The kingdom of God is quite an important topic in the scriptures. It is part and parcel of the Hebrew scriptures and covenant which God gave to Moses at Sinai. Israel was to be a kingdom of priests. “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priest and a holy nation…” (Ex. 19:7).
When God said Israel would be a kingdom to Him, he conveyed the message that he was Israel’s king. God reigned over Israel from heaven. His rule did not require his physical presence in the land to be their king. Of course, the text spoke of the future when the people of God would inherit the land.
Thus, when Israel received the law, they were faced with the task of subduing their enemies that the kingdom of God would be established in the land.Israel’s rest in Canaan directly related to their conquering of all the nations. Yet, they did not do so, and those nations became thorns in their sides.
In the days of Samuel, Israel rebelled and desired a king like all the nations. This represented an apostasy from the rule of God from heaven. “Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, ‘Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” (1 Sal. 8:6) God made it clear that in their request for a king among men, they rejected the divine reign of God.
“And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say t you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.” (1 Sam. 8:7).
God gave them a king in his anger and took him away in his wrath, (Hos. 13:11). There is no doubt that Israel’s “king on earth” represented apostasy from the divine reign of God from heaven. This set the stage for the eschatological delivering up of the kingdom back to God from whence the rule had fallen. Israel had repeated the sin of Adam by rejecting God’s rule. The eschatological stage was set for the endtime and their last days.
God’s promise to Israel was the eschatological restoration of the kingdom. However, it could not be restored with a man on earth sitting on the throne. For this reason Jesus rejected the offer of being king over all the nations on earth (Matt. 4:8-10) and subsequently a reign on earth over the Jews, (Jno. 6:14).
Thus, the promise to restore the kingdom to Israel involved the reunited of the northern kingdom Israel with the southern kingdom of Judah through the new covenant, (Acts 1:6; Heb. 8:6-13).
This means that the delivering up of the kingdom and the inheritance of the kingdom of 1 Cor. 15:24, 50, is the restoration God promised to Israel. For those who claim that 1 Cor. 15 has nothing to do with Israel, they must explain why the kingdom promised to Israel in the eschatological restoration is the inheritance of that chapter.
For Amillennialists who deny Israel’s covenantal relationship and promises after the cross it is an insurmountable problem. Such demonstrates the eschatological shortcomings of the Amil posit.
For those who claim that salvation was only for Israel and does not extend to anyone beyond 70AD, they argue themselves and every post 70AD believer out of the kingdom relegating them to a position of dogs, (Rev. 22:14). It is illogical to claim the kingdom of Israel for anyone if the Bible only pertained to Israel.
They cannot claim Israel’s kingdom for themselves while denying everything else that belonged to Israel’s covenant. Yet God promised to save the Eunuchs the foreigners, the remnant of Judah, those scattered among the nations and the Gentiles (Isa. 49:6; 56:6-8 ).
Eschatological Kingdom = Resurrection into the Spiritual Body
Finally, the eschatological inheritance of the kingdom in 1 Cor. 15:50 is equated to the spiritual body. Israel was sown a natural body,(Hos 2:23) but raised a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44. That means they were sown a natural kingdom but raised a spiritual kingdom. The two are soteriological and eschatological equivalents.