message. Bible Gateway. Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+17%3A21&version=MSG;AMP
John 18:36 Amplified Bible. Bible Gateway. Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.
Matthew 3:2 Amplified Bible. Bible Gateway. Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+3%3A2&version=MSG;AMP
Matthew 3:2 The Message. Bible Gateway. Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+3%3A2&version=MSG;AMP
Metanoia (theology). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metanoia_(theology)
Metanoeō. Blue Letter Bible https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g3340/kjv/tr/0-1/
Basileia. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basileia
Ouranon. Wiktionary. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%BF%E1%BD%90%CF%81%CE%B1%CE%BD%CF%8C%CF%82
Book of Revelation. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Revelation
Christianity. World History Encyclopedia. https://www.worldhistory.org/christianity/
What Did Jesus Mean by “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand”? Jessica Brodie Contributing Writer. Bible Study Tools.
The Kingdom of God Defined. Myles Munroe. Youtube. https://youtu.be/o6EIWJOQ7qY