Are the church and the kingdom the same?
Jesus said His people would partake of the Lord’s Supper in the
“kingdom” (Mt. 26:29) and Paul said this activity is done in the
“church” (1 Cor. 11:20-22). In Mt. 16:18 Jesus spoke of the “church” and
then immediately spoke of the “kingdom” (Mt. 16:19).
Paul said the saved are “translated into the kingdom” (Col. 1:13)
and then spoke of the “church” just a few verses later (Col. 1:18).
In this same book he referred to “fellow workers in the “kingdom”
(Col. 4:11) and then spoke of the “church” (Col. 4:15-16).
Paul wrote to the “church” at Thessalonica (1 Thess. 1:1) and
then said these Christians had been “called into the kingdom” (1 Thess.
2:12). The Hebrew writer
spoke of the “church” (Heb. 12:23) and then said these saints had access
to the kingdom (Heb. 12:28).
Jesus’ blood purchased a “kingdom” (Rev. 5:9-10, ASV), but Acts
20:28 says Jesus’ blood purchased the church.
Just as there are different words in the New Testament that
describe “elders” to describe different facets of an elder’s work
(compare Tit. 1:5 with Tit. 1:7), so “kingdom” and “church” are
sometimes used in this same way.
While many passages do use “kingdom” and “church” interchangeably, these
two words are not always identical.
In Mt. 8:12 when Jesus said “but
the sons of the kingdom shall be cast forth into the outer darkness:
there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth” He clearly was
not referring to the church.
Satan has a “kingdom” (Mt. 12:26), but this kingdom is certainly
not the church. At the end
of time when Jesus invites the saved into the kingdom (Mt. 25:34) He
will not be inviting people into the church.
In places where “kingdom” and “church” are not interchangeable, the word
“kingdom” generally has the sense of “rule.”
All are “in the kingdom” in the sense that each one is
accountable to God for his or her actions (i.e. God reigns or rules over
all people). Only those who
become Christians are “in the kingdom” in the sense of being a member of
the church and thus part of the saved.
Are you part of the “kingdom” in the sense of the church?
If not, I encourage you to do a basic study of Christianity at