Theology Proper
The Study of God
by WordExplain

Bringing Truths from Different Books of the Bible into Focus, Perspective, and Understanding.

Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matthew 3:1-2

The Kingdom Program in Matthew's Gospel

by Michael Vlach

The following is Michael Vlach's summary, in his own words, of the complete article that bears this title. I found this article on the website of, website of the Pre-Trib Research Center. The page on which this article is situated is entitled, "Articles by Author." This article is of sufficient value that I have posted here the summary of its contents. I recommend to the reader the complete article.

1. The kingdom in Matthew’s gospel as proclaimed by John the Baptist and Jesus is an earthly kingdom that has continuity with the kingdom predicted in the Old Testament prophets.

2. The kingdom was “at hand” in that it was near and imminent, conditioned on Israel repentance and belief in Jesus. The kingdom itself was not established.  

3. Part of this nearness of the kingdom was the personal presence of the King, the words of the King, and the miracles of the King.

4. The leaders and people of Israel hindered the coming of the kingdom by not repenting and believing in the King.

5. When it became clear that the leaders and people of Israel would not believe in the King the kingdom was no longer presented as being “at hand.”

6. Jesus then began to reveal new truths or “mysteries” concerning the kingdom of heaven. These mysteries describe the relationship of the kingdom between the two comings of Jesus.

7. In between the two comings of Jesus the message of the kingdom would spread as would the number of those who believe in the King. Those who believe are called “sons of the kingdom.”

8. After Jesus announced His death, He gave His disciples a preview and glimpse of His coming and kingdom with the Transfiguration experience. This would show that the cross did not mean there would not also be a kingdom someday.

9. Jesus still presents His kingdom reign as future in connection with the regeneration of the planet and national Israel’s restoration.

10. Jesus will assume His throne at the time of the second coming. It is at this time that judgment will take place to see who will enter the kingdom.

The Kingdom Program in Matthew's Gospel

By Michael Vlach

This summary first published on WordExplain January, 2012.

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE , Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (

WordExplain by James T. Bartsch

(Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.  Used by Permission.)

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Updated January 28, 2022