I've written a post previously asking the question, "What is the Kingdom of God?" Today's post is going to be about why that question is central to Christian theology.
First and foremost, the Kingdom of God is important because it is central to the message of Jesus. As I've already mentioned, Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God more than any other subject. When Jesus preaches good news to people, he's preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God.
(If you don't believe me, go to Bible Gateway and search for "good news". Every time the words appear on Jesus' lips he's either preaching the good news of the kingdom or he's quoting a passage from Isaiah about the Kingdom of God.)
That right there is fairly significant. Most people know that Christians are supposed to evangelize. Some people even know that evangelism means telling people the good news. In Jesus' case, good news meant good news about the Kingdom of God. We don't usually think of evangelism as telling people about the Kingdom of God, but it's pretty clear that Jesus thought of it that way.
The second reason it's important it is the first thing that Jesus tells us to pray for. When Jesus teaches his followers how to pray, he gives an example prayer that we call the Lord's Prayer. As you can see, in it, the first thing he prays for is for God's Kingdom to come. And Jesus' early followers probably prayed like this several times a day.
The third reason it's important is because Jesus tells us that our first priority should be to seek the Kingdom of God. Jesus tells his followers not to worry about food or clothing. He tells them to seek God's kingdom and let God take care of the rest. This is a bold teaching that really underlines how important the Kingdom of God really is.
The Kingdom of God is important because, as Christians we are called to tell people about the Kingdom of God, pray for God's Kingdom to come and seek God's Kingdom ahead of everything else. In other words, the whole Christian life revolves around the Kingdom of God. If we have a flawed or a deficient understanding of God's Kingdom it impacts everything we do as Christians.
That's why I think it's important for believers to think about what the Kingdom of God truly is. More than anything else, it's the one concept that shapes the whole religion.