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Where is the Kingdom

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WHERE IS THE KINGDOM?

LUKE 17: 20-21

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

INTRODUCTION:  The central theme of the Apostle Paul’s preaching was “Justification by Faith.  Central theme of Christ’s message …  KINGDOM OF GOD.  “Jesus traveled throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogues, preaching everywhere the Good News about the Kingdom” (Mt 4:23)

In Jesus parables, the Sermon on the Mount and Lord’s Prayer.

We pray in the Lord’s prayer, “Thy Kingdom come.”   

Do you look for the Kingdom to come? 

AMPLIFY:  I heard the story of an old man who went to church.  As he was listening to the preacher, the preacher asked, “If you are ready to go to heaven, raise your hand.”  He didn’t raise his hand and the preacher spotted him.  So, the preacher asks again, everyone who is ready to go to heaven, raise your hand.  He didn’t raise his hand again.  So the preacher got real close.  “If you are ready to go to heaven, raise your hand.  He still did not raise his hand. 

Brother, are you ready to go to heaven?  YES. Why didn’t you raise your hand?  We preacher, the man said, I thought you just might be getting a bus load to go right now.

Are we really wanting to go now.  Are we looking for the Kingdom of God?

ILLUSTRATE:  In the movie, “Matrix” Neo is called by phone from a world created by machines.  It is only an idea.  When he accepts the offer to see the real world he is shocked.

Jesus came into this world and proclaimed the Kingdom of God has come.  Yet, where is it?  How does it come?  When does it come?  Who brings it?

The Pharisees wanted to know when will the Kingdom come?   Where is it?  Who will bring it?

The question the church continues to ask.  When will the Kingdom of God come? Where is the Kingdom of God?

I.   WHEN DOES THE KINGDOM COME?  (vs 20)

          In the Old Testament the prophets proclaimed about a Day that was to come.  It was both a day of judgment and a day of redemption.

          Listen to the prophets:

ISAIAH 2:12The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),…”

Isaiah 65:17-19 (NIV)

17 "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.

18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.

19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.

The Jews had been looking for the Kingdom of God for centuries.  So their religious leaders studied the signs and interpreted the signs.  They were so looking for the Kingdom where their nation would rule over the rest of the nations 

          Jesus tells them it is not coming with loud proclamations, prancing horses, marching armies, martial music; or  with any  “outward show.” 

         

          So, if it is not coming with outward show, then how is it coming and when is it coming?

Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God has come now.  Notice these two Scriptures:

Mark 1:14-15

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

  Luke 11:18-20 (NIV)
20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

It is clear from these two Scriptures that the Kingdom of God is with us now.

YET, it is also clear that the kingdom of God has not fully come.  Jesus speaks of His return.  His return will usher in the fullness of that Kingdom.

 

II.  WHO BROUGHT THE KINGDOM?

Jesus. 

That is clear if you believe God’s Word.

A.    He broke in on History

B.    His Works -casting out demons, healing, and proclaiming the gospel. 

These works are and assault on Satan’s Kingdom:

“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.

C.     Death and Resurrection

a.     By His death on the cross. 

b.      He fully assaulted Satan’s stronghold, released prisoners from Hell itself, and has begun the process of ushering in the fullness of the Kingdom in a not so distant day.

c.      He sent the Holy Spirit as our guide and to indwell and fill us giving us a taste of that Kingdom day in and day out.

III.  WHAT IS THE KINGDOM?

          The Kingdom of God, according to most scholars, is the reign of God

A.    God’s reign on earth in present history began with Abraham.  Until Abraham God was King of Heaven, but satan was the god of this world. 

B.    After Mount Sanai, the rule of God was present in Israel. 

C.   After Calvary the rule of God is present in believers of Christ’s person and redemptive work.

When you and I pray the Lord’s prayer and say, “Thy Kingdom come” we are accepting the yoke of God’s sovereignty in our lives.

IV. WHERE IS THE KINGDOM

a.      The Kingdom of God is in your heart

The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

This begins by repenting and accepting Jesus in your life.

We were created with a need to be ruled.  Your heart will be ruled

          Either the Master will rule your heart and will

OR

          You or Satan will rule it

WHICH WILL IT BE? 

b.      The Kingdom of God is a spiritual realm that has not fully come

CONCLUSION:  I grew up in a mining community in the red clay hills of Alabama before mining became lucrative. 

I remember in church services listening to the testimonies of the older Saints during the different worship services.  I would hear them many times talk about their faith as if it were a journey. 

 As they shared their testimony they spoke of leaning on Jesus, and come too far to turn around now (images of Israel wanting to return to Egypt).   

I remember the song, "I would'nt take nothing for my journey now, have to get to heaven some how, O the joy of..." 

"Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven."  It was like they had already experienced the blessedness of those words found in Matthew 5:3. 

Surely, these Saints of God, mere men and women who lived under the yoke of God’s rule in their heart.  They had tasted the manna and the quail of heaven and understood how they depended on their King.

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