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In Matthew 13, we read much about the "kingdom of heaven" and in the other Gospels it reads, "the kingdom of God". Are they the same?

These two terms are interchangeable in the four Gospels; even though the phrase "kingdom of heaven" is only mentioned in Matthew. A close comparison will show you they are not exactly the same. The kingdom of heaven in its present form is larger than the kingdom of God. For an example; Matthew 13:36-42 says there are both wheat and tares, saved and lost in the kingdom of heaven. This is not true of the kingdom of God. One must be born again to be in the kingdom of God. So the conclusion seem to be that the kingdom of God is within the kingdom of heaven now, but not so in their future meaning.

The kingdom of heaven at the present time is the realm of profession. In it there are both wheat (true Christians) and tares (false one). They will grow together until the harvest (end of the age) then the Lord will come and severe the tares from among the wheat. ( Matthew 13:36-42). The kingdom is now in a mystery form, Matthew 13:13. This means it is not existing in its promised form as given to the prophets. (Daniel 2:44; 2 Samuel 7:12-13). The present form will continue until the Lord comes to set up the literal kingdom on this earth for one thousand years. Revelation 20:4-5. At that time there will be no "tares" but only the redeemed will enter it. "...Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3. Jesus said, "...Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3. You can be in the kingdom in its present form, but not in the future one. This future kingdom will find its perfection after the thousand year reign of Christ on this earth. (1 Corinthians 15:24). After Christ has reigned and put all enemies under His feet, He will deliver the kingdom up to the Father, Who will then be all and all. Will you be there? Only if you trust Him as Saviour.

All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

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Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen