Weak allegory or powerful reality? Biblical “Kingdom of God” to be focus of United Church of God nationwide seminars Sept. 8, 15

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Numerous authorities —from the scientific to the sociological to the religious —have openly speculated whether the world may be nearing a time of unparalleled upheaval. What does the world's perennial best seller - the Bible - have to say about the subject? To examine these and other biblical topics related to the future of humanity, the United Church of God will conclude its year-long series of Kingdom of God seminars at more than 100 locations on either Sept. 8 and 15 (check http://www.kogseminars.org for location information).

Kingdom of God Bible Seminars, United Church of God, Beyod Today television program, Good News magazine

More than 100 Kingdom of God Bible seminars, sponsored by the Beyond Today TV program and the Good News magazine, will take place nationwide in September

Understanding what the Bible teaches about the Kingdom of God gives us all real hope and confidence, even when we see economic or political turmoil in today’s news.

The year 2012: a time of uncertain conjecture on humanity’s future? Numerous authorities —from the scientific to the sociological to the religious —have openly speculated whether the world may be nearing a time of unparalleled upheaval. Some argue that if certain societal forces remain unchecked, humanity’s future is dark. Others claim that a bright and prosperous future lies ahead. Which is right? Can one tell for certain?

Many may ask: What does the world’s long-time best seller have to say on the subject? The United Church of God will host special public Bible seminars to discuss this topic throughout the United States on either September 8 or 15 (check http://www.kogseminars.org online for nearby sites and for content links to previous presentations).

Citing both Jesus Christ and the original apostles, the New Testament in the Bible records more than 100 direct references to a “Kingdom of God.” Are those Bible passages talking about a literal divine future government whose rule will touch every human being, or are they just ancient allegory? According to the scripture-focused teachings of the United Church of God, the Kingdom of God is simply, but profoundly this: the true hope and future of humanity.

“Students of the Bible know that the prophets and apostles—particularly in the first century A.D.—looked to the second coming of Jesus as a very real event,” said Dennis Luker, president of the United Church of God, an International Association. “The Bible does teach that Jesus will return in power, prepared to at last set up a world-encircling Kingdom that will literally engulf this planet.”

The Church president continued: “Understanding what the Bible teaches about the Kingdom of God gives us all real hope and confidence, even when we see economic or political turmoil in today’s news.”

To help people understand the vital and personal significance of this Kingdom, the United Church of God is continuing to host special presentations across the United States and other countries. Following presentations made in 2011 and earlier this year, the current series of seminars will conclude on either September 8 or September 15 and are presented free of charge in the public interest. (Dates and places can be confirmed at http://www.kogseminars.org; a short video about the seminars can be viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5kIT75_TJYM)

“Far from being literary allegory or a children’s story, the Kingdom of God was the dynamic and powerful focus of Christ’s own ministry,” Mr. Luker explained. “As recorded in the book of Mark in the New Testament, the Bible declares: `Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel”’ (Mark 1:14-15). We see multiple dozens of references to this gospel —the ‘good news’ —of the Kingdom of God in the teachings of Jesus, yet we rarely hear the present-day relevance of the Kingdom explained.”

The Kingdom of God seminars will cover more fully some of the related topics presented on the Church’s national television program, Beyond Today, and in the Church’s international magazine The Good News. “Understanding what the Kingdom of God means can transform one’s life, so it is exciting for us to bring this critical biblical knowledge to the public in this way,” Mr. Luker said.
“Anyone who is interested in learning more about what Jesus and the Bible teach about the Kingdom of God and how critically relevant that is to daily life is welcome to attend,” said Mr. Luker. “No one will be asked to join a church or religious organization, nor will there be any attempts to collect money or fund-raise—we in the Church simply want to make this critically important information available to all.”

The special Kingdom of God Bible Seminars have included biblical information on how to form a direct, close, practical and loving relationship with both God the Father and Jesus Christ. This final series will describe in detail the biblical steps one must take to initiate and grow this relationship. The Bible reveals that people are saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and by committing to preparing for the future Kingdom of God they begin a powerful process of spiritual transformation. The direct relationship with God that results from this transformation will improve an individual’s life and add depth and meaning in several important ways.

“The Kingdom of God—the core outcome of the Gospel as taught by Jesus—represents the central story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation,” said Mr. Luker. “We hope that many will take advantage of this free opportunity to learn more without any obligation and commitment to join anything.”

Numerous locations across the globe will host these free Kingdom of God seminars, and more information about times and locations (together with content links to previous presentations) can be found at http://www.kogseminars.org.

About the United Church of God, an international association: Basing its beliefs on the biblical practices of the original 1st Century Church, the United Church of God maintains congregations in more than 40 countries around the world. Following the recorded example of Jesus Christ and the first apostles, the Church observes the seventh day Sabbath and the annual Holy Day seasons as outlined in the Old and New Testaments. The main offices of the Church are located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Church produces the Beyond Today television program and publishes the Good News magazine. For more information about the Church and its activities, please visit http://www.ucg.org.

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Peter Eddington
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