Book Review: The Spirit-Filled Life by Charles F. Stanley

August 29, 2014 2:14 am

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Charles Stanley’s new book, The Spirit Filled Life, is a thorough, accessible, and practical book that teaches Christians what it means to be filled with the Spirit, or how to lead a Spirit-Filled Life, as the book teaches. In this work, Stanley gives an excellent overview on the theology of the Spirit and what that means for us, in which the author explains topics like who the Holy Spirit is (His essence and character), who He isn’t, and how a Christian is suppose to walk according to the Spirit. It is a wonderful, 18 chapter book that describes the Spirit’s role in our lives and gives a remarkable, yet true, portrait on who He is. The book also has a great appendix that teaches issues like sign gifts (and what the Spirit’s role is in them, if any in our day and age).

This is a book I would highly recommend if you are curious about the person of the Holy Spirit and how He ministers to Christians. Since all Christians are indwelt by the Spirit upon salvation, it is only fitting that we learn what He does in our lives (and what He doesn’t), and how to submit to His leading and conviction in our lives. Stanley has contributed a great work to modern Christian literature by writing a book that teaches, essentially, holiness and worship of God.

Note: I received this book free from Booklookbloggers.com for a book review. I was not obligated to write a good review, but only my honest opinion.

 

Book reviewed by author Steve Cha, author of Hollywood Mission: Possible:

Ask Steve: Futurism, Historicism, Preterism

August 25, 2014 9:51 pm

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Currently Reading:

Appointed to Preach: Assessing a Call to Ministry

by David W. Hegg

Category: Christian Ministry

2010 reprint, Mentor

 

 

 

 

Question: Steve. I am curious as to your eschatological view. Are you a futurist, historicist, or preterist? Explain why you are one and not the other. 

Answer: I am a futurist. I believe this is the accurate view of prophetic/apocalyptic passages in the Old and New Testament because of: 1). Grammatical-historical hermeneutics that result in such an interpretation, 2). Chronology order (such in the book of Revelation) indicates that events depicted in such books have not occurred yet, and 3). Many OT prophecies have not been fulfilled to this day and cannot have already been fulfilled in a figurative and mystical manner because of various contradictory factors. These are some of the reasons why I believe the futurist view does the most justice to interpreting prophetic passages. It honors a reputable hermeneutical system and makes the most sense when all pieces of the biblical puzzle are put together from the OT and NT. However, this response will mostly take into account the weaknesses of the other views like historicism and preterism, and through this critique, I will show why I do not believe that they represent the true intent of the prophetic authors, which hopefully will serve as a backdrop to the otherwise sturdier explanation of futurism.

The preterist view is one of the most popular alternatives to futurism. It teaches that many parts of the book of Revelation have already been fulfilled in the past. Within preterism, there are a few different camps: mild preterism, partial preterism, and extreme preterism. Mild preterism believes that Rev 6-12 occurred around the time of AD 70, while the rest of it fits more within the historicist interpretation. Partial preterism views most of the events of Revelation having already occurred in the destruction of Jerusalem (AD 70) and some events are still future (Christ’s second coming, Great White Throne Judgment, new earth). Full preterism believes that Revelation was completely fulfilled in a figurative manner in AD 70, which was the year of “Jesus’ Second Coming” to judge apostate Israel. They do not believe that Revelation predicts anything about the future or the end of history.

The obvious problem with the preterist (both partial and full) view is that it assumes the book of Revelation was written around AD 64 to 67 when a majority of the evidence points to its authorship around AD 95-96 during the reign of Emperor Domitian. This was affirmed by 2nd and 3rd church historians such as Irenaeus, Alexandria, Origen, Victorinus, and Jerome. If preterists are correct in their dating and their hypothesis, then the Apostle John would not have been looking forward to the future, but looking back in history, which does not make much sense when one exegetes the text, since the descriptions of “fulfillment” do not match the events of AD 70. This already shows that the preterist view cannot be correct, for one would have to negate the rules of biblical interpretation to make the book fit with the preterist paradigm.

