Faithlife
Faithlife

God...The Kingdom

Notes & Transcripts

Matthew 6:10a

November 2, 2008

                        Today we begin the third part in our six part series entitled “God… An Exposition on the Lord’s Prayer.”  Thus far I have talked extensively but not exhaustively about the first two line of the Lord’s Prayer,  “Our father in heaven hallowed be your name.” We began this series Two weeks ago as we looked at that our attitude should be when we enter into prayer.  Our attitudes should be humility and reverence.  It should not be boastful and redundant.  Our attitudes should be as such because we are entering the presence of our father.  Last week we looked at God’s hallowed name or more specifically God’s holiness.  I talked about how God’s holiness should stir up within us a complete terror, fear, wonder, awe and joy in us as believers.  God’s holiness is terrible, awful and gives humans a perspective of our sinfulness yet his holiness attracts us and we should pursue it with our whole hearts.  Today we continue in this study as we look at the next part of the Lord’s Prayer which is found in verse 10 and our topic contains three simple words, “Your kingdom come.”  However these three words may seem simple but have a huge significance concerning insights about the present and future kingdom of Christ.  When I first set out to preach about this topic I felt it would be a simple sermon to preach because there is so much in the Bible about the kingdom of God.  I sincerely struggled all week with this topic because is it of such importance and is a huge concept but is very difficult to grasp in such a short period of time that we have together.  There are 162 references to the Kingdom (of God, Son, Heaven, David etc) in the Bible.   This shouldn’t surprise us since the kingdom of God was the primary messages of Jesus Christ. 

            You may recall in the early Gospel accounts of John the Baptist and his message that the kingdom of heaven (or God) was “at hand”.  What was this kingdom that he spoke of?  The Jews understood it to be the coming of the Messiah; the one who would come and set Israel free from the shackles of Rome and would set up his kingdom here on earth.  This coming Messiah is who the Jews had been praying for centuries.  John spoke of this One who was coming who he whose sandals he was unfit to carry.  And this was what John was proclaiming, yet the kingdom was not coming as the Jews expected.  Yes, the Messiah had come, but he was coming as a servant to give his life as atonement for sin.  His glorious eternal kingdom was not yet coming. 

            The kingdom of God is a huge reality with a lot of different aspects to it.   In order to make this topic easier to grasp for both you and me I want to answer three questions.  1)  What is the Kingdom of God (or heaven)?  2)  Who is the kingdom for?  3)  What is our responsibility to the kingdom?  Without further discussion let us journey to the center of the kingdom…

            Question one, what is the Kingdom of God (heaven).  Unfortunately there is not a word, phrase or statement I can give to you that defines the kingdom of God accurately; there just are not any simple explanations for it.  Even Jesus himself referred to the kingdom of God as a “mystery” or a secret.  However it was a secret or mystery that was revealed through Jesus Christ.  Colossians 2:1-3 1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.[1]  Before we delve too deep into this subject I would like to get some words defined.  The word kingdom in this passage is translated from the Greek word Basileia which means royal power, kingship, dominion, rule. 1a not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom. 1b of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah. 1c of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom. 2 a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king. 3 used in the N.T. to refer to the reign of the Messiah.[2]  This kingdom isn’t so much of a place that you and I would understand as a kingdom like the United Kingdom or any other country that is governed by a king.  Instead it is fulfilled in a person, namely Jesus Christ who is the King but has not yet, set up his eternal kingdom.  The king has come and he is supreme, however He has not established his true kingdom this is still future.    

            This is where all of this begins to get confusing because this kingdom has come in part and yet it is still to come.  The kingdom is present through Jesus Christ (through his physical appearance on this earth, his indwelling in the believer) and is future in the second coming which ushers in his messianic reign for all eternity. 

            Luke 17:20 reads, 20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed,21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”[3]   He is saying that He is the fulfillment of the kingdom.  The kingdom was standing right before the Pharisees and they did not recognize it.  In fact had the people known that the king was present Jesus said, “They would fight to keep me from being killed.  Jesus uses parables to describe this kingdom of God; he says it is like a mustard seed, leaven, a treasure hidden in a field, a merchant searching for fine pearls and a net in the sea.  In other words the kingdom of heaven is an expanding kingdom of great worth to God.  This kingdom contains his body and is important in every aspect to God.  So much so, He sent his Son to be the perfect sacrifice so that all who believe in Him can gain access to His Kingdom for all eternity and this kingdom you and I are a part of and we help in expanding it for God’s glory.

