A lot of confusion in the religious world could be cleared up if people could only understand that the kingdom and the church are the same institution. Christ taught in clarion tones “upon this rock I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18). Christ fulfilled that promise as we learn in Ephesians 5:23, “Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body.”
Let us understand that the church is not a building fashioned of wood, stone, brick, and mortar. The church of the New Testament is composed of people who have obeyed the Lord in faith, repentance of sins, confessing Christ as Lord, and being baptized into Him for remission of sins. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…” (1 Cor. 12:13). So then, we see that the body is the church, notice please, “…and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body…” (Eph. 1:22-23). Again, “And He is the head of the body, the church ….. for His body’s sake, which is the church” (Col. 1:18, 24). The final act of obedience that puts one into the church of the New Testament is baptism for remission of sins (Acts 2:41, 47).
Let us consider the word “kingdom” in relation to the Lord’s church. Jesus said, “That ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom” (Luke 22:30). We note that the Lord’s table is in His kingdom. The Corinthian correspondence begins, “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Cor. 1:1-2). We know the Corinthian missives are sent to the “church at Corinth.” Paul addressed those Corinthian Christians saying, “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (1 Cor. 10:21). Are you listening? The “church” at Corinth contained the “table of the Lord” (1 Cor. 10:21). The “table of the Lord” can only be found in the Lord’s church. All of that being the case, the “church” and the “kingdom” are one and the same institution.
The Colossian correspondence commences, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse” (Col. 1:1-2). By inspiration of the Holy Spirit this letter is addressed to the faithful saints “in Christ”; i.e., New Testament Christians. To be in Christ, is to be in His church (Matt. 16:18; Acts 4:12; Eph. 1:7, 11, 13, 22-23; 5:23). To those faithful brethren in the church at Colosse Paul penned, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Col. 1:13). It becomes crystal clear that Paul was writing to those who were in the “kingdom of Christ” and the “church of Christ” (Col. 1:18, 24; cf. Rom. 16:16).