Študijski predmeti

Koncept zgodovine, kraljestva, pravičnosti, opravičenja in odrešenja v Stari in Novi zavezi
Duhovnost v Svetem pismu in cerkvenih očetih

The concept of the kingdom looms large on the pages of Scripture. Herman Ridderbos thought it so important that he declared: “The whole of the preaching of Jesus Christ and his apostles is concerned with the kingdom of God.”

Robert Saucy echoes the point: “While mentioned far less often in the epistles, the ‘kingdom of God’ still qualifies as the summary of the apostolic teaching.” John Bright has even stated that “the concept of the Kingdom of God involves, in a real sense, the total message of the Bible.” Yet despite its importance, perhaps no other theme of the gospels has invoked greater confusion and controver-sy. There is no agreement on such basic questions as: What is the very nature of the kingdom of God? Is the kingdom of God different from the kingdom of heaven? Has the kingdom arrived? If not, why not and when will it come? What did Christ teach about the kingdom? These questions and more like them have engendered much debate in the theological world.

The purpose of this article is to evaluate the kingdom of God as it is espoused in the gospel of Matthew. I have chosen this topic for four basic reasons. First, attempting an overall survey of the kingdom would be a massive un-dertaking beyond my present capabilities. Second, Matthew is a hinge book, linking the Old and New Testaments, and so the presentation of the kingdom in the first gospel is extremely important. Third, the concept of the kingdom is prominently featured in Matthew; in fact, it is the theme of the book. Finally, although the advent of progressive dispensationalism has refocused attention on the kingdom of God, most of the detailed attention has been given to Luke.

Chapter Two, lays a foundation for this study by providing a brief overview of various views of the kingdom from a systematic theology perspective. Chapter Three looks at the coming kingdom as it was announced by Jesus, and John before him, primarily in chapters 3 and 4 of Matthew. Chapter Four looks at the kingdom that “has come,” as espoused in Matthew chapters 12 and 13. Chapter Five looks at kingdom living, as Jesus explained it in chapters 5 through 7 (the Sermon on the Mount) and later in chapters 18 and 19. Chapter Six reviews the consummation of the kingdom when Jesus ushers in the millennial reign, as described principally in chapters 24 and 25. In Chapter Seven, I draw several modest conclusions from this study and suggest areas for additional study.

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