Is the Kingdom of God within you?

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QUESTION: The book of Luke quotes Jesus as saying "the kingdom of God is within you." Does this mean that eternal life exists in the heart of each human?

ANSWER: The verse regarding the kingdom of God being "within you" is taken from the King James Version Bible translation of Luke 17:21. It was given by Jesus as he and his disciples traveled south through Galilee and Samaria on their way to Jerusalem (Luke 17:11). Just before he made the statement he healed ten lepers, only one of which came back to thank him for what he did (verses 12 - 19).

After the healing of ten lepers the Bible records the Pharisees demanding when the Kingdom would come (verse 20). Jesus was nearing the end of his three and one-half year earthly ministry when this request was demanded of him. The Pharisees had already heard Christ speak many times and grew to hate him and his message. Christ KNEW they wanted him dead. In fact, sometime prior to their request, he pointedly told them that their TRUE spiritual Father was Satan the devil (John 8:40 - 44)!

Jesus' answer to the Pharisees' demand, related to your question, is below. The quote is from a Bible translation different from the King James Version.

21. Neither shall they say, 'Behold, it is here!' Or, 'Behold, it is there!' For behold, the kingdom of God is standing IN THE MIDST OF you." (Luke 17:20 - 21, HBFV)

Was Jesus now informing the same unconverted Pharisees who sought to kill him (John 8:28, 37, see also 11:53) that they had eternal life 'within their hearts' as many Christians (especially Protestants) believe? No, he was not! Part of the problem in misunderstanding this statement of Jesus lies with the bad KJV translation of the Greek word entos (Strong's Concordance # G1787) as "within." A better translation, as shown above, is "in the midst of" or could also be "among."

It was in the midst of, or among, the Pharisees in the person of Jesus, the future ruler of the dominion! Before this encounter with the Pharisees, Christ equated his presence will the soon coming rule of the Eternal when, after being accused of casting out demons by the power of Satan, he stated the following.

19. And if I (Christ) by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Because of this, they shall be your judges. 20. But if I . . . cast out demons, THEN THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS COME UPON YOU. (Luke 11:19 - 20)

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15. Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of THIS WORLD have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign into the ages of eternity." (Revelation 11:15, HBFV)

The seventh angel heralds the coming Kingdom of Heaven. It will have a King (Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1Timothy 6:15, Revelation 17:14, 19:16)) and territory (the entire planet). It will contain subjects (all the people who survived Satan's rule and those who will be born from them) and laws to govern with (the Ten Commandments, as well as the Father's other laws, statutes and judgments which will replace ALL the laws of man).

No, the Kingdom of God is NOT within each human being. It is certainly not a pretty sentiment about moral improvement in the hearts of man or the automatic placement of eternal life inside a human (e.g. immortal soul). It is a literal earth-ruling government soon to be imposed on man for his own good!

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