Christ Jesus opened his Galilean ministry with these stirring words: "The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15). A new realm, the kingdom of heaven, at the door of mankind! Here, unseen to the physical senses, beyond the material and mortal, the evil and destructive, is a kingdom of light, order, and harmony. Here is a domain governed by God's will, a refuge and an eternal home for all ready to repent and believe the gospel of Christ.
The purpose of the Master's ministry was to demonstrate the presence of this spiritual kingdom and to teach mankind how to prove their activity in it. Through obedience, purity, forgiveness, love, understanding—the spirit of the Christ—they could enter this glorious realm so clear to his own sight, so near at hand for all. Jesus spoke of himself as being in heaven, saw heaven open when he prayed, was nourished by bread from heaven, withdrew to heaven whence he had come once his work was finished. By instruction and example he showed that the demonstration of one's place in heaven must be the primary purpose of one's human life.
The Master taught men to pray (Matt. 6:10): "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." And his works showed that a knowledge of God's ever-present kingdom endows one with power to disprove and obliterate anything that would reverse the divine will or obscure the true order of peace, health, and subordination to God's law. Heaven is as near as our thinking. Awaking to it is as near as our state of mind. The control of the divine will is as near as our obedience to it.