When John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth came preaching the kingdom of heaven, they were announcing the end of religious hierarchy.
Since the time of Moses, the Israelites had been governed by priests, judges, kings, and governors whom God used to oversee the people of God. Even in the run-up to the kingdom of heaven (that is, the time of the New Testament), He used apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders, bishops, and such to oversee His people.
In the kingdom of heaven, however, the Lord alone would be exalted (Isaiah 2:11, 17). When the kingdom came, all human authority between God and man was forever abolished (1 Corinthians 15:23-24). This is why you can relate directly to God and do not need a church, a pastor, a priest, or any other earthly intermediary. (As to the fact that the kingdom of heaven has indeed come see Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again or The Kingdom of Heaven Is Here and Now.)
Those today who say they have authority to stand between you and God are simply building a kingdom of earth. You don’t have to concerned with them. In other words, there is no official church of God today. No churches are sanctioned by God, and certainly no other religions are sanctioned by God. Every human being is a child of God and “the people of God” refers to the whole human race. Jesus died and rose again from the dead that all people might belong to Him. The Lord will know if you pay attention to Him (2 Timothy 2:19)!
Jesus Christ our Lord is present everywhere and you are encouraged to trust Him in faith and live righteously. This is the kingdom of heaven and has nothing to do with human intermediaries. Yes, there are those of us who proclaim the name of Jesus Christ (Would that every human being proclaimed His name!), but we have no authority, no title, and no place of honor. We are just like you: subjects of the kingdom of heaven.
[You may have noticed that today’s post was identical to yesterday’s (The Kingdom of God Versus the Kingdom of Man), except that I substituted the word “heaven” for “God,” and the word “earth” for “man.” My purpose, in addition to reinforcing the original point, was to demonstrate that the terms “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven” are synonymous. Whenever you read either of them in the Bible, they are referring to the same reality. Thus “kingdom of heaven” speaks to a reality of this life, not just the next one.]
The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.