Summary: Message 3 of 5 on the kindgom parables.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Parables of the Kingdom” Part three
Through the summer we have examined some of the parables of Jesus. Parables are stories made up out of practical everyday happenings that graphically illustrate some spiritual truth vital for kingdom living. Jesus told many stories to show the basic principles of how God’s kingdom functions.
1. Good Samaritan – character of a good neighbor
2. Lost Sheep coin and son – heart for the lost
3. The wise man and the foolish man – Come, listen, live the truth
4. Parables of the kingdom
The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven refer to God’s absolute rule over a citizenship.
God is the ruler. The citizens are the subjects who swear allegiance not only to the ruler but to the rules of the kingdom. This kingdom is both here and is yet coming. This kingdom is both near us and in us. This kingdom is visible yet invisible. This kingdom is not of this earth but will rule over all the earth. This kingdom will know no end. Jesus told at least 17 parables dealing with the kingdom of God which attempt to describe the indescribable. These parables all identify some aspect regarding the function of God’s kingdom. From them so far we have learned some basic principles.
I. The Kingdom is open to all but not accepted by all
A. Parable of the Wedding feast – some refuse to accept the invitation
B. Parable of the Sower – some refuse to assimilate kingdom truth
II. Entrance to the Kingdom requires life change
A. Requires personal preparation.
Parable of the Ten Virgins Matthew 25:1-13 (need for oil in the lamp)
B. Requires a core change (need new birth)
C. Requires a robe of righteousness --Parable of the Wedding Feast (need Rt)
D. Entrance to the kingdom of heaven may include tribulation on earth
E. Requires an immortal body 1 Cor. 15:50-57; Philip 3:20-21 (mortal must put on immortal)
III. Citizenship in the Kingdom demands kingdom participation
Parable of the Master and slaves – all expected to invest resources into the kingdom
IV. Kingdom citizenship is worth the sacrificial investment
A. Parable of the Hidden Treasure (sell everything acquire the treasure)
B. Parable of the Priceless Pearl (sell everything to acquire the priceless)
Our trouble is that we fail to perceive value in the things of the kingdom. Someone has switched the price tags. We willingly relinquish wisdom for wealth. We sacrifice relationship for pleasure. We forfeit meaning for escape. We deny the spiritual for the sensual. We ignore the eternal for the temporal We simply do not appreciate the value of the things of the kingdom. We are reluctant to let go of what we think leads to real life. Jesus taught in very graphic terms the passion to enter the kingdom at any cost.
Matthew 5:29-30 (NASB-U)
What ever it takes! Citizenship in God’s kingdom is worth whatever sacrifice necessary. Jesus clearly urged his disciples to get their priority strait.
“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matt 6:33
V. Citizenship in God’s kingdom focuses on forgiveness
Before we look at the specific lessons to be learned about forgiveness from this great parable lets talk a bit about the whole concept of forgiveness.
To forgive is to clear a debt; to release from obligation to repay. The one owed forgives. The one indebted receives forgiveness.
There are really only two elements involved. This is such a simple but universal and absolutely vital aspect of life on this earth.
One – a debt. Two – a release from debt.
All of us have incurred debts of all kinds over our lifetime and the feeling is the same.
We feel guilty. We feel restricted. We feel in bondage. We feel awkward around the one we owe.
Some can be repaid.
• Monetary debt
• Social debt i.e. “debt to society”
• Physical debt “owe a favor”
• Debt of love “owe nothing except love”
• Debts of hurt and offense
• Debts of failure to act in a loving manner, breaking of a promise or agreement, failure to meet expectations.
In every case there is always the one owned and the one who owes.
For the one who owes there are three choices.
1 – Don’t repay resulting in GUILT
2—Pay repayable debts resulting in a clear conscience
3—Plead forgiveness for unpayable debts resulting in a clear conscience.
For the one owed there are really only two options.
1 – Withhold forgiveness, resulting in BITTERNESS and a life of bondage and torment.
• Extract payment
• Execute punishment
Bitterness torments the soul and blocks realization of God’s forgiveness. Failure to forgive incurs greater debt with God who told us to forgive. To become a punisher consumes ones life as a jailer of the debtor’s prison. To become a punisher ruins your life.