Summary: A basic message about the Kingdom of God.
September 26, 2004
I can’t tell you how honored I am to be here today, and how humbling it is to be asked to speak to you about missions, especially since you’ve never heard me preach before.
I’d better warn you of a couple things. First, I tend to talk fast. I try to slow it down, but it doesn’t always work. And when I get excited about something, I start talking even faster. So just hang on, and we’ll be okay.
The second thing I want to warn you about is that I am passionate about some things. Reaching the world for Jesus Christ is one of those things. Jesus and what He says about getting to heaven is a passion for me.
And when I speak about things I’m passionate about, not only do I speak faster, but my face sometimes gets all red. So if you see that happening, it’s not a sign that I’m about to pop a blood vessel or something, so don’t worry okay?
This afternoon I’m going to share some specifics regarding the place missions has in the scheme of things, but this morning I want to focus on a much more foundational aspect of missions, and that is the kingdom of God in general.
If you don’t grasp some of these things regarding the kingdom of God, then any discussion of missions will be lacking. And because this is so important, I have entitled this message, “Kingdom Essentials.”
These won’t be your typical messages about missions. That’s not to say that the typical types of missions messages are bad or anything.
But I think you’ll find that I’m not typical in a number of ways. Just ask my daughter. Or my mother-in-law.
It’s just that I want you to get past your normal “missions” thinking and think on a different plane.
Because if you’re like me, you tend to zone out about things you think you’ve heard enough about already.
So just hang with me, okay? I promise to do my best to keep it interesting and make it kinda fun.
This morning I want to give you four facts about the kingdom that will lay the foundation of missions in general, and my message this afternoon in particular.
Ready? Let’s get going.
The first fact that I want to bring to your attention today regarding the Kingdom of God is that…
1. The Kingdom belongs to the King.
For purposes of these messages, I am talking about the Kingdom of God, and the Church at large interchangeably, okay? And each individual church is part of the overall kingdom of God.
Now why would I say something like, “The kingdom belongs to the king? Well, have you ever heard the saying, “You don’t let the inmates run the asylum?”
Well, believe it or not, that’s how many people view the kingdom of God. They think that God is just a resident of the kingdom, rather than the owner, and they think they are the owner.
Humans are kind of territorial beings, aren’t they? If you don’t believe me, just think about what happens when someone sits in “someone else’s” pew in church, or moves something around in the church kitchen!
We make our own little kingdoms in the local church, and think that everyone else needs to bow down to us and our desire for control.
But folks, you need to understand something here. The church does not belong to you. It does not belong to Pastor Virgil. It doesn’t belong to Village Missions.
Folks, the church belongs to Jesus, no matter whose name is on the building or the deed.
Jesus said that He would build whose church? HIS church. Not Peter’s church, not John Wesley’s church, not Billy Graham’s church. HIS church. Jesus’ church. And it’s HIS agenda that needs to drive the local church.
He desires that His name is honored, both within the church and outside it, and that His kingdom grows.
We need to function within the local church as people who recognize this and also recognize His desires for the church. Why? Because it belongs to Him.
And this leads us to the second fact about the kingdom of God, and that is that…
2. The King makes the rules.
What do you mean by that, Brian?
Well, let me bring it a little closer to home for a minute. In families, the children don’t make the rules, the parents do; that is, if you want your family to run smoothly.
If you’re a parent, do you make rules designed just to give your kids a hard time and to ruin their lives? No. The rules in your house are meant to not only help the household run smoothly, but also to protect your kids, right?