Though the kingdom of God was a reality in the ministry and preaching of Jesus, it was not to be relegated solely to those few years. This was to be true even after His resurrection and ascension to the Father. It was after His sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection that Jesus proclaimed His kingship to the eleven (minus Judas Iscariot) right before He gave, what we call, the Great Commission:
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Interestingly enough, as I had mentioned previously, before ascending to the Father, Jesus spent that interval of forty days continuing to teach the eleven about the kingdom of God.
He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)
And remember that this was the message Paul was teaching even at the close of Acts as he was under house arrest:
30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. (Acts 28:30-31)
We also see the continuing present reality of Christ’s rule and reign in the letters of the New Testament:
…19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:19-23)
This is a definite statement that Christ is above every rule, authority, power, dominion and name. No, not every knee has bowed or every tongue confessed (Philippians 2:9-11). That is reserved for a future date. Nevertheless, He is truly reigning as King at His Father’s right hand – over the lives of those who have bowed their knee, but also over every circumstance and situation.
Not only that, but it is this kingdom rule of Christ into which we have been transferred:
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”…5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3, 5)
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. (Colossians 1:13)
No doubt that it is the ekklesia, Christ’s church, that has been born again and has seen the kingdom of God, for we have been transferred from the domain of the evil one into the kingdom of Christ Himself.
Thus, we can be sure that Christ not only initiated the great expression of God’s rule while He walked amongst humanity, but He continues to reign following His resurrection and ascension. Matter of fact, it is because He is at the right hand of the Father that we are assured He has all authority over heaven and earth. Let this be a comfort to the people of God!
Click here to read some thoughts on the reality of the kingdom in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.