Gen. Studies - Card 1 Is the Kingdom of God in the Hearts of Men?
1) "Neither shall they say, Lo here or lo there! For behold the Kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:21
2) It is commonly believed among nominal Christianity, Catholic and Protestant alike, Jesus here is teaching that the Kingdom of God is within the hearts of men. It is taught the Kingdom, now, is in the hearts of the believers. Is that what Jesus taught?
Jesus used the term "within you" when speaking to His audience. Notice! Would Jesus actually say that the Kingdom of God was within the Pharisees?
3) Consider Jesus called the Pharisees "hypocrites and blind fools" Matthew 23:19, 23. The Pharisees were self-righteous and hypocritical - Luke 12:1 The Pharisees were a stumbling block to those who would confess Christ - John 12:42. They shut up the Kingdom from any who sought it - Mathew 23:13.
4) Consequently, the Kingdom of God could not have been within their hearts. Those to whom Christ was speaking, those to whom this comment was addressed, the Pharisees, could not have had the Kingdom of God within them.
5) Christ's initial comment as recorded in verse 20 was the Kingdom of God does not come with observation or an outward showing. The Jews (and Samaritans) were awaiting a Messiah Luke 24:21, John 1:41; 4:25 that would come to restore the House of Judah/Israel back to the powerful Kingdom and self-governed nation it once was Acts 1:6, just as the Old Testament prophecies proclaimed. The Pharisees, just like the citizenry, were expecting that the Kingdom of God would come by way of a noticeable revolution or political uprising. But Christ said, No! Rather Christ said the Kingdom is already in front of your eyes and you don't recognize the one who is its King. In essence, the blindness and hard-heartedness of the Pharisees was keeping them from seeing that Christ was in the midst of them. The Kingdom of God is right here as I am the representative of God here on earth.
6) The English word within is translated from the Greek word entos (See Strong's 1787.) This Greek word is better translated "among" or "in the midst of." By implication "within" the proximity or present position is the proper way of understanding this verse. Notice the Nestle-Aland text - "nor will they say, Lo here it is or there, for behold the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you." The subject of heart is never considered.
7) None can argue that the Kingdom of God was not in the midst of men when Christ first came in the flesh and dwelled among men John 1:14, as the Messiah. Upon his second coming to the earth, He will rule as the Kingdom's King and that Kingdom will be in the midst of the world Zechariah 14:9, Revelation 19:16.
Instructions: Print this page. Cut out cards. Affix to both sides of 4x6 card stock.