The Biblical Perspective of the Kingdom of Heaven

Pastor Neal Teachings

It seems to me that for a long time, many of us who have been following Jesus have had an inaccurate understanding of Jesus’ use of the term “Kingdom of Heaven”.   Some, despite being in the Church for years, do not even understand what the phrase means.  Whether the cause or the effect, there are some popular yet unbiblical teachings, and common ways of thinking, that have their foundation in this incorrect understanding.  It is not the purpose of this very brief article to highlight those teachings and ways of thinking, but rather to point out Jesus’ own perspective, and hence the truly biblical perspective of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God Let me begin by first explaining the biblical phrase “Kingdom of Heaven”.  Depending on the Bible version, this phrase is found 32 times in the Gospel of Matthew (33 times in the NKJV).  The similar term, “Kingdom of God” is found over 53 times throughout all the Gospels.  In every case, the phrase speaks of God’s rule/reign and authority.   The word Heaven, in the phrase “Kingdom of Heaven” speaks of the place from which God’s rule and authority originate, namely Heaven, …

God is Light and There is No Darkness in Him

Pastor Neal Teachings

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone — Colossians 4:5-6 We know that God is light and there is no darkness in Him. Light by its very nature will always offend the darkness. So whatever issue you may find yourself discussing or illuminating, if you are being the light of God in this world by speaking the truth born of God’s love and His Word, you are sure to offend those who love the darkness and wish to remain there. However, as Christ followers, I believe we must guard our hearts to make sure we do not find ourselves rejoicing because we are offending.   Hans Fiene, in his recent Federalist article titled, Google Firing Over Diversity Memo Shows How Outrage Addiction Is Making Us Stupid, wisely observes and articulates how outrage has become an addiction and has suppressed the critical thinking of many as a result.  He also points out how we can all fall in to that trap regardless of our political leanings.  I would dare to say that I …

The Church’s Prime Directive

Pastor Neal Teachings

If you are familiar with the science fiction series Star Trek, you probably recall that one of the main subjects of the various TV series’ and movies was the prohibition against interfering with the internal development of alien civilizations.  This was always referred to as “the prime directive”, a principle handed down by the fictional “United Federation of Planets”.  As you may know or can imagine, this prohibition created various moral dilemmas (and interesting entertainment), as the various star ship crews traveled the universe “exploring strange new worlds” and “going where no man has gone before”. In thinking about the Church, made up of all those who believe in Jesus Christ, follow Him, and obey His teachings, I am reminded that we too have been given a prime directive by the Lord, the One True and Living God, handed down to us from those who were with Him from the beginning of His earthly ministry.  A directive that is intended to continue, with the Holy Spirit dwelling in us until Jesus returns at the very end of the age: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go …