Understand the difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven using Scripture in this information-packed article.
Have you ever asked yourself a question about what you just read? When you read the Bible, you would often see several places where the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven are used separately. Or mostly alternately.
Now that you think about it, is this question valid?
Is there really a difference between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God? At face value, they mean the same thing. The Kingdom of God should be the Kingdom of heaven. But significant biblical evidence suggests otherwise.
The Kingdom of God is not the same as the Kingdom of Heaven. There are differences between the two kingdoms that you should be aware of in your daily Bible study.
This article aims to further explain the difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.
First, you should understand each one without comparing them and then see the differences between each Kingdom when putting them side by side.
What is the Kingdom of Heaven?
When you hear the word heaven, several images definitely come to mind.
The breathtaking light of the throne, beautiful flower gardens, still water pools, flowing fountains, charming children playing in white robes, beautiful golden streets, and magnificent, mighty mansions.
These images depict God’s house as a physical presence or environment accessible to our senses.
The Kingdom of Heaven is believed to be a place of rest, where all the saints go after their time here on earth is over. Later the saints will go there when the rapture takes place. It is a place of bliss for all believers, where we can all finally be with Jesus.
Have you ever asked yourself what heaven looks like?
The Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible has 5 main components. These components are clearly outlined in Revelation 21 and some parts of chapter 22. They are namely; God’s glory, throne, the city walls, the city, and the river.
What you take out of all these is that the Kingdom of Heaven is a physical kingdom where God’s glory and value systems are fully expressed, with no form of withdrawal or barrier. It is like an earthly kingdom you would go to, with God as the King reigning over the Kingdom.
“The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all…” Psalms 103:19
Now that you understand what the Kingdom of Heaven is let’s move on to the meaning of the Kingdom of God.
What is the Kingdom of God?
The Kingdom of God is everywhere under the influence of God’s sovereignty. It is the spiritual realm where God reigns as King, and every person (Christians, to be exact) is subject to His will, authority, and influence.
In this realm, God’s influence is not limited to the Kingdom of Heaven, where His manifest presence is literally seen. We do not see God in all His visible glory here on earth, but as Christians, we understand God’s role in our lives.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we have recognized God as the sovereign to whom we give allegiance and reverence. Think of it as power. Sovereign persuasive power.
A person freed from the Kingdom of darkness enters the “kingdom of God” by recognizing Him as the Lord of his life. Believers all over the world belong to this Kingdom.
This Kingdom is spiritual, but not for long.
But is the Kingdom of God in Heaven or on Earth?
Some experts believe that the Kingdom of God includes everything that has been created by God. That is also true. But not everyone acknowledges God as the sovereign one. For a kingdom to reign, there must be an acknowledgment of the King’s supremacy. This principle transcends the Kingdom of God from just the physical to the spiritual realm. The Kingdom of God is both in Heaven and on Earth.
The Differences Between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven?
One of these kingdoms lies between the boundaries of the other. So one is essentially bigger than the other.
The Kingdom of Heaven is within the Kingdom of God. This is because the Kingdom of Heaven is the physical place where God’s presence and value system are manifested within the boundaries of the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is everywhere, and it is also anything that acknowledges the supremacy of God. This includes, but is not limited to, the Kingdom of Heaven.
Christians here on earth are also part of the Kingdom of God. But the manifest glory of God cannot be freely expressed in every aspect of the Kingdom of God. As unusual as this may sound, it is a truth that we must come to terms with.
The Kingdom of God is also primarily spiritual, while the Kingdom of Heaven is physical.
Although God’s plan was never to separate the two kingdoms, His original plan was to have both together.
What caused the Division?
God’s intention was to have both Kingdoms operating in the same realm under the rule of Adam.
It was meant to be occupied by humans, the beings God created in his own image and likeness. God came to dwell, communicate and have a deep relationship with Adam.
But since disobedience put a temporal end between God and man’s relationship, his plan was not actualized. God, in his mercy, sent Jesus to build the bridge between God and man. Those who wish to remain under the Kingdom of God accept Jesus as their Lord and personal savior.
Irrespective of the differences between both Kingdoms, they will be united again. The Kingdom of Heaven will reign on earth. This will be after the rapture when only those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord will reign with Christ in this new Kingdom.
Every member of the body of Christ is a citizen of the Kingdom of God. A Christian lives in God’s sovereignty. But true obedience is in your heart, and this is where the Kingdom of God is.
It is reflected in your daily actions, the thoughts you think, and the decisions you make. Do they reflect a true and faithful citizen of God’s Kingdom?
If not, there is still time. May the Lord truly rule your heart as we await the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
About the Author
This is a guest post by Emily Morgan—from Best Daily Prayers, a dedicated Christian platform focused on helping our community find inner peace through their faith.