“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt 3:1-3)
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” (Matt 16:19-20)
John the Baptist, the one who came to prepare Jesus’ way, did so by declaring to any who would listen, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven (come to earth) is at hand!” This was also the message Jesus first preached. God wanted us to truly understand who was going to be ushering in, and in fact embody, His new kingdom on earth. Jesus lived His life preaching and modeling it. Then, as He breathed His last, the temple veil that had segregated man from God was torn in two, opening a portal between heaven’s gates and the kingdom of heaven on earth forever.
So profound, so powerful, and so connected to the kingdom above would this new kingdom on earth be that what was done here would have measurable impact there. So great was God’s desire to be re-united with His people He opened a portal that would not only allow what He did to impact us, but would forever allow what we did here to impact Him. When a man comes to realize the utter reality of this kingdom it revolutionizes his perspective. He is transformed in the process that follows, and becomes what the Great Commission intended him to be: a disciple. He understands the kingdom of heaven on earth is in every way the kingdom above transferred to earth, not some mere symbol of it. It is not something he has to wait until death for, but a way of life here and now.