“Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst’” (Luke 17:20-21).

There are two kingdoms: the kingdom of heaven and the system of the world. The heavenly one lasts forever. The world’s is temporary and passing away. Even the laws of science indicate our universe is spiraling towards decay. We tend to think of heaven as being somewhere in the sky, or in another galaxy far away. Eternity is a realm beyond time, with no beginning or no end. Just as God is not bound by time, neither is His kingdom. Thus, eternal life is a dimension, not a destination in time or space.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “God has placed eternity in our hearts.” When Jesus says, “The kingdom of God is in your midst,” he is extending an invitation to step into a realm already present. He built a bridge of reconciliation between us and our source, origin, purpose and loving Father.

Heaven is not so much a destination, but a relationship with God. In John 17:3, Jesus defines eternal life as knowing God and the One He sent. We get to know God in a new way with no barriers. 1 Corinthians 13 says, “Now we see God as though through a glass, but then face to face.”

While we don’t experience the spiritual dimension fully now, we have access to it, even though we can’t grasp it fully. Don’t shrug this off as irrational chatter. We don’t fully understand the present world we live in so it should not shock us that infinity is beyond us. It’s like a child being cared for by mom. The child doesn’t know everything about mom, but rests in her care. Everything we need in God is already in reach and becomes ours as we seek His kingdom above all else.

Adapted from “A Tale of Two Kingdoms” by Rev. Dr. William A. Lewis