Summary: The fifth message in the series.
The Kingdom Is Here
Back To Christmas (5)
IN – the beginning God created everything! AND – everything was good! HE - created the heavens and the earth and it was good. HE - created man and woman and they were good. YES – things were good… Times were good. People were good. AND – everything was as God wanted and desired. BUT THEN – Adam & Eve messed up. THEY – were tempted & deceived by satan. THEY – ate the forbidden fruit. THEY – were kicked out of the garden… AND – things were no longer good…
BUT – as we have seen the last 2 weeks as we have talked about His Death and His Resurrection…. God had a plan even before creation to set things right, and that plan was Jesus. AND – from Genesis to the Gospels… from the shade of the garden to the desert sands of 1st of Judea we see that incredible plan of God unfolding chapter by chapter. A plan that would ONE day return all things and all people to good… A plan that would return everything as God wants and desires. ABOUT - 4,000 years ago. God called a guy named Abraham and asked him to help work this plan…
Then the LORD told Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others… All the families of the earth will be blessed through you." - Genesis 12:1-3 (NLT)
AND – 1,000 years later God reminded a shepherd-tending, giant-slaying, psalm-writing king.. WHO – was very old and about to die, of that plan…
…when you die, I will raise up one of your descendants, and I will make his kingdom strong. 13He is the one who will build a house--a temple--for my name. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
– 2 Samuel 7:12,13
AND – about 400 years after that… GOD – gave a vision of that plan to a beaten-up, tired & defeated people who were living in exile in Babylon through a prophet named Daniel;
As my vision continued that night, I saw someone who looked like a man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14He was given authority, honor, and royal power over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal--it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. – Daniel 7:13,14
AND THEN – 2,000 years ago God’s plan to set things right put on flesh… AND – walked the dusty streets of first century Palestine, AS – the camel skin wearing, locust eating prophet of God (John the Baptist) cried out in the wilderness…
"At last the time has come! The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!" – Mark 1:15
THIS MORNING – as we continue in our message series, ‘Back To Christmas’ the event in the life of Christ that we are going to talk about is His Message, “The Kingdom Is Here!”
NOW – let me say upfront that the subject of ‘The Kingdom’ is huge. IT’S – massive. AND THERE – is no way that I will even be able to scratch the surface in just one message. I THINK – sometime in 2008 we will do an entire series on it. SO – my goal this morning is simply to wet your appetite and create a hunger in each of us to live in the kingdom now. AND IF – you leave here today; curious, pumped up and jazzed about the kingdom and excited about not only learning more about it, but living in it… Our time would have been well spent. IN – our time remaining we will answer 4 questions that will help us begin our journey to be a kingdom people. The Kingdom: what it is, what it looks like, where it is and what it’s worth.
PLEASE – join me in the Lord’s prayer…
What It Is The Kingdom?
NOW - we don’t use the word "kingdom" very much these days, and when we do, we’re usually talking about a place… LIKE - the United Kingdom or the Magic Kingdom. AND - in each of these cases, a kingdom is a specific geographical place defined by its borders. SO – in English a kingdom primarily refers to a place.
BUT - the emphasis of the Greek word for "kingdom" IS NOT on a place but rather on, the rule or reign of a king. IN FACT - some Bible translations actually translate the Greek phrase "kingdom of God" - as the "reign of God" or the "rule of God."