Summary: First of 5 messages exploring the parables related to the Kingdom.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Parables of the Kingdom”
Jesus told parables or made up stories to illustrate spiritual truth in terms that people could instantly relate both emotionally and intellectually.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan reminded us that we demonstrate genuine love for our neighbor as ourselves with A.C.T.S.
The Parable of the Lost and Found reminded us that all people have value and are worth the effort to bring to repentance must be our priority, our passion and will take great patience
The parable of the Wise Man and the Foolish Man reminds us that the only firm foundation for life is to humbly come to Jesus both to hear AND heed His words.
Come - Listen - Obey
May this become our theme for the New Year! Cease striving and know that I am God.
Today’s message will explore the lessons of the parables related to the kingdom of God called the Kingdom Parables.
Through these concise, fictional stories, Jesus teaches His disciples the nature of the kingdom and how to live as kingdom citizens. The most extensive teaching about the kingdom is found in these parables.
There is mystery concerning the kingdom.
It’s here, but its coming. It’s radical but not political. It’s invisible yet visible We enter it yet it enters us. It is in this world but not of this world.
Is powerful - Is near you - Is upon you - Is in you - You are close to it.
Jesus never offered a clear definition of the kingdom; instead He imparted His vision of it indirectly through stories. His choice of images is telling: everyday sketches of farming, fishing, women baking bread, merchants buying pearls.
Scripture records as many as fifteen different parables of Jesus taught to illustrate various aspects of the kingdom. Jesus referred to the kingdom as the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven. Most of the kingdom of heaven references are found in Matthew.
Matthew was addressed to Jews who were sensitive about the use of God’s name. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven refer to the same thing. Some have made this a very complicated thing. It is not different than any other concept of kingdom. It refers to a group of people ruled by a specific king.
The king has rules by which the people are ruled.
There are certain requirements to be part of the kingdom.
The kingdom has certain geographical boundaries defining the extent of the rule.
The Kingdom of God has a King who rules matters of the political and spiritual and social.
There are certain requirements to become citizens of His kingdom.
There are no geographical boundaries however because God’s rule is universal and Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
In fact He did not teach them to pray, “May the kingdoms of the earth follow your will.”
He instructed His disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” We were not called to change the kingdoms of this earth which will pass away but invite people into His kingdom which has come in Jesus and will come will completely manifest at His return. There will be only one nation and one King who is Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
The church and the kingdom of God are not the same. We are born again into the kingdom of God not into the church. The Holy Spirit connects to the body of Christ; the assembly of believers who are the King’s elite representatives charged with extending Christ’s invitation to others to swear allegiance to God’s kingdom.
But He said to him, "Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God." Luke 9:60
When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening…And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered. Acts 28:23, 30-31
"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14
Through declared allegiance to the King, God transfers us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved Son. We become heirs and joint heirs with Christ. We become inheritors of the Kingdom of God. The concept of accepting Christ as Savior and then as Lord later is a total misunderstanding of the nature of salvation, the church and the Kingdom of God. You cannot enter the kingdom without embracing and swearing allegiance to the King.