“As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.'” -Matthew 10:7
The kingdom of heaven can be understood in many ways. You might think of it as the range of God’s effective will, like Dallas Willard likes to put it, or you might think of it as the concrete place where God dwells. Maybe it should be thought of in multiple ways, but for the moment, I’ll take it concretely: the place where God dwells.
What does it mean then, in this sense, that the kingdom of heaven is near? If it means simply that Jesus is about to come and take us all there, well, is that just a loose use of the word “about”, or “near”, considering Jesus said this 2000 years ago? Does it have to do with the location of the kingdom?
Or does it have to do with our state of being?
The kingdom of heaven is only one heartbeat away. It doesn’t really matter what you believe about what happens after death. Whether you think your spirit instantly goes to heaven, or that you fall asleep, and in the blink of an eye, you’re waking up to the trumpets and Christ’s return. Either way, you could see the kingdom of heaven in less than one conscious minute. And you definitely will in less than 80 or 100 years.
So even though it’s been 2000 years since people started preaching this, it is just as true now as ever. The kingdom of heaven is near.
Do you live like it?