In various ways, Jesus communicated the Kingdom of God is present in the here and now. His first words were “The time has come; the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mk. 1:15) There are a new kingdom and a new realm of time and space revealed. There is a radical paradigm change in how we engage and perceive life. It is the Eternal Now of the Kingdom of God.
In the eternal now of God, the concept of time has neither beginning nor end. Time exists in our mind as a universal concept consisting of the past, present, and future. However every event in your life up to this moment is past history, even the previous second is gone forever. Future time in our minds is as an illusion that doesn’t exist for there is no such thing as tomorrow as time is always now. There is only the present moment a continual eternal now. (More on the Eternal Now)
For theologians, there is a tension between the Kingdom of God being present, and not yet present in the fullness of time. The vast majority of Christians naturally believe with the limits of our understanding of time the kingdom is out there to be fully realized or gained in some celestial land we call heaven. However, others contemplate the kingdom of Heaven is not out there, or not someplace we are waiting to go, but it is an experience in our hearts in the here and now. The Christian mystic sees beyond mere flesh and blood and visualizes the eternal nature of reality. Christ is experienced as the Eternal now and not off in the future sometime.
One of the most revolutionary truths I discovered was to become aware I no longer live my life (self) as existing autonomously from God. God is no longer “out there,” sought after time and time again; He is here (present) with me. God is not just in heaven but residing with you and me here and now. Scripture states the bread of heaven came down to us (Jn. 6:33). The incarnation of the living Christ unveiled the sustenance of life in real flesh and blood.
The Eternal Christ is now the head of a new family of sons and daughters of God. The Holy Spirit indwells our bodies with the love of God. God came to be with us, to tabernacle with us, dwell with us, to restore us, and it cannot be a more straightforward message. He offers us His presence and life here and now and forever. In our fallen condition separated from the Creator (God) and a world where time is measured it is natural to believe heaven is out there in the future but the truth is the kingdom of God is the active presence of Christ in our lives moment by moment experienced in the Eternal Now and forever.
Image via Pixabay