The Kingdom of God
JOHN 18:28-38 READ
- Linguistic Meaning of the Term Kingdom
- The primary meaning of malkuth (Hebrew) and basileia (Greek) is the authority, reign, or rule of a king.
- The kingdom of God is the sphere of God’s rule (Psalm 22:28).
- We are under God’s rule, but we participate in universal rebellion against God and His authority (1 John 5:19; Revelation 11:17,18).
- by faith and obedience men and women turn from their rebellion, are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and become a part of the Kingdom and its operation. YOU MUST CHOOSE THE KINGDOM
- The Kingdom is variously described as “kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 13:11), “kingdom of God” (Mark 4:11), “kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5), and “kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” (Revelation 11:15).
- Jesus sometimes spoke of it as “my kingdom” (Luke 22:30). Paul, referring to Christ Jesus, called it “his kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:1). All these terms refer to the one kingdom of God.
- What is the Kingdom?
- a present realm or sphere into which people are entering now and a future apocalyptic order into which the righteous will enter at the end of the age.
- Thus the kingdom of God is both a present reality and a promise of future fulfillment.
What is the kingdom of the world?
- the way the world works. kingdom of the world is whatever rules and has power in this world.
- 1 John 2:16 defines the world as the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does. That’s what shapes and defines and reigns in this world.
- the world is in rebellion against God. It’s not how God created things, but it’s how things are in a fallen world. This is not the way it’s supposed to be.
- the kingdom of God is a central theme in the New Testament and the main theme in the gospels. But people can’t agree on what the kingdom means.
- There are four main views of the kingdom– some people are off track
- Notice- in many of these theologies- the kingdom is understood by a few passages, instead of being understood from the overarching theme of the Bible
View One of The Kingdom
- the ethical view- The kingdom is all about how I live- Its ethical living
- Sermon on the mount- Love people who hate you, forgive those who sin against you, don’t be judgmental, give all you have to the poor, be faithful to your spouse, welcome the outcast
- the kingdom is about living rightly. It’s about ethics. and that’s not an incorrect view of the kingdom. It’s just incomplete.
- These are the same proponents of “Liberation Theology” that feel as though Christ came to set right all the wrongs of humanity-
- Christians are supposed to champion things such as wage equality, equal rights, fight for homeless, push for inclusivity and workers rights. Think- Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson
- Problem- If the kingdom is only a message about how we live there’s no good news, because the utopia isn’t going to happen and broken people can’t fulfill the sermon on the mount
The second view of the kingdom is the experiential view.
- According to this view, the kindgom is about what it’s your hearts.
- MARK 10:15 To receive the kingdom of God you must be like a little child
- This is the pietistic view of the kingdom. Be humble. Rely on God. Keep it to yourself
- Have an inner experience. Get in touch with your spiritual side. Stay at home
- I can find God out in woods, no need to go to church to be a Christian, I have church every day
- And this is not incorrect. The kingdom of God is about changed hearts and humility and experiencing the love of Jesus. But that’s not all.
- Problem- If the kingdom is only about an experience, there’s no Jesus.
- The kingdom is not just an experience, or even an experience of Jesus. It’s also a message about who he is, what he’s done, and what he demands.
Auburn Community Dinner
- Kingdom Now The fully realized Kingdom of God is in effect for Christians today
- Believe that God “lost control” of the earth when Adam and Eve sinned, believe that God has been looking for a “covenant people” who will take back control of the earth from Satan.
- Through the power of their faith and by following “last-days apostles and prophets,” church will regain dominion over the kingdoms of this world—the “kingdoms” of sickness, disease, and financial problems.
- Those who embrace this teaching are looking forward to, as God’s covenant people, taking control of the government, education, science, and every other aspect of the world.
- this will be achieved as believers use the gifts of the Spirit before the return of Christ.
- first problem- such teachings diminish the need for Jesus to return. if the fully realized Kingdom of God is in effect for Christians today, why does Christ need to return at all?
- Second problem , Kingdom Now theology makes God dependent on man and his faith; in order for God to accomplish His will, we must have faith and claim the promises
- God’s rule is diminished and His sovereignty attacked by many Kingdom Now teachers.
- Man controls his own destiny through his words and the power of his faith.
- the eschatological view. Eschatological means last things.
- According to this view, the kingdom of God ushers in the reign of God and brings us out of this present evil age and into the age to come
- The kingdom means the king has come to finally vanquish his foes and save his people.
- Those who believe in Jesus will be saved. Those who reject him stand condemned.
- This is the conservative evangelical view.- and this is the correct view
- Its about who’s in and who’s out. Who submits to the king and his rule and who doesn’t.
- But that’s not all the kingdom is about. It’s also about heart transformation and living out righteousness and justice.
- So the short way of describing the kingdom is to call it the reign and rule of God in our lives
- The long way to say it is the kingdom is about God having sway over our society, our hearts, and our allegiance
Has the Kingdom Come?
- Is the kingdom present or future? Is it here or are we waiting for it to arrive?
- And the answer is “Yes.” The kingdom of God is present and future; it is here and it has not yet arrived.
