“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away ...” (Matthew 21:43)

“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” (Matthew 21:43)

Where is the 'kingdom of God'?

The key element in Jesus' statement is the phrase “kingdom of God.” The word "kingdom" is translated from the Greek word βασιλεία (basileia) which means "royal power, kingship, dominion, rule - not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom" according to Thayer's lexicon.

In other words, it is not describing a place. It is describing a consciousness whereby the Supreme Being is being accepted as the ruler and one relies upon God. This consciousness can take place regardless of whether a person is within the physical or spiritual world.

This notion of Jesus' reference to the "kingdom of God" is confirmed by the fact that Jesus is stating that it can be "taken away from you." How can a location be taken away from someone?

But the consciousness of relying upon the Supreme Being can be taken away. How so?

How can the 'kingdom of God' be taken away?

The physical world was designed by the Supreme Being to mask or disguise His presence. This is conducted first, by the illusion that we are these physical bodies - called misidentification.

Second, the illusion is completed by the limitations of the senses and the mind. As we become tricked into thinking that we are these physical bodies, we become enmeshed in the world of the physical senses - thinking these temporary forms and things of the physical world will somehow satisfy us.

We might compare this to the illusion created by movie theaters. A theater will have its customers sit down in a darkened room and watch a big screen up front with a great sound system. The entire experience is set up so the movie-goer can forget reality for a while and get focused upon a made-up story within the movie. The entire project - from the actors to the movie set to the theater - is all prepared to create the experience for the movie-goer - allowing us to forget reality for a while.

In the same way, this physical body and mind and physical world are all designed to allow us to forget the reality of the Supreme Being for a while. Why?

Because we wanted to get away from God. We wanted our independence from Him. We wanted to be happy without Him. So He set up a virtual world to allow us that freedom.

Because God wants our love. He created us to exchange loving relationships with Him. And love requires freedom.

What is the 'fruit' Jesus is referring to?

The metaphorical "fruit" that Jesus is referring to is the fruit related to the exchange of a relationship. How do people who have a relationship exchange in that relationship?

A person who loves another will automatically want to serve that person. They will want to do what pleases that person. When they find out what pleases them they will do that activity.

As such, service is the "fruit" of having a loving relationship with the Supreme Being: Working in a way that is pleasing to God.

Jesus conducted his life in this way:
"The One who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him." (John 8:29)
Jesus clearly established that he was serving the Supreme Being:
“My food, is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work." (John 4:34)
Doing the will of the Supreme Being was Jesus' "food" because this was fulfilling to Jesus.

This is the sign of someone who loves another. They will work to please the one they love: Loving service.

Jesus also taught his followers the importance of having a personal loving relationship with God and thus learning to serve the Supreme Being with our lives:
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)