The concept of the Kingdom of God is, in a certain important sense, the grand central theme of the Holy Scriptures. The Old Testament (OT) and New Testament (NT) constitute the primary sources for our information concerning the kingdom of God. The OT concept of the kingdom of God relates directly to God’s sovereignty throughout all the ages. From the creation (Gen. 1 – 2) to the Fall (Gen. 3), and throughout biblical history (Gen. 6 – 9, 11; Exod. 3 – 16, etc.), evidences abound of a sovereign God who is in charge and controls all (both the world and His creatures). God began His kingdom program at creation, long before the establishment of an earthly messianic kingdom.
The NT presents an overwhelming idea that the “kingdom of God/heaven” refers to the promised Davidic Messianic Kingdom centrally based in the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12, 15), the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7; Pss 2, 110) as well as its spiritual requirements necessary for its realization in the New Covenant (Jer 31:31-33; Ezek 36:25-27; cp. John 3:1-6). Despite the OT basis for the Kingdom of God, the NT, through the teachings and works of Jesus Christ, is rich with evidences of not only its formal inauguration on earth but also its growth and the hope of final consummation at the Second Coming of Christ (Matt. 5 – 7; cf. Lk. 6:17 – 49; Mat. 12:29; cf. Mk. 3:27; Lk. 11:21 – 22). Ayegboyin asserts that the kingdom of Heaven/God is a term of central importance in the Synoptic tradition because it constitutes the central theme of the teachings of Jesus Christ thus: 15 times in Mark; 39 times in Luke, and 46 times in Matthew.
This chapter therefore examines the concept and meaning of the Kingdom of God with emphasis on Jewish understanding. It further explores Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom of God which unfolds its phases of manifestation. The nature of the Kingdom of God is contrasted within the ambit of Jewish and Jesus’ thoughts. Then the study evaluated scholars’ views of the concept of the Kingdom of God. Prior to the conclusion, the principles for entrance into God’s Kingdom, both at present and in the future, are presented.