And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. – Luke 17.20-21
The Pharisees were frustrated because Jesus kept talking about this coming on God’s kingdom. ‘When is it coming?’ they asked. ‘When are You going to become King?’
Jesus said that the Kingdom of God He is talking about here is not something that the world is going to see physically. There is not going to be an enthronement of a world King. That is coming later. The kingdom of God Jesus is talking about here is a kingdom in the hearts of men. One day later Jesus will return to set up His earthly kingdom.
That notion of the kingdom of God within us is easy to miss, but it is of vital importance. The kingdom of God is in the hearts and lives of His people as we live in the world today. That is why we are called ‘citizens of heaven’ even while we live here. We do indeed have to live here on this world, but we need not be overly concerned with this world. We obey its laws, we pray for an honour our leaders, we pay our taxes, and we care for our fellow citizens. We avoid its fights and squabbles over the petty things of this temporary life.
But the affairs of this world and the nation we live in are not to be our primary concern. Advancing the kingdom of God is our focus. We rise up as a mighty army, but an army whose battle cry is not ‘remember this or that,’ but our battle cry is love.’ Our weapons are not guns and bombs and swords. Our weapon is the word of God. We need not live in despair over the conditions of the world, but with our focus on our eternal goals and our eternal home.
This world is not my home, I’m just’a passing through.