Aside from the dating issue, the interpretation and prophetic fulfillments of the preterist theology is not satisfactory. Extreme preterists say that the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 was fulfilled in a symbolic manner in AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem. However, the problem with this view is that Jesus did not return that year, in which no eye beheld Him. Jesus stated in this speech that the gospel would be preached as a witness to all nations (24:14), which evidently did not happen during the time of AD 70. The gospel hadn’t even reached the whole Roman Empire during this year. The other themes mentioned in these “last day” scenarios, such as nation rising against nation (v.7), the abomination of desolation (v. 16), and the sun being darkened (v. 29) is just too specific and too global in scope to really have been fulfilled in AD 70, especially when there were no corresponding events that matched these verses’ description.

Similar problems can also be seen with the historicist and idealist framework. Historicism, which was popular from the 16th to 19th century, is the view that the prophesied events in the book of Revelation is being fulfilled throughout history from the time of Jesus’ first coming to right now, although scholars disagree as to how certain prophecies were fulfilled and at what time in history. For example, they would view the Great Prostitute of Revelation 17:1-12 as the historic Roman Catholic Church, including false “Protestant” churches, figures such as the Pope as the Antichrist, and the number 666 of Revelation 13:18 to refer to the Latin or Roman Catholic papacy. The problem with this view is that it does not square with the integrity of proper biblical exegesis, which reveals that the time of the Beast’s inauguration to power up until Christ’s Second Coming is actually 3 and ½ years, not 1,000 plus years to accommodate the historicist framework. To believe in the historicist view would be to morph the text into allegory, which can inevitably lead to all sorts of fanciful interpretations that have no warrant, and guesses about how certain prophecies were fulfilled in history.

The idealist view tends to be more far fetched, as it stretches the symbolic and allegorical nature of the book of Revelation to greater heights. Idealism teaches that the book of Revelation is not describing prophecies to be fulfilled at any one particular time or period in history. Rather, Bible prophecies are supposed to be mystical, spiritual lessons that are timeless and teach basic truths. These eschatological lessons are categorized as: 1). Christians are called to endure amidst difficult times, 2). There will be constant battle between good and evil until Christ returns to renew all things, 3). Jesus, and all good and justice, will prevail when it is all said and done. Although this is certainly an interesting and possible interpretation, if not a very edifying message to the saints, it nevertheless does not do complete justice to the book of Revelation, especially given the fact that Revelation (and even other prophetic Old Testament books) is so specific about details concerning the end times (ex. years, spatial dimensions, geography) that to over allegorize it into a broad moral lesson is to completely disregard its prophetic message and its details, making word-for-word exegesis of the text a futile endeavor. There is just not enough warrant to use a spiritualized hermeneutical approach to such a book, regardless of what one thinks about the “apocalyptic” genre of Revelation.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that the futurist view of the book of Revelation is the most probable, not just because it is formulated based on a hermeneutical system used to interpret other biblical books, but that it simply makes the most sense. This is not to say that the futurist view does not have its challenges when it comes to difficult passages to interpret. But as a whole, it seems to be the only view that adequately answers questions regarding the specific nature of the end times and the unfulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament, especially concerning the nation of Israel. When interpreted in the literal sense, we get a clear picture of how the world will end as God also revealed to us how the world began. The Bible is the complete story of history according to God.

Recommended Resource: Understanding End Times Prophecy by Paul Benware

Book Review: What’s Best Next by Matt Perman

August 20, 2014 4:30 am

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What’s Best Next is a new book by Matt Perman that explores the topic of the gospel and productivity. It does not necessarily speak about excelling in the work place, but in any areas of service to others and working for the glory of God.

It is first and foremost centered on the gospel. Without this understanding, working is merely another chore to get ahead in the world or to serve one’s own motives. However, the gospel shows us why we should serve others, love, and sacrifice ourselves for others. It is because Christ showed it us first on the cross. His life was also exemplary. This gives us the motive to be productive, which is for the greater motive: for the glory of God. This is the foundation behind the discussion in the 24 chapters of the book.

 Whether you are working professionally, in ministry, or even serving others in your household, I recommend this book. It is a great theological and practical discussion on why work is important and should be done with a proper understanding of the gospel in mind. It literally changes everything. It gives you the motive to be productive for God’s glory. You will find this book to be encouraging, and even life changing, since it contains practical exercises and models to put this theology into practice.

Note: I received this book free free Booklookbloggers.com. I was not obligated to give a positive review, but only my honest opinion.