            The kingdom is not merely a present, personal experience but also a future, historical event as well. It is Christ's return with his angels to gather his elect from the four winds and establish his visible throne upon the earth. Jesus described the second coming like this: "The Son of man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father" (Matthew 13:41–43).[4]   This kingdom will be a time of refreshing restitution and a time when we will be in the continual presence of Jesus Christ and this is a great hope for the believer and yet a looming doom for any who does not believe.  We see in Luke 1:33 that this kingdom is never ending with Christ as the king.  It will be a place where we can eat and drink at the table of Christ and sit on thrones.  It is a kingdom that is not of this world as John 18:36 states, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, my servants, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered to the Jews.”  This future kingdom will be ushered in by the imminent return of Jesus Christ at His second coming.  What a glorious day this will be!

            Now that we have a little more insight into what the kingdom of God is we now move on to who are the beneficiaries of this kingdom.  I should state from the beginning there is but only one way to gain access to the kingdom of God and that is by putting your faith in Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 1:11 says, “For in this way (making every effort to live a Godly life) there will be richly provided for you and entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  This means that those who pursue God and commit to living their lives for his glory and honor (through Christ) will be granted access to this kingdom.  On the other hand, the one who rejects Christ will have no inheritance in the Kingdom of heaven (Eph. 5:5).  We also find in Matthew 5:3  Jesus saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  The poor in spirit are those who recognize their need and dependency on God.  They understand that their life is missing something and that something is God.  Jesus also says in Matthew 5:10 that those who are persecuted for his righteousness sake will also be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven.  A big welcome mat will be set out for the men and women who are so committed to Christ that they are beaten, tortured and even killed for their faith in Christ.  The kingdom of God is also reserved for the converted and those who have faith in Christ like a child (Matthew 18:3).  Like a child who is dependent on his parents we so must have this same dependency on God. 

            This brings us to the final question pertaining to the kingdom of God which is now that we know a tiny bit about the kingdom of God; as believers what our response is or better yet, what is our responsibility?  This can be answered with three simple words, “Seek, Pray,Prepare”.  Jesus says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…”  My primary job as a believer is to seek God’s kingdom.  Our perspective in life is not merely on the temporal or my concerns are not just of this world, they are for those things from above.  Romans 12:2 says, “ Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[5]

            Next we are to pray for God’s kingdom to come.  This world is not our home, we belong in God’s kingdom and this will be our eternal residence.  We are sojourners passing by and our home is in the kingdom of God with Christ as our King.  I pray for this and I look forward to the day that I may take up my residency in heaven live with my God for all eternity.  However since we are here we also have the responsibility to tell others about this kingdom and pray for our loved ones, friends, co-workers and family so they too may enter the kingdom of God on that glorious day.     

            Lastly, we should prepare for the kingdom of God.  Revelation 1:7 says,
7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.[6]   There will be a second coming of Jesus Christ and we need to be ready.  For when He does come He will not be coming as a humble servant who is giving His life for the flock; instead He is coming as a triumphant King to judge the earth and to establish His kingdom here on earth.  We are to be prepared because we do not know when this day will be.  Matthew 24:44, 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.[7]  For the believer this is a day to anticipate.  For unregenerate man this will be a horrible and terrifying day that will end with weeping and gnashing of teeth.

            As I conclude I need to say that I have merely scratched the surface on the kingdom of God.  I can also stand up here and say I have a decent grasp on the subject but I know there is sooooo much more to this than what I have presented to you today.  I would encourage you to get a concordance and look up all the passages on the kingdom of God or heaven and have your own personal study on this topic.  It is both fascinating and mind boggling.

            We all have jobs to do.  We need to be seeking God’s kingdom in all aspects of our lives.  We should be praying for His kingdom to come because this will be our eternal bliss.  Until then we must be preparing for the kingdom to come so we must present the gospel of Christ to the world to offer hope and life when this day does come. 

           


----

[1]  The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2]Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G932). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

[3]  The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[4] Piper, John (1984) http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TopicIndex/30_Kingdom_of_God/461_Until_It_Is_Fulfilled_in_the_Kingdom_of_God/

[5]  The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[6]  The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[7]  The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →