Kingdom of God: Already, not Yet?


I understand that some scholars teach that the Kingdom of God comes in three different stages. Can you briefly explain this?


Thanks for your question.

"Already, not yet," or "Now, but not yet," describes the tension between the benefits of redemption the Christian has already experienced in Christ and those which await them at the consummation. The Christian will not see the full reality of what it means to be a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17) until the last day (1 John 3:2). Though the Christian already has eternal life, they have not yet been resurrected (John 5:24).

This tension of the Kingdom of God (KOG) is described using three different, but related stages: (1) the inauguration in Christ; (2) the continuation in the church; and (3) the consummation of all things.

Christ inaugurated the KOG in his birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. He is already King of his Kingdom. However, while Jesus is already crowned with glory, everything is not yet subjected unto him yet (Heb. 2:7-9). Rather his Kingdom is continuing throughout the church age and its absolute fulness will be observed on the last day when he returns in glory.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).