 

Book reviewed by Steve Cha, author of Hollywood Mission: Possible:

Ask Steve: Church Government

August 20, 2014 1:37 am

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Question: Steve, I grew up in a church where the congregation voted on all the major decisions. Then I went to a church with a Presbyterian form of government. Now I go to a church where the elders make the big decisions. What’s your view of church government and why do you hold to your view and not the others?  Just how important is holding the right view of church government?

Answer: Holding the right view of church government is important for a couple of reasons. The first is the issue of integrity to God’s word. Depending on what form of government the church practices reveals much about the church’s philosophy of ministry and how they view commitment to Scripture. Do they faithfully submit to what the Bible teaches about everything, including church government, or are they more guided by reason, tradition, and pragmatism? Another reason this issue is important is that depending on what form of government the church practices could make or break a church. In many ways, this goes back to the first reason, because lack of faithfulness to the instruction of Scripture leads to disorder, unjust autocracy or democracy, and disunity that leads to divisions, conflicts, and splits. This is not to say that the most biblical formula will always lead to peace and success, but that obedience to Scripture at most times produce good fruit because it is God’s commanded will.

The most practiced forms of church government are Episcopal, Presbyterian, and congregational. My view of the church is that which is most consistent with what is depicted in Scripture and the practice of 1st century Christianity, which is congregational, plurality elder rule. The reason I abide by this form of church rule is that it is the one that has the most weight of evidence in Scripture. We are given a good guideline in the epistles on how to shepherd the body of Christ, and since I truly believe in the inspiration, inerrancy, and sufficiency of Scripture, I also believe in the form of church government illustrated in the New Testament. I don’t believe that it is outdated or annulled by more pragmatic or creative forms of operating a church today. I believe in faithfulness to God’s word, trusting in Him for the results, and belief that blessings will come to the church as a result of such faithfulness. 

If we examine the elder rule of government, we see that it is not only biblical, but it captures the essence of a proper relationship between elders and laity in terms of authority and submission. Just as the Son submits to the authority of the Father and wife to the husband and civil subjects to the government, so laity are commanded to submit to the faithful rule of the appointed elders in the church (1 Peter 5:5). Scripture states that Christ is the head of the church and its supreme authority, therefore no single person or group of person can claim such authority over the church (Eph 1:22; 4:15). Second, the local church is to be autonomous and free from any external control or authority, which includes freedom from civil government control or a hierarchy of individuals within a church or other organizations (Titus 1:5). Third, the church is to be shepherded by leadership consisting of two groups of people: elders and deacons.

Elder rule was even the form of government during the time of Moses, in which they made political decisions and decided on spiritual matters (2 Sam 5:3; 17:4). It seems reasonable that elder rule would constitute the government of the church in the New Testament as well. Each church is comprised of multiple elders, one being appointed as the main pastor/teacher of the flock (Eph 4:11). This plurality of elders, being assisted by qualified deacons, are identified as the bishops and overseers of the local congregation (Acts 11:30; 1 Tim 5:17) and do not exercise their authority over other churches or subchurches. There can be no dictator over a universal church (Episcopalian Model). Furthermore, it is not ideal to have a single elder over the local assembly (Single Elder Congregational Model) or to have a collective group rule over several churches (Presbyterian model).

I am not in favor of certain forms of congregational rule. For example, congregational church government can allow power to be in the hands of the local congregants and not necessarily in the elders or leaders (Pure Democracy). Although Scripture speaks against unjust monarchy or dictatorship over the laity, it does blur the distinct roles of elders and laity. Lay people are never given the authority in Scripture to be the ones to appoint the deacon board and the single elder (pastor) of the church. Church government is not a democracy. When the congregation is given too much power to execute such a task, one of the dangerous consequences is that they may make decisions that are not biblically based, but more driven by emotions, biases, or what is pragmatic. The biblical solution is that laity are called to faithfully submit to the elders as much as subjects as expected to submit to the government (Romans 13). Elders must be qualified according to 1 Tim 3:8-13 and be the godly representatives to make biblically sound decisions as a committee. In turn, elders are to shepherd and guide with love and discernment, and the plurality of elders is used as a measure against the abuse of power against any one individual within the church leadership.

