Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Kingdom of God

Luke 17:20 & 21
The Jews thought about the kingdom were mainly political. They'd been looking for the coming Messiah for years. They expected Him to come to them, set up an earthly kingdom, free them from the rule of Rome, etc.
Jesus was NOT what they had in mind as a Messiah.

The Kingdom of God is a broad subject, a controversial subject - every person, denomination, etc. has an idea as to what the kingdom is - and it is difficult to define. It is abstract but a very REAL kingdom.

The Kingdom of God is The sphere of His rule.
On one hand, that is everything. Psalm 130:19 Psalm 93:1
On the other hand, He is not exercising His authority over all things. There is evil, suffering, ungodliness, etc. ruled by the kingdom of Satan, of man, etc.

So..... How do we understand the Kingdom of God?

First, note - there are 2 aspects of the Kingdom.
#1. Future - He'll rule fully, visibly, absolutely, even forcefully. Rev. 19:15

#2. Present - His rule over what and who voluntarily (willingly) submits to Him.

This will be our focus. We live here and now. We can make a difference in the Kingdom.

So...... The Kingdom of God (present sense) Luke 17:20 & 21

I. It is within you. There is a throne (control center) in each heart.

But it's more than that!!!

II. it is all around you. Matt. 21:31 John 3:5 Matt. 7:21 It's not primarily that the kingdom enters me, but that I enter the Kingdom.

So, on one hand it is a domain within the heart.
but, on the other hand, it is a domain we enter

Matt. 3:1 & 2 - right here Mark 1:14 & 15 - we can enter in Matt. 12:28 - is here with you, in your presence.

III. it will come to you. In the future sense, it will be completed, consummated. Then we will walk by sight instead of by faith.

So, when I enter the Kingdom

A. the Kingdom enters me (or at least the King does)
B. I become part of the Kingdom - a citizen 1 John 3:2
C. I possess the Kingdom (in part) Matt. 5:3
D. I will inherit the Kingdom (future/fullness) Matt. 25:34

So... How do we enter the Kingdom?

John 3:1-7 - by being born again
Matt. 18:1-4 - humble yourself like a little child
Matt. 7:21-23 - do the will of your Father in heaven
Matt. 5:20 - be more righteous than the Pharisees and teachers

Additionally: John the Baptist - repent and Jesus to the rich young ruler - "sell all you have and give it to the poor, and follow me... etc."

Question: What to do? choose one? all of the above? some of the above???

Answer: Jesus gave varying answers, instructions, specifics ----
BUT, always the same Basic (fundamental) process. in other words: you enter the Kingdom when your make Him the King.

Accept Jesus as your Lord. Which means...
#1.Recognize His Lordship - (His right to rule)
#2. Accept Him as Lord - (yours personally)
#3. Receive Him "enthrone Him" - consciously, sincerely, verbally
#4. Follow Him - submit to Him

new question: Can I accept Him as Lord without accepting Him as Savior?
Many would accept Him as Savior and not Lord.
But some would accept Him as Lord and NOT as Savior. (ie: Not admit to need for a Savior)

Question: How can I accept who He is and reject what He's done?
This is not an either/or proposition, BUT a both/and proposition.

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