Or reign of God
The realm over which God rules or will rule, or the sphere of influence within which God’s rule is enacted and God’s will is done. Although a number of OT passages contain related expressions, none refers in so many words to the “kingdom of God.” In the synoptic Gospels, the term constitutes a central feature of Jesus’s preaching. In Matthew, Jesus often speaks of the “kingdom of heaven,” apparently a circumlocution for “kingdom of God” (a way to say the same thing without using the divine name). Many synoptic texts clearly refer to the coming of the kingdom as a dramatic, future event—in some instances, as one that will take place within the lifetime of Jesus’s hearers or their contemporaries (Matt 4:17; Matt 6:10; Matt 10:7; Mark 1:14-15; Mark 9:1; Luke 10:8-12; Luke 11:2; Luke 21:31). Some verses, however, refer more ambiguously to the kingdom’s “coming,” without indicating whether Jesus meant that it had already come or that it would come in the future (Luke 4:43; Luke 9:11). Likewise, a number of passages refer to people “entering” the kingdom, but without making clear whether doing so was understood to be a present or only a future possibility. In the Fourth Gospel, Jesus speaks of the kingdom of God in only one passage (John 3:3; John 3:5). Outside the Gospels, it is mentioned in Acts (Acts 1:3; Acts 6-8:3; Acts 3:17-21; Acts 28:23; Acts 28:30-31) and a few times in Paul’s letters (1Cor 6:9; Gal 5:21; 1Thess 5:1-2; 1Thess 5:23; 2Thess 1:5).