I also do not fully favor Presbyterian form of government, although it is somewhat closer to the elder rule principle. In Presbyterian government, “gifted elders” can use their wisdom to govern more than just one local church (which is not mentioned in Scripture). This form of government can be national or even worldwide, which supposedly shows the unity of the body of Christ (Scripture makes a distinction between the universal church and the government of local churches). Such a system is able to supposedly prevent an individual congregation from falling into doctrinal error much more effectively than any small group of elders in a church (the opposite can very well be true, when the denomination adopts a false doctrine and puts great pressure on local churches to conform to it when they have biblical grounds to reject it).

It is important to hold a right view of church government because the very health of the church very well depends on it. If you practice an unscriptural form of government, no matter how brilliant or politically correct it may seem, it is doomed to failure. It is prone to weaknesses, internal strife, and conflict. The church is prone to false teaching, pride, and sin. A church government that places too much emphasis on the authority of a single individual or organization can lead to tyranny or unjust rule. On the other side of the spectrum, too much power placed in the hands of the congregants leads to divided interests and a church ruled by carnality, naivete, and self-interest. That is why a proper form of church government is important. And Scripture provides us with such an outline with the government of elders and deacons who faithfully shepherd one local church, which is the best remedy against abuse of power, rise of heresy, dictatorship, and divisions within the church. I am not saying that the elder rule will always make a healthy and conflict-free church, but it is a good first step in putting together a healthy local assembly of believers, the reason being that it faithfully abides by the principles taught in Scripture.

Recommended Resource: Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch

Ask Steve: The Abrahamic Covenant

August 14, 2014 5:21 am

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Question: Steve, can you explain to me what the Abrahamic Covenant is and its importance?

Answer: The Abrahamic Covenant is an eternal, unilateral covenant that God made with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 and ratified in Genesis 15:7-21 in which God declared certain, unalienable promises to Abraham. The nature of these promises are so far reaching that they affect his offspring (spiritual and physical) as well. According to the stipulations of this covenant, God promised that a great nation would come from Abraham, implying that Abraham would have innumerable physical descendants and they would be a strong nation.

 Genesis 12:2 shows that Abraham will be blessed, his name will be great, and he will be a blessing to others. In fact, the name of Abraham would be so great that those who bless Abraham would in turn be blessed by God and those who curse Abraham will be cursed by God (v. 3). The Covenant also states that in Abraham all the Gentile families of the earth will be blessed, implying the spiritual salvation and benefit of the nations in the future. The Abrahamic Covenant is an everlasting covenant which contains four elements: 1). Seed (Gen 17:2-7; ct. Gal 3:8, where it referred to Christ), 2). Land (15:18-21); 3). A nation (12:2; 17:4), 4). Divine blessing and protection (12:3).

 The Abrahamic Covenant is the father of all the unilateral, biblical covenants (Davidic, New, etc) that God established in the Bible and is significant for a few reasons. The first reason is that it reveals the truth about God’s certain plan for Israel, which has implications for eschatology, the relationship and distinction between Israel and the church, and how one should interpret Scripture. Genesis 15:7-21 reveals that the covenant God made with Abraham is unilateral, which means that it is entirely up to the Lord to fulfill the conditions of the agreement before the close of world history. This means that this covenant cannot be broken and its benefits cannot be transferred to another party such as the church, which rules out the supercessionist theory. Although it can be delayed, the Abrahamic Covenant cannot be nullified because of the disobedience of Abraham or any of his descendents (Israel). This was the case with the bilateral arrangement, the Mosaic Covenant. All the promises to Abraham’s descendants, Israel, must be carried out before history comes to an end, which gives credence to the distinction between the church and Israel, and the eschatological truth regarding futuristic premillennialism.

 Another reason why understanding the truth of the Abrahamic Covenant is important is that it is the foundation by which we understand the other covenants that God established with Israel, most specifically the Davidic and the New Covenant, which have implications for today and the future. Like the Abrahamic Covenant, the Davidic and New Covenant are also eternal, unilateral covenants, which means that God will carry out the conditions of the covenants with the people of Israel in His sovereign timing, and that its benefits will not be annulled or transferred to another party because of Israel’s instances of disobedience or lack of faith. The Davidic and New Covenant are not additions or contradictions to the Abrahamic Covenant, but are in essence the fullest expressions of it since their aim is, like the Abrahamic Covenant, to bless the descendents of Abraham with a land, nation, and divine blessing to the entire world. The Davidic Covenant of 2 Sam 5:7 promises that Israel will never lack a king to sit on the throne of David, while the New Covenant promises that an ultimate remnant will experience spiritual salvation and be the people of God who will partake of His kingdom and bless the Gentile nations forever afterwards.

