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Eric Meyer TGOTK Outline

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Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Gospel of the Kingdom Outline

Introduction:

Summary:  The Kingdom of God may not appear to be significant at present, but it does exist.  It will grow to dominate the whole world eventually.  While God’s rule will dominate the world, and the Kingdom is entered by man only through complete submission to God.

1.       Eschatology is a field of study that generates much interest, but this book is going to describe the fact that the Kingdom of God exists in the present, however small it may appear to be.

2.        Since the Kingdom of God can be defined as His rule, it is timeless.  The existence of the Kingdom now means man can experience the benefits immediately.

3.      The parables define the Kingdom of God, and foretell of a day when God will rule over all of the earth.  Nothing can hold it back.

4.       The parables also tell man that he will have to pay a price to enter the Kingdom.

Quote:  “Dr. Ladd does not minimize the cost.  Discipleship always costs.  There is a price to pay.  (pg. 12)

Interaction:  I know an officer in the Salvation Army who has taught evangelism for 35 years.  One of his favorite comments is that he rarely recommends books published prior to 1960, and most of his favorites are hundreds of years old.  The thoughts written by the giants of teaching discipleship have stood the test of time, and therefore deserve much respect.  This is just such a book.  It is as fresh today as any of the modern books that I have read.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Gospel of the Kingdom Outline

Chapter 1:  What is the Kingdom of God? 

Summary: The Kingdom of God can be defined as His authority, His realm, and a time to come when Jesus will reign again. 

1.       The fundamental idea of the Kingdom of God comes from Biblical history that describes God’s purpose in creating man.  Humans will be redeemed, and live in harmony with God in heaven.

2.      Jesus announced His ministry with a statement that the Kingdom of God was at hand, meaning it is active on earth now.

3.      When the meaning of the “Kingdom” is adumbrated, the fact that it indicates God’s authority to rule becomes clear.

4.      Power to rule without a place to rule is meaningless, so “kingdom” must also refer to a place.

5.      Time also needs to be taken into consideration.  The Kingdom is at hand, but it also exists in the future.

Quote:  “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in my life as it is in heaven.”  (pg. 23)

Interaction:  The above quote is so intuitive, so simple, yet so amazingly fundamental to discipleship.  Of course we should pray for God’s will to be done in “my life”, in “my church”, and not just “on earth”, but that had never occurred to me before reading this book.  I don’t need to know God’s will to do it.  I just need to pray that it be done, and follow Jesus the best I can.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Gospel of the Kingdom Outline

Chapter 2: The Kingdom Is Tomorrow

Summary:  The Bible is the story of God’s interaction with man throughout the entire spread of time and existence.  God has promised that man will be free from all opposition, suffering, and enjoy eternal life.  This will not come to pass until the “Age to Come” as defined in this chapter.

1.       The current age is hostile to the word of God.  People hear the Gospel, but many do not respond.  No fruit is produced from the vine.

2.      Satan has authority in this age.  He is able to keep men in darkness where they either refuse to accept the gifts from God, or are unable to see them.

3.      The Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Christ, and Eternal Life are all interchangeable.  They are the promise of the Age to Come for the disciples of Jesus.

4.      The Age to come will begin with Jesus’ return, but won’t be complete until the end of the Millennium when Satan will finally be defeated.

Quote:  “They are the promise of the future for those who in This Age have become disciples of Christ.”  (pg. 33)

Interaction:  In Job 42:10, God repays Job’s loyalty by returning what he had lost twofold.  The hint of Heaven is here because Job is given the same number of children he had before his trial, an indication that he still had children who were now in Heaven.  Now Jesus promises us a hundredfold increase in lands or family we leave behind to follow Him (Mat 19:29).  Job was wonderfully rewarded for his trial.  What a beautiful image we are given of the Kingdom!

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Gospel of the Kingdom Outline

Chapter 3:  The Kingdom is Today

Summary:  The Kingdom of God will be fully realized in the Age to Come.  However, the resurrection of Jesus has given man a taste of the Kingdom.  Satan’s power has been curtailed.

1.       Christ is the first fruit of God’s plan for victory over His enemies.  The beginning of the Kingdom is here! 

2.      Jesus offers proof of the coming Kingdom in His resurrection.  Because He lives, so will all of His disciples.

3.      Jesus will reign until all of God’s enemies are crushed; Satan, sin, and death.

4.      Satan’s power has been curtailed by Jesus.  He demonstrated this power by casting out demons, and curing disease.

