At Hand

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4:17

The Bible refers to heaven in three different ways.

1. The visible heavens created in Genesis. We would call this sky and space.
2. The kingdom of heaven where God reigns.
3. The third heaven where Paul and John were able to view the eternal nature of God in all His glory.

The kingdom of heaven that was established in earth by Jesus is the second in this list. God reigns from heaven but that kingdom has and does extend everywhere. The phrase “at hand” means “it is right here.” Jesus was not describing a kingdom that He would set up several thousand years later.

The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the visible manifestation of that kingdom. The New Testament Church was established by Jesus and it is the place where the saints of God may press into the service of God in a visible way.

Keep in mind that this kingdom of heaven is not separate from the eternal realm of God. It is part of it! And the love we share and feel in church is the same quality of love in heaven that we will experience for eternity!

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