I was wondering if you could shed a little light on something for me. In a letter I recently received from someone I am corresponding with my pen-pal said something about the Kingdom of God not being geographic. When I told you that you said that they were “basically saying goodbye to our Postmillennial faith.”
How does a geographic Kingdom of God tie in with our Postmillenialism?
Thank you for writing again.
When people say the Kingdom of God is “not geographic” they are denying that it is land based. The Kingdom of God then is not concrete in time and space. In the postmillenial vision it might be said that the Kingdom is not primarily about geography but as the Kingdom of God advances it does have geographic (land based) implications. We all agree that the Kingdom of God is first and foremost Spiritual and Spirit driven but to suggest that this spiritual Kingdom has no corporeal (land based) implications is not accurate.
One thing that Abraham was promised in the Old Testament was “a Land” (geography). In the NT Postmillennialism believes that the promised land to Abraham in the OT is now the whole earth. Because God’s Kingdom encompasses the whole Earth it shall encompass the whole earth.
17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Once a nation is discipled that geographic nation is part of the Kingdom of God. As postmillennialists we agree with scripture that the whole earth will be discipled before Christ’s return and so the whole planet will be part of God’s very geographic Kingdom.
In Matthew’s Gospel our Lord Christ speaks about his people “inheriting the earth.” They can not inherit a non geographic earth that is not a part of His Kingdom.
So, while it might be said that the Kingdom of God is ultimately spiritual that does not mean that it can not be geographic. Indeed, I would say that a Kingdom of God that is only spiritual is no Kingdom at all.
As God’s people advance the cause of Christ the nations of the world become the Nations of the Lord (again… geography) and the knowledge of the Lord covers the earth as the waters cover the sea.
So … there is a geographic quality to the Kingdom. As the Kingdom advances, earth and place increasingly become what they already are, to wit, the Kingdom of God. (“Now … Not Yet” hermeneutic.)
To deny this makes the Kingdom increasingly abstract and perhaps even gnostic. For gnostic like thinking then God’s Kingdom, in terms of place, is reduced to heaven.
One concrete example before I leave you.
The home you own and the land it sit on is geographic and is part of God’s Kingdom because the land is owned by someone (you) that is redeemed and so owned by God. Because God owns you God owns that land and so that land is part of the Kingdom of God.
Thank you for writing Ned.