5.      The Kingdom is here now.  It has touched the disciples, who are able to do God’s work.  Those who receive the Kingdom will be able to enjoy the Glory to come.

Quote:  “If this were the complete programme of redemption, we would have merely a religion of promise, a gospel of hope.”  (pg. 41)

Interaction:  If all we could do is look to the future, all we would have is hope.  However, God has given us a taste of the Kingdom to come.  We can experience the Kingdom now because of the sacrifice of Jesus.  He gave us the promise of Advent; not just hope, but peace, joy, and maybe most importantly, love.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Gospel of the Kingdom Outline

Chapter 4:  The Mystery of the Kingdom

Summary:  The Jews had been expecting a messiah, a new king to wipe away their enemies.  However God works in ways that can not be anticipated.  His Kingdom has arrived, but as a tiny seed, almost unnoticed.  It is a gift that can be accepted or rejected.

1.       The Kingdom is not a new form of political power.  It is attacking the kingdom of Satan, not the kingdoms of man.

2.      The Kingdom has been sown on a variety of surfaces.  Where it has found deep, fertile soil, it will grow.  It is unobtrusive, growing almost unnoticed. 

3.      Disciples are asked to offer the Gospel to others, but not to force it upon anyone.

4.      There will be those who accept evil.  Though the Kingdom has come, this is still an evil age.  Disciples are assured that the Kingdom is growing despite the obvious evil.

5.      The mystery is in the unexpected; the humble carpenter, those chosen to be disciples, the fact that man can choose to ignore the gift.

Quote:  “We speak as emissaries of God, but we plead and do not demand…” (pg. 57)

Insight:  The mystery is that Jesus chose to build His Kingdom with disciples.  He made us the salt of the earth so that we might preserve His plan.  The mystery is that there is no back up plan.  If the salt loses its flavor it is useless (Mat 5:13).  The mystery is that we are to persuade and not demand, that we are not to throw our pearls before swine (Mat 7:6).  The greatest mystery is that love conquers evil.  That the Kingdom has bound Satan by teaching us to love our enemies!

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Gospel of the Kingdom Outline

Chapter 5:  The Life of the Kingdom.

Summary:  God gives us life abundantly.  While the heavens and earth will be transformed, and our bodies made anew when Jesus comes again, we are to enjoy a taste of God’s Kingdom today.

1.      We can taste everlasting life.  It is available to us now, but not in its fullness.

2.      We enter into everlasting life by being born again.

3.      Knowledge of God, meaning a personal relationship with Him, is everlasting life.

4.      Being saved is to enjoy this relationship with God though we are still surrounded by evil.

5.      At this point, our knowledge of God is limited.  Partial knowledge leads to multiple interpretations of scripture, which leads to anxiety.  Only love can cure the anxiety.

6.      God has given us the Holy Spirit as a promise of the salvation to come.

Quote:  “When Christ comes we will receive the harvest-the fullness of life from God’s spirit.” (pg. 77)

Interaction:  In Luke 11:13, Jesus asks, “How much more will your father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”  We are born again into relationship with Jesus, and given the Spirit as a promise of the salvation to come when we will see God face to face, living in a new spiritual body.  Until that time, Jesus tells us to pray for the Holy Spirit.  If we ask, God will, “Give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”  The Spirit builds our knowledge of God and that knowledge leads to a friendship with our Creator.  How awesome that God wants to be my friend!

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Gospel of the Kingdom Outline

Chapter 6:  The Righteousness of the Kingdom

Summary:  God sees our heart.  He knows how we think and feel, and He also knows that how we feel determines who we are.  What we do can hide who we are.  Salvation depends on cleansing our heart of sin as much as, or more than cleansing our behavior.

1.       Righteousness means having a heart cleansed of evil towards our fellow man.

2.      Only God can give us this righteousness.  Behaving with perfect purity, honesty, love, and forgiveness is too great a task for man to accomplish without God.

3.      Jesus taught in parables.  We need to remember that when we start to take His words too literally.  He is concerned with our attitude, not how we display it.

4.      Jesus does not want us to play games with sin.  Trying to justify little sins, or create excuses for sins is dangerous.  It only leads to more sin and separation from God.

