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I did a search and saw that the phrase "Kingdom of Heaven" appears exclusively in the Gospel according to Matthew. However, the phrase "Kingdom of God" appears a few times in Matthew, but is also quite prevalent in Mark and Luke. It also appears twice in John 3, several times in Acts and Paul's letters.

Clarence Larkin has a diagram that seems to distinguish between the two kingdoms somehow as well:

The Kingdom of God vs. The Kingdom of Heaven

What, then, is the difference or distinction between these two kingdoms?

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Does you have a reference where he explains this chart? –  Ryan Frame Apr 4 '13 at 13:23
@RyanFrame No, I have a book at home that may have it in there. –  Narnian Apr 4 '13 at 13:23
Just by the nature of God I think one should say the Kingdom of God is everything that is; that is why Eternity is shown outside of it. The Kingdom of Heaven has more to do with the church and the saved. –  fredsbend Apr 4 '13 at 15:22
Mr. Larkin has done quite a few charts. –  fredsbend Apr 4 '13 at 15:23

1 Answer 1

The idea of a kingdom in the biblical sense is not just a sphere under the royal power of a monarch, but a living supra terrestrial life of which God sits on a throne as a redeemer, priest, prophet, judge and king. All in this sphere are redeemed by his blood and born into this invisible realm by faith. Jehovah in Christ is their God, master and royal Lord. Christ is that single person who possesses everything under his rule and so he is filled with royal glory.

The idea of God's kingdom is related to those images found in David and promised in Messiah, but it is God himself in his divinity that is the root of the definition:

And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:3-5, NIV)

As far as the term 'kingdom of God' verses 'kingdom of heaven' there is no difference. Mathew wrote primarily to a Jewish audience that preferred to avoid the term God, as it was taboo to speak his holy name. However, the other evangelists seem to prefer 'kingdom of God' as Gentiles would more easily understand the Messianic aspect from that term, rather then revert to their own philosophical notions of 'heaven'.

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The chart in the original posting, however, implies a relationship, but also a difference between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God. Actually, looking closely, the chart implies a timeline of sorts. –  fredsbend Apr 4 '13 at 18:58
@fredsbend (and @Narnian): but is the question asking for the differences between the kingdoms, or specifically Clarence Larkin's interpretation of the differences? –  Ryan Frame Apr 4 '13 at 20:33
Well, looking closely again, the chart implies that in the end they are merged and become one. I think Narnian is asking for a little of both. –  fredsbend Apr 4 '13 at 21:11
@fredsbend - I think the question should be according to a the dispensational view of Clarance I was focusing on the title and never noticed the question is quite narrow. I don't think my answer is that good if I am right. –  Mike Apr 4 '13 at 22:57
Perhaps. This chart is very similar but not identical. Hints the same timeline thing. –  fredsbend Apr 5 '13 at 0:01

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