Jesus taught that “the Kingdom of God is at hand”. But how do we get there? Do we need a passport, or apply for a visa? Do we have to pass an entrance test to become a citizen?
Anselm described God as supreme goodness, and John’s gospel tells us that God is love; “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. And if God is love, love is God.
But God is more than that, he has ‘person-ness’ that I describe in “Four steps of reason leading to a personal God” . So we can think of love as part of his realm, his kingdom. Therefore to live in love is to live in the Kingdom of God. Every act of goodness or love is by definition carried out in the Kingdom of God. Every time a person choses to act kindly to a neighbour, they are in the Kingdom of God. Every time they choose not to respond in a loving, good way they are choosing to live outside the Kingdom of God. It doesn’t matter whether they call themselves Christian, Moslem, Hindu or atheist – acting is love is acting in the Kingdom of God.
Because it is our choice whether we act, or live, in the Kingdom of God there are no border controls. God does not make any demands, or set any tests for those who want to live there. We simply decide. I choose to love, therefore by definition I choose to live in the Kingdom of God.
But by definition, if I choose to be selfish then I am not in the Kingdom of God, because selfishness is not love, and therefore is not part of the Kingdom of God. If I live selfishly, I am in the Kingdom of Me.
Clearly we move in and out of the Kingdom of God every hour of every day. Perhaps we all need to be a little more conscious of which Kingdom we want to live in.
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