In the first part of this series (Part 1), I over-viewed part of Herman Ridderbos‘ article in The New Bible Dictionary on the Kingdom of God. The section I reviewed concerned the presence of the Kingdom. Today, we look at the future of the Kingdom. I have a small quote from the dictionary below, but the dictionary was not as strong here, so most of the thoughts are mine.
The Kingdom is Future
The miracles are still tokens of another order of reality than the present one; it is not yet the time when the demons will be delivered to eternal darkness (Mt 8:29).
Ridderbos goes on to discuss the parable of the sower. The seed is being sown (the seed is the gospel, also called the Word of the Kingdom, see Mt 13:19) and wheat is growing in this age amongst the tares (non-believers, 13:27). The Kingdom is small, secret, and hidden in the world. But, the day is coming when the sower will harvest his fruit and will cast out and burn all the tares that have grown in his field.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Note that Jesus does not remove the tares and THEN there shall be a kingdom as dispensationalists posit. Rather, Jesus states that he removes the things FROM His Kingdom (this kingdom that already exists) that are offensive. This is a new phase of Christ’s Kingdom, not the beginning of it. Christ’s Kingdom exists, but it is not now what it shall be then.
Today it is the Kingdom of Grace, tomorrow it will be the Kingdom of Glory!