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Summary: The key to unlocking & accessing the supernatural ministry of Jesus is understanding the kingdom of God. Get the overview of God's design & our mission.

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I love the culture of Hope Chapel.

We are group of people who can be serious about God’s business but never take ourselves too seriously.No one around here claims to be better than someone else. I’ve said this before, but its worth saying again, the word that sums us up is AUTHENTIC.

Lord knows I’m tired of playing church.

And I think many of you are as well.

If it ain’t legit we must quit.

In other words, the way we do church is a reflection of who we are as a people, a community..heart-felt, passionate, honest, vulnerable. That probably expresses how we live for God as well: Heart-felt, passionate, honest, vulnerable.

This 5 week study on the kingdom of God will be just that. If you are looking for seminary answers that fit really well into your traditional theology, you may not find it.

Because I’m real interested in not only talking about what God intends…what He reveals in Scripture, I’m also interested in wrestling with what it looks like in our community. And often times, it’s messy.

But I am determined to see our culture here at Hope Chapel become immersed in the culture of the Kingdom of God. For us to be who we are…living in a kingdom culture. Well today I am going to teach you all about the kingdom of God…to pull back some of the mystery surrounding it in a message I have entitled “Knowing”

PRAY…

Centuries ago, there was a man wandering in the desert whose throat was parched, his body dehydrated from the desert heat, his stomach empty of food. Just as all hope escaped him a stranger walked up to him. The stranger told him that civilization wasn’t too far from him. In fact, there was entire kingdom just a few miles away. Our exhausted friend followed the stranger. Once entering the gates to the city, he received water & food.

The man near death was now revived, full of life. Though the man heard other activity inside the city he was content to stay right by the gates to this incredible kingdom.

Such it is with us. We have been brought to the entrance to the kingdom of God, but many have failed to truly live in the kingdom.

For there is activity going on in there that we are missing. I think the reason we don’t live in the kingdom is because we really don’t understand it. Many are not living, proclaiming and advancing the kingdom of God, because they do not UNDERSTAND it.

And there’s a really great reason for that: SCRIPTURE! Ha, that’s right, what the bible teaches about God’s kingdom seems contradictory at times.

LET’S BREAK IT DOWN:

WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?

The word "KINGDOM" appears in the New Testament 158 times in 150 verses, including the times it appears in the terms "kingdom of heaven" and "kingdom of God".

The term "KINGDOM OF GOD" appears 70 times in 69 verses almost always on the lips of Jesus. The synonymous phrase, "kingdom of heaven," appears 33 times in the Gospel of Matthew.

WHAT IS IT?

Part of the confusion is because of the apparent contradictions in

Scripture:

Is It Present? Mark “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is near, repent & believe the good news.”

Is it Future? Matthew 25:34 " Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

Is It Here On Earth? Parables imply that it is present and at work in the world.

Or Is It Elsewhere? John 18:36 “My kingdom is not of this world.”

Definition: The K.O.G. Is God’s Reign & the REALM in which God’s reign may be experienced. Do not think in terms of LOCATION but AUTHORITY.

II. HISTORY OF GOD’S REIGN:

#2. God has always wanted to be king of a people

he expressed his hope early on:

“Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Exodus 19:6

But the nation of Israel eventually rejected God’s authority…His reign..His kingdom & wanted an earthly king instead.

“they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt…forsaking me and serving other gods...” 1 Samuel 8:7-8

The people had to be somehow TRANSFORMED. The Old Testament is a period of PREPARATION not only for the MESSIAH, but also for God’s KINGDOM. The people increasingly started to hope…and expect a messiah to come.

#3. The key to understanding the life, ministry & message of Jesus

Under Roman oppression, Israel’s expectation and hope intensified.

This intense Messianic hope & expectation is the BACKDROP of the GOSPELS.

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