I said that the kingdom of God is first the paradise, heaven, where we Christians will dwell and live the life after death. Let me introduce to you the second concept of the kingdom of God.
According to George Ladd, the Kingdom of God means God’s kingly rule. This rule is dynamic in that it was already inaugurated at the first coming of Christ, yet consummation awaits the Parousia, Jesus Christ’s return in glory. Ladd contends that the Kingdom of God invaded the present evil age in the person of Christ.
Christ’s coming established a new era of salvation in which the sovereign rule of God is made manifest and which in some real sense inaugurated “the age to come.” God, who will
accomplish his redemptive plan at the end of the age, is working for his redemptive plan in the present age through his Son who has come. Thus, the Kingdom of God is both a future
eschatological victory over Satan and also a present reality. According to George Eldon Ladd, the kingdom of God is a present reality which is expressed as “already.” But it will be consummated at the end of history when Jesus returns in glory, which is expressed as “but not yet.” In reply to the question of Nicodemus, Jesus declared, “I tell you
the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again (John 3:3).” “I tell you
the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Holy Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spirit (John 3:5-6).” The heavenly places the apostle Paul mentions in Ephesians are the places where Paul speaks of believers as being presently in their spiritual lives. This is what Jesus exactly means in John 3:3 and 5-6.
When you were born of your mother’s womb, you did not have spirit. You were only flesh. But when you accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, when you were born again of water and the Holy Spirit, you have become spirit. Therefore, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit gives birth to spirit, but flesh gives birth to flesh. You have become spirit by being born again of water and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, even though we are physically on the earth, spiritually we are placed in the heavenly realms. We are spiritually already united with Jesus Christ so that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Presently we are united with Jesus Christ in spirit. Our spirit already belongs to the heavenly realms. Union with Jesus Christ by being born again of the Holy Spirit places us in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:10, 1:20, 2:6, 3:10, 3:15, 4:10, 6:9 and 6:12).