- the rule of God is seen as
- a present realm or sphere into which people are entering now and
- a future apocalyptic order into which the righteous will enter at the end of the age.
- Thus the kingdom of God is both a present reality and a promise of future fulfillment.
The State of the Kingdom currently
- scholars call the already and not yet of the kingdom–its a balance that it is important
- Matthew 4:17 “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
- Luke 17 when the Pharisees ask Jesus when the kingdom will come. And he replies, “The kingdom of God is among you.”
- With the coming of Jesus Christ, especially in his death and resurrection, the kingdom has come.
- Matthew 6:10, the Lord’s Prayer, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
- This was the Jewish mindset. You have two ages: this age and the age to come.
- This age is present and evil; the age to come is the age in the future where the Messiah reigns and his enemies are destroyed and there is peace and righteousness.
- For the Jesus, and the rest of the New Testament, the two ages work like this.
- You have this age, then overlapping it is the age to come.
- When Messiah came he announced the in-breaking of the age to come which was realized in principle.
- This in-breaking is called the kingdom of God.
- With the coming of Christ and especially his death and resurrection, the present evil age has become in principle the age to come. But it’s not a clean break from one to the other.
- They overlap such that this age is growing into what it is in principle.
- This already and not yet is really important. It’s how the kingdom works and how your salvation works.
- Your life is not a straight line with a clean break between old man and new man, or non-Christian and Christian. It doesn’t work like that–unconverted, selfish, prideful, boom, in Christ, now I’m completely holy.
- What happens is that you have your life outside of Christ then you are converted, regenerated, justified, adopted, all of that and now you are positionally in Christ. But who you in actuality is not yet that Christlike.
- Which is why the New Testament is based on who you are in Christ. Be who you are. Work out your salvation. Make your calling and election sure. In other words, grow into in reality who Christ has made you to be positionally.
- So as a Christian you are already holy and not yet holy and becoming holy.
- And the kingdom of God is already here, not yet here, and getting here.
So what must we do for the Kingdom of God NOW
- Be on the attack
- forceful spiritual confrontation between the power of the Kingdom and the powers that dominate the world in this present age.
- Putting on the full armor of God, believers must engage the forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12).
- We are called to wage war against sickness, but we face the reality that not everyone we pray for gets well.
- We do not surrender to the evil and the struggles of the present order; but neither do we rage against God or blame others when every request is not granted.
- The essence of the Spirit-energized life is to move against the forces of darkness, fully aware that total deliverance is always possible but does not always come immediately ( Romans 8:18–
- Some of the heroes of faith (Acts 12:2; Acts 12:2; 2 Corinthians 11:23 to 12:10; Hebrews 11) suffered, even died, having their deliverance deferred to a future time.
- We do not give in to the ravages of evil. As instruments of the Kingdom in this present age, we faithfully battle against evil and suffering.
It is only people and evil spirits who, through their resistance to God’s will, find themselves outside of the Kingdom of God.
- Surrender to God’s will
- People come to inhabit the Kingdom of God when their wills become aligned with God’s.
- Thus, the Kingdom of God is available to any who are willing to surrender their will to God’s.
- When a person makes their will, their mind and their body available to God as tools in the hands of his will, then they are living in the Kingdom of God.
- Such union of wills connects the individual to the very life and power of God, thus filling them with unearthly peace, strength and love.
- This is the fruit, the harvest, the result of the Spirit’s indwelling.
- Those who live in the Kingdom of God, are filled with the Spirit of God, for this interactive relationship is what God wills, and it is impossible for a person to do as God wills without this live connection.
- Obey God to live in the Kingdom of God I must simply choose to do what God desires.
- Obedience is Kingdom Living.
- But this type of will-driven obedience is only kindergarten in the Kingdom of God, for it represents a new-born will, still struggling to draw the rest of the person (the mind and the body, in particular) into the Kingdom with it.
- Carnal habits of mind are my greatest obstacles to living in the Kingdom of God.
- This includes everything from distraction toward indulgence to preoccupation with self.
- I easily fall into the thought-rut of dwelling on the kingdom of me and the kingdom of others which I still seem to believe I must strive against for my wellbeing.
- These habits of mind continually offer me cheap and easy comfort and abandoning them is like starving a pet rat, it is undeniably unhygienic but I’ve grown accustomed to its companionship.
- Living completely in the Kingdom of God now means that I am intentionally (will) placing my life in God’s hands and pursuing obedience while living in the conscious (mind) awareness and even bodily experience of the reality, presence, power and goodness of God.
- This surrender and awareness, which are the bedrock of kingdom living, result in the experience of unconditional peace, joy and love, enabling me to treat all people with unpreferential love (social) and all things as belonging to God
- “Eternal life” is as much a description of salvation’s nature, as it’s duration. We could just as well call it boundless-vibrant-divine life.
- The good news of the Kingdom is not simply “You can live forever and never die” but that the character and quality of your life can be rich, abundant, overflowing, and yes, unending.
- Like a fountain that doesn’t stop producing water, eternal-abundant life overflows, it exceeds the edges that are meant to contain it. “Living water,
Prayer for healing