 Although some aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant have already been played out in history, such as the birth of Abraham’s many physical descendants and the seed which came in the form of the Messiah who blesses the nations to this day with spiritual salvation, the fullest effects of the Abrahamic Covenant have not yet come to pass. The land promises of Genesis 15:18-21 have not been fully realized. Although Israel did occupy a portion of the described Promised Land in its conquest of Canaan as described in the book of Joshua, they did not occupy all of it, which God prophesied that they would. Since the land promises are part of God’s eternal covenant with Abraham, and God cannot lie, this means that Joshua’s conquest of Canaan is not the fulfillment of Genesis 15:18-21, and that there is still a future group of descendants who will inherit that much larger region of Israel in fulfillment of the land promises (Palestinian Covenant). The only sensible time in which this will happen is during the millennial kingdom, after Israel repents and fulfills the New Covenant during the 7-Year Tribulation.

 Another major component of the Abrahamic Covenant that is yet to be fulfilled is the promise that national Israel is to be blessed by God and be a blessing to others (12:2). Although it is indisputable that a small group of Jews in history, such as Jesus and the apostles, were a blessing from the Lord and in turn blessed the Gentile world with the gospel that saved innumerable souls during the past 2,000 years, it seems unfitting to say that they fulfilled the words spoken of here in Gen 12:2. It is even more of a stretch to take on a supercessionist view that the “you” represents the church and “all the nations” represents the mission field of unbelievers. In reality, this verse seems to imply God’s favor upon the nation of Israel as a whole, which has to be eschatological in nature, since the current state of Jewish apostasy, which is quite massive, would not be in line with God’s favor. However, the book of Romans speaks of the final remnant of Jews who will repent and believe in Jesus in the last days and be saved (Romans 11:27), thus becoming fit to be the people of God and the proclaimer of God’s word to the Gentiles during the period of the kingdom on earth (Isaiah 52:7). Only then will they be a blessing by God and be a blessing to the world.

 The Abrahamic Covenant is important because it firmly establishes the identity of Israel, the future people of God. The Covenant also testifies to the integrity of the grammatical-historical hermeneutics that informs our understanding of both Old and New Testament Scripture, in which we take the normal sense of the language to understand the nature of God’s unchanging covenants with Israel and His prophetic plans for Israel and the Gentile nations as depicted in Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Revelation. The Abrahamic Covenant testifies to God’s faithfulness so that we as a church can trust in the Lord, as we observe how God has been faithful to Israel and will continue to be faithful to her. A last, but not least, factor is that the Abrahamic Covenant rightly informs us as a church to pray for and bless Israel. God promises to bless those who bless Israel and to curse those who curse her. The church blessing Israel is something that the Lord desires and it is a commitment that can be so easily lost if one takes a covenant theology position on this issue, which can basically treat Israel as just another nation that needs to be evangelized (with no special divine plan in store for her in the future).

Ask Steve: The Kingdom of God

August 4, 2014 6:26 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question: Steve, what is the Kingdom of God? Is it now, future, or both present and future?

Answer: The basic definition of the kingdom of God is the rule of the sovereign God over His creation (both animate and inanimate). The kingdom of God is composed of three elements: 1). A sovereign, authoritative ruler (God) 2). A realm to rule (earth and the created beings) 3). The exercising of authority (God over His subjects). However, there are different theories about both the timing and the literal/spiritual nature of the kingdom of God, which is an issue of debate among premillennialists, amillennialists, and postmillennialists. Is it something that happened in the past? Is it present? Is it future? Or is it both present and future? Based on the foundational definition provided, along with Scriptural evidences presented mostly in the Bible, we must conclude that the Kingdom of God often spoken of by Jesus is still to come in the future (but with present implications).

 We get an understanding of this truth beginning in Matthew 1-2. The author quotes from Micah 5:2: “For out of you shall come forth a ruler who will shepherd My peopleIsrael.” The religious leaders at the time viewed the coming king as “ruler” over “Israel.” They understood the kingdom of God to be a political rule in which the coming Messiah would rule temporally over the throne of David. Matthew never indicates that the Jewish leaders were wrong in their beliefs of an earthly kingdom, only that they failed to see the entire scope of the Messiah’s earthly mission, which was to be a spiritual Savior and die for the sins of mankind. Some skeptics make the mistake of leaning too much on the saving aspect of Jesus’ mission, thinking that it did away entirely with the political earthly rule of Messiah over Israel.

