The Now and Not Yet of the Kingdom
We believe that the Kingdom of God has come in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, but still awaits its consummation at his return. Then heaven will descend on a renewed earth, and God will dwell in his creation.
- Therefore, the Kingdom of God is both present and future, and the church lives in an ‘interim time’: we live from ‘the powers of the future age’ (Hebrews 6:5).
- While the powers of ‘this present evil age’ continue around us: suffering, injustice and evil has not come to an end.
- In practical terms, this means for instance that when we pray for the sick, some will be healed and others will not.
- Some Christians respond to this tension by saying that we must not expect to see the miracles of the Kingdom happening in the present time (a delayed eschatology). Others triumphantly declare that the wholeness of the Kingdom should always be experienced demonstrably in the here and now (a realized eschatology).
We embrace the tension of the now and the not yet of the Kingdom (inaugurated eschatology), anticipating to see God’s future breaking into our present time, but knowing that we are still awaiting the future inheritance of the Kingdom of God.