Enter the kingdom of God, a term so bandied about in Christendom as being present in various contexts that it robs the term of its biblical import and gives the unsaved a reason to mock.
The Kingdom of God as used by the apostle Paul (who is the apostle to the Gentiles) is almost always a reference to a literal future kingdom, with a literal visible king ruling over a literal visible kingdom on this Earth, from a literal city and that being Jerusalem.
Yes, citizens of a kingdom yet to come are to reflect the spiritual character of the kingdom in the current age. But exhortations to the pews that giving must increase for the “spreading of the kingdom” is Catholic terminology we need not emulate.
We need to remember this world is not our home (for now). Our current edifices will be torn down. Our Lord will set up His kingdom at his return.
When we assert we are spreading a kingdom now, we are little different from the J.W. Watchtower organization that asserts their invisible kingdom was instituted in 1917.
We do not need to pretend. We are spreading the Gospel, not the kingdom. The early disciples preached that men ought to repent and prepare for the kingdom of God. This was to be a literal kingdom on earth. It certainly shall come, but in the meantime, we preach the Gospel and make disciples. We are to store up spiritual wealth for a coming kingdom.
For even the most casual student of history, current events or awareness of one’s own heart, it is painfully obvious that we are not living in a promised kingdom. As the apostle Paul taught us, if there is no resurrection, we are of all men most miserable, and while it is true that we as the church are now the light of the world and the salt of the world or at least we are all supposed to be, when it comes to “kingdoms”, we are a poor substitute for the “real” thing. If the church is the kingdom in this age, we have reason to be depressed. Let us now hold the fort and storm the gates but we know that the age of the church, as Israel will not end in a glorious manner.
That being said, for those of us who have fled to the Lord Jesus Christ in this present and wicked world, we have indeed a blessed hope and a glorious future to encourage us in this age.