The “nearness” of the Kingdom of God, as first introduced in Matthew 3-4, is one of the most controversial yet insightful glimpses into the plan of God concerning His kingdom. When John the Baptist declared, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” some interpreters believe this to mean that the kingdom had already come in some fashion during the time of John the Baptist, but will not find its physical expression until Christ’s second coming to establish the eternal kingdom. Others simply interpret John the Baptist’s statement spiritually, speaking not of an earthly throne of David, but a spiritual kingdom that people enter into when they get saved.

However, we must understand John’s reference to the Kingdom of God future for several reasons. First, John never qualifies his statements concerning the kingdom. He does not reinterpret the kingdom or give any indication that it was a spiritual, mystical kingdom. John would most likely have had this in mind, knowing what his Jewish listeners already knew concerning the nature of the coming kingdom from the Old Testament. Second, the reference to the kingdom being “at hand” must be understood as a reference to imminence rather than immediacy. Since the kingdom is always on the tails of the Messiah’s coming (as seen in the Gospels and in the book of Revelation), the kingdom must be understood as the same literal kingdom spoken of in the OT. John could not have inaugurated the kingdom with his statement in Matthew 3:2 nor could Jesus in His three-year ministry since He hadn’t died, resurrection, and ascended yet. This would imply that the kingdom was already present before the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

What 3:2 means is that the kingdom was near with the coming of Jesus the Messiah, but had not fully arrived. Israel needed to repent and be saved in order for Jesus to usher in the Davidic Kingdom to Jerusalem. Since Israel did not repent, the kingdom went away and its moment of inception was delayed. In essence, Israel missed the time of its visitation (Lk 19:44). Jesus prophesied that there was a day coming when Israel would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (Matt 23:38). At that time, Jesus the Messiah will return to His people, a time when the Kingdom of God will be at hand once again. The only difference this time is that the people of Israel will accept the Messiah, and thus the kingdom will be established on earth.

Last, but not least, is the mention of Jesus’ plan to establish the kingdom upon His return. Matthew 25:31 reads, “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.” Jesus sitting “on His glorious throne” is a reference to Jesus’ rulership over His people and the establishment of the kingdom. This verse indicates that the kingdom is officially established when Jesus comes with “all the angels.” When King Jesus judges the world and separates the sheep from the goats, He will say to the saints, “Come you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” This scene depicts believers coming to inherit the kingdom for the first time. There is no indication here that the believers are already in the kingdom in a spiritual sense, since entering the kingdom takes place after judgment. The Olivet Discourse places the establishment of the kingdom after the 7-Year Tribulation during which Israel finally repents and fulfills the New Covenant (Jer 31:31-34).

When the Kingdom of God is mentioned in the Bible, the passage that best describes the Kingdom is Revelation 20:1-10. In essence, the 1,000 year period in which Christ rules (after His second coming) is the age in which the Kingdom of God is in effect in the world. The millennial kingdom is the Kingdom of God. This event, of course, is still future. In this kingdom, God the Son will physically rule over His people, and over the world, for 1,000 years in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. This is the messianic kingdom that the church is called to ideally pray and long for (Matthew 6:10; 26:29) each day. It is the kingdom that was often spoken about even by the OT prophets, offered to Israel by Christ, and was rejected by Israel when they spurned the Messiah. But in the future, Israel will be offered this kingdom again, and Israel will see it manifested when they come to repentance. 

One’s definition of the Kingdom of God, as well as its timing, is dependent on his view of the millennium. That is why your millennial position is highly influential in how you view the kingdom, what the mission of the church is, and the relationship between Israel and the church. Based on a faithful grammatical-historical hermeneutics, we see that the Kingdom of God is primarily a future event. However, Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God has much present implications. We enter into kingdom citizenship upon our salvation in Christ. Our view of the Kingdom should cause us to hope in the Lord’s coming, labor hard in pursuit of the Great Commission and other fruitful endeavors, and persevere in faith as we withstand trials, hardships, and persecution. For one day, the kingdom will become a reality, and we will enter into it with confidence and blessings if we have used our talents wisely (Matt 25:14-30).