“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying,
‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.’ ” Mark 1:14-15 (KJB)
John the Baptist preached the message too; preparing the way for the Messiah. I have thought for years on the topic of “the kingdom”, “the kingdom of God” and “the kingdom of heaven” and wondered, “What is the difference?” or even, “Is there any difference.
I have finally come to a conclusion of the matter of the kingdom. The terms are synonymous referring to the same thought. If you disagree that is fine. We can still be brothers in Christ and disagree.
We must realize that the people of God – Israel – had for years turned their back upon God. They were “Looking for the kingdom of God” but completely missing it; especially the religious leaders; and then, along comes the prophet John, and he is preaching, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” Matthew 3:2. It is not that the kingdom had suddenly appeared, but that it had always been present and at hand.
With the coming of Jesus and His message He says the same thing as John. Now that Jesus is here the kingdom has took on Personhood, and He is the Son of God, God the Son; the God-Man and praise God He Himself is here.
Just some things for musing; The gospels of Mark, Luke and John call it the “Kingdom of God”. Matthew is the only gospel which calls it “The kingdom of heaven”.
What is the kingdom, the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God?
The kingdom or kingdom of heaven or kingdom of God is referring to all that is under the sovereign, superintending hand of Almighty God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. So, we must conclude that even evil, evil deeds, and evil people are also superintended by His mighty hands and Omniscient mind. He does not do evil; neither does He approve it; He does set its limits and says to it when it reaches its limit “This far and no farther”. Think of where God cut off the evil acts of the Pharaoh during the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. According to John Baptist and Jesus the kingdom is at hand.
There is however, the Kingdom coming with Jesus Christ ruling and reigning over the world sitting on His throne in the City of Jerusalem; and His kingdom and rule will be forever.
You can be with Him in that kingdom by submitting to Him, His cross confessing your sins, that He died for you, was buried, and He rose again. Repent – turn your back to sin. Call on His name. He will hear and He will save you to be with Him through all eternity.