The church often seems to be locked into one of two positions regarding the kingdom of God. They either talk about the kingdom of God and its influence in the past or they talk about one day the kingdom of God will come to earth. Past or future, but Jesus was not talking about the past or the far-flung future. He was talking of it within their lifetime.
This habit of talking about the kingdom historically is not only referring to the days of Jesus and the apostles. There are people who once encountered an experience with the kingdom of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. These people may have been with a new church birthed out of the Charismatic movement of the 70s. There was a reality of His kingdom coming on earth as it was in heaven at that time for those people. When things started to happen spiritually in 1994 some of these people would say I remember being touched once like this back in 1974. The kingdom had become a bygone experience. They were godly people who lived on the memories of what had happened once through the kingdom. Faithful but not expectant!
There are churches that are always looking for the return of Christ and His ushering in the kingdom of God. In the early 80s some church organizations were living with the expectancy that Christ would return within 5 years. There was a book written called ‘88 Reasons Why Christ Would Return in 1988’. Twenty-five years later the return of Christ hasn’t happened. Expectant but disappointed!
Jesus said to His disciples within their lifetime they would see the kingdom of God coming in power. Three of them, John, James and Peter, experienced the transfiguration of Christ on the mountain. He was so surrounded by the power and presence of God that He glowed. Was this what Jesus meant? It was a sample of the intensity of the presence of God and something we could believe for. But He does say a number of times be it unto you according to your faith. John introduced Jesus as the one who would baptize in power. Jesus was talking about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. This was the beginning of the kingdom of God being within us.
The kingdom of God became accessible to all believers through the sacrifice of Christ. The resurrected Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received power to be His witnesses unto the ends of the earth. On Pentecost the Spirit came. The kingdom was and will be on earth, but it is present now.
(Excerpt from The Wonder Worker)