The kingdom of God was the central, dominant theme of the preaching of Jesus. The Lord’s Prayer teaches us that the kingdom of God (your kingdom come) is inseparably tied to God’s character (hallowed by your name) and God’s will (your will be done).
The kingdom of God grows out of and is an expression of the character of God. The kingdom of God involves the doing of God’s will. Thus, the kingdom of God is the realm in which the Divine character shapes the way we live so that we do the will of God in every dimension of our lives. The kingdom of God is where the ways of God are lived.
By definition, heaven would be such a place – as it is in heaven. Heaven is a place where life is patterned after the merciful, gracious character of God, the ways of God are lived, and the will of God is done. But Jesus proclaimed that the kingdom had come near (NRSV) and was at hand (NIV). The word that Jesus used carried the idea of the kingdom being here, now – in our midst, at this moment. He taught his followers to pray that the kingdom would come on earth.
Thus, the kingdom of God is where life is patterned after the merciful, gracious character of God, the ways of God are lived, and the will of God is done … here on earth!