Kingdom; Kingdom of God; Kingdom of Heaven

Concise Bible Dictionary:

In Daniel 2:4444And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (Daniel 2:44) it is predicted that “In the days of these kings [the ten divisions of the fourth kingdom, the revived Roman Empire] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (compare also Dan. 7). The “kingdom of heaven” was announced by John the Baptist and by the Lord as “at hand” (Matt. 3:22And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 3:2); Matt. 4:1717From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)), but the Lord declared that the “kingdom of God” had come (Matt. 12:2828But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. (Matthew 12:28)). In many respects the two expressions are identical, but the “kingdom of heaven” occurs in the gospel by Matthew only, and stands in contrast to the Messiah on earth. It refers to the rule of that which God has set in heaven, and commenced when Christ went to heaven. It may be illustrated by the lights which God set in the heavens to give light and to rule on earth. The “kingdom of God” is more connected with the moral state established in man.
The Jews having refused their king, the kingdom was not set up in manifestation at that time and it is still held in abeyance. In the meanwhile it is “the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:99I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 1:9)). Christ is represented as having gone to receive a kingdom, and to return (Luke 19:1212He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. (Luke 19:12)). In the meantime the kingdom has been produced, and goes on in its mysterious form (compare Matt. 13:1111He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. (Matthew 13:11)). There are multitudes who profess obedience to God and to the Lord Jesus, and who look to heaven as the throne from whence come all their blessings, while they are passing through a world of which Satan is the god and prince; but to the saints the kingdom of God is very real. They by faith anticipate the kingdom in power. Righteousness, peace, and joy, characteristics of the kingdom, are already theirs in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:1717For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Romans 14:17)). In this sense the kingdom of God is often referred to in the Epistles. A person must be born again really to enter into it (John 3:3, 53Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
5Jesus 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. (John 3:5)
), but this idea is distinct from the form which the kingdom has taken, and the dimensions it has attained in the hands of man.
The parables in the gospels describe the form and objects of the kingdom while the Lord is away. In Matthew 13 the Lord spoke four parables to the multitude; then He dismissed the people and explained the parable of the Wheat and the Tares to His disciples, and added three parables bearing on the secret character of the kingdom. It is shown that evil would be found in the kingdom, but that Christ will eventually send His angels to gather out of His kingdom all things that offend; then it will be established in power by the Lord Jesus sitting on His own throne, and reigning supreme as Son of Man over the earth, ending by His ultimately giving up the kingdom to the Father, that God may be all in all (1 Cor. 15:24,2824Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (1 Corinthians 15:24)
28And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:28)
). The moral characteristics suitable to the kingdom are given in the Sermon on the Mount, and its principles and order in Matthew 18.
The kingdom must not be confounded with the church. In the kingdom the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest; but in the church a wicked person is to be put out (1 Cor. 5:1313But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1 Corinthians 5:13)). There may appear to be a similarity between the professing church and the kingdom; but the ideas are not the same. The kingdom is the sphere of Christ’s rule; whereas the church is the dwelling place of God by the Spirit. Neither will the duration on earth of the church and the kingdom be the same; the kingdom will be set up in power after the rapture of the church, and will continue during the millennium. The Christian, besides sharing in the privileges of the church, has also the privileges and responsibilities attaching to the kingdom. To each individual is entrusted a pound (Luke 19:12-2412He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (Luke 19:12‑24)); or, in another aspect, one or more talents (Matt. 25:14-2814For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. (Matthew 25:14‑28)), which he is responsible to use for his Lord and Master, and for which he will have to give an account in a future day. His place in heaven is by grace apart from his works, but his reward in the kingdom will be according to his faithfulness to his Lord.