The Kingdom of God: Who Will Be in It?
The Kingdom of God has been the goal of God’s people for thousands of years—but what does it take to get in it? And who will be ruled by it?
The Kingdom of God is one of the Bible’s most central and repeated themes. We have been covering this great biblical theme in this series of blog posts. It is truly one of the most important topics for anyone who believes in the Bible to understand, because it is the very heart and soul of Jesus Christ’s message to humanity (Mark 1:14-15).
We learned in a previous blog post that this Kingdom will operate under the direct leadership of Jesus Christ when it is established on earth. But we need to ask two more important questions: Who’s going to be in it, and who will be ruled by it?
God’s desire for His Kingdom
The Bible declares that God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, emphasis added). In other words, God’s hope is for every human being to eventually be part of His eternal Kingdom.
The Bible reveals He has a systematic plan for extending an invitation to every man, woman and child who has ever lived to be a part of His Kingdom (1 Timothy 2:4).
Unfortunately, the Bible also reveals that not everyone will come to repentance.
Even when the spiritual veil that lies over the hearts of the world (2 Corinthians 3:14-15) is removed and everyone is able to perfectly understand the joy and peace that comes from a close, personal relationship with God—even in that moment of clarity, there will still be those who reject God, who reject His way of life, and who stand obstinately against the will of their Creator (Revelation 20:14-15; Malachi 4:3).
God has designed His way of life as the ultimate way to achieve fulfillment and happiness (Proverbs 29:18; John 10:10). Those who adamantly refuse to repent of living contrary to God’s law will be mercifully destroyed (Romans 6:23).
Those in God’s Kingdom
So, back to the first question: Who gets into the Kingdom of God?
The Kingdom of spirit beings led by Jesus Christ will rule over the entire earth for a 1,000-year period. There will be billions of physical human beings who will live during this period of time.We don’t have to guess, because Jesus Himself answers the question for us in the book of Revelation: “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:14-15).
The faithful servants of God—those who “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33), who do His commandments, who repent of their sins and who are led by His Spirit—these are the ones who will find a place in the Kingdom of God.
The Bible reveals that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:50). Human beings can only fully enter the Kingdom when they “put on immortality” (verse 53). For the faithful followers of Jesus in this age, this will happen at the return of Jesus Christ to earth (verse 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).
Those under the Kingdom
When God’s governing Kingdom is established on earth, only those who are spirit-born sons of God will be truly within the Kingdom. That Kingdom of spirit beings led by Jesus Christ will rule over the entire earth for a 1,000-year period.
There will be billions of physical human beings who will live all around the world during this period of time.
When Jesus Christ returns to earth, He will establish the Kingdom of God over “all peoples, nations, and languages” (Daniel 7:14). In other words, the entire earth will be under the dominion of His government! He will literally take control of all the governments of this earth (Revelation 11:15)!
That is why the message of the Kingdom is called the gospel—or the good news! Under the rule of Jesus Christ, the world will be ruled by a perfect leader who administers truth and justice. His law will be taught to all and will bring peace and happiness to the human beings on earth (Isaiah 2:1-3).
And even better, those who are physical human beings during that time will also have their chance to be converted and become children of God in the Kingdom of God!
Be in it!
If you are reading this blog post and are growing in your understanding of the true gospel message, then you have the opportunity to be in the Kingdom when Jesus Christ returns. We have already seen that requires repentance.
We recommend that you follow Christ’s own instructions and “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
The first step toward being in that Kingdom is learning about repentance. We invite you to download our free booklet Change Your Life! to begin the process.
This is the second in a four part series on The Kingdom of God. To read part 1, see “The Kingdom of God: A New World Government.” To continue this series, read part 3, "The Kingdom of God: An Earth Transformed."