5.      We can only forgive if we love.  We can only love our enemies with the help of God. 

Quote:   “Human forgiveness is to be motivated by divine forgiveness.”  (pg. 93)

Interaction:  Jesus knows that anger will eat us up inside, eventually destroying our mental and physical health.  He declares that loving our enemies, forgiving when we really don’t want to, is the only way to stay healthy in our relationship with God.  In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us how to pray.  He describes the key points in that relationship.  After the prayer, the only point He reiterates is the need for forgiveness.  It is so important, that God won’t forgive us if we don’t first forgive.  

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Gospel of the Kingdom Outline

Chapter 7:  The Demand of the Kingdom

Summary:  God does not tell us we have to be perfect before we enter the Kingdom.  He knows that is not possible without His help.  His only demand is that we repent, and choose to accept His offer.

1.      It is possible to go through life following our own desires.  That is a life without God, and a life with no relief from the pain caused by separation from God.

2.      The gate to the Kingdom is narrow.  Excuses won’t do if we are to enter.  Jesus demands that we strain with every ounce of energy to do His will, to enter the gate.

3.      Wealth, position, influence, and ambition are not sins in themselves, and poverty is not virtuous in itself.  Anything that becomes a barrier to right relations with Jesus must be removed.

4.      Security is in Jesus.  Worry about tomorrow is useless because we know not what tomorrow brings.

5.      Taking up our cross is not a burden; it is sacrificing ourselves for Jesus. 

Quote:    Self-Denial is self centered; denial of self is Christ centered.”  (pg 104)

Interaction:  “We see God’s will as something we fit in between washing the laundry and grocery shopping,” says Christopher Maricle.  He explains that, “Doing the will of God is not just one more chore among the many tasks of life.  It is the task of life.”[i]  Giving my life to Jesus gives me direction and purpose.  I know what I am supposed to do, because Jesus was quite clear.  He repeatedly said, “Follow Me.”

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Gospel of the Kingdom Outline

Chapter 8:  The Kingdom, Isreal, and the Church

Summary:  Because the Israelites rejected Jesus as the Messiah, He brought together a new body, the Church, with the purpose of producing “fruit” through spreading the Gospel.

1.       The Israelites began to worship scripture.  They fell so in love with it that they failed to see the Messiah to whom it pointed.

2.      Jesus waited for His disciples to recognize Him as the Messiah before instructing them to His purpose, that of building His Church.

3.      The Kingdom of God is no longer active in the world through Israel.  The keys to the Kingdom have been given to Christ’s disciples.

4.      God’s plan is to make the disciples His partners.  The Kingdom will only spread if the Church does its job.

5.      Though God no longer uniquely uses Israel to spread His Kingdom, He has not forgotten His people.  They too will be redeemed when the time is right.

Quote:  “Even as they rejected His offer of the Kingdom because it was not what they were looking for, so they rejected His Messiahship because He was not the conquering, ruling monarch they desired.”  (pg. 111)

Interaction:  In Jeremiah 38:20, Jeremiah pleads with the king of Jerusalem to obey the Lord and give his kingdom up to the enemy.  The Israelites could not understand God’s plan, so they did not obey, and were destroyed.   We are not asked to understand.  We are asked to obey.

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Gospel of the Kingdom Outline

Chapter 9: When Will the Kingdom Come?

Summary:  “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.  This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:13-14).”  In this statement by Jesus, there is a message, a mission, and a motive.

1.       The message is the Gospel of the Kingdom.  It is the good news that Jesus has conquered death.

2.      Though the enemies of Satan, sin, and death are still active, Jesus has broken their power.  Through the cross and resurrection, they have been defeated.

3.      The disciples have a mission.  Human being can see the meaning of life if they are willing to open their eyes.  The mission is to spread the Gospel.

4.      Our motive is that Christ will come again when the mission is complete.

Quote:  “My concern is not with closed doors; my concern is with doors that are open which we do not enter.”

Interaction:  I believe we show our love by sharing the Gospel.  The act of sharing means we have put aside our fears of what others think of us, and display our love.  Christopher Maricle Says it beautifully, “Love is always within our power to give.  What we do with our power is the measure of our willingness to serve God by sharing His love.”  Christopher sums up this idea by saying, “Heeding the example of Jesus t do what is in our power to do means that we need to worry less about what happens to us and more about what happens because of us.”[ii]

Eric Meyer

CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism

Professor Lanker

May 13th, 2008

The Gospel of the Kingdom Outline

Bibliography


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[i] Christopher Maricle, The Jesus Priorities – 8 Essential Habits, (Nashville, TN: Upper Room Books, 2007),  92

[ii] Christopher Maricle, The Jesus Priorities – 8 Essential Habits, 31

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