14:16 Therefore do not let what you consider good be spoken of as evil. 14:17 For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 14:18 For the one who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by people. 14:19 So then, let us pursue what makes for peace and for building up one another.
There’s a lot of talk these days in the “emergent church” about bringing the Kingdom of God to earth. Usually it’s in the context of reducing poverty, taking care of the environment, reducing pollution, ending bigotry, etc. Their goals seem to be to make people healthier and safer, and to acheive a more fair distribution of the world’s resources. Nothing particularly wrong about that, but they speak very little about heaven or hell or preparing others to face the afterlife–the issues that matter for eternity.
This passage is interesting because it reinforces that the Kingdom of God is spiritual, not physical. It has very little to do with temporary things such as what we eat or drink, our lifestyle choices or status in life, but rather has much to do with our right relationship with the Holy Spirit and others.