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Summary: The Kindom is the first thing Jesus chooses to preach. He taught it consistently for three years and it was the final thing he told his disciples. It must be important.

Does Jesus have a slogan? Everyone else does. Even if you don’t wear Nike shoes most of us know Nike wants us to Just Do It. Of course, Disneyland is the happiest place on earth.

And Jesus wants to be sure we know, …? What?

To be fair, his slogan hasn’t been on TV and billboards constantly. On the other hand, most of us have been sitting in church 52 times a year for more years than we can remember, listening to sermons about Jesus. If Jesus has a slogan, we should know it. More accurately, if Jesus has a primary message that he told over and over again, we should know it and seek to embrace it.

Jesus’ very first sermon is recorded in Matthew chapter four.

Matthew 4:17 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

His message of the kingdom was consistent and central to his ministry.

Luke 8:1 Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God.

DRAW KINGDOM OF HEAVEN/GOD

The very last thing Jesus told his disciples.

Acts 1:3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles … and he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

Then his disciples began to preach it.

Acts 8:12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God

The very last thing we read about the church in the last verse of the last chapter in the book of Acts;

30 Paul lived in Rome … boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God.

DRAW Kingdom is his FIRST, CENTRAL, and FINAL message.

Let’s go back to Jesus’ first sermon. We can assume the first thing he choose to preach is important. The fact that he then went on to demonstrate what it would look like, the describe it in detail, then preach it over and over again, and have it be the final word he left with them, all suggest that he really wants us to understand this and do it.

Matthew 4:17 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Now we just need to understand what repent means, what the kingdom of heaven means, and what come near means.

1. What is the kingdom of heaven?

A kingdom is a place where things happen the way the king wants them to happen.

The Rio Grande river separates the kingdom of Mexico from the kingdom of the United States. On this side of the river, things happen the way the United States wants them to happen.

We all have a kingdom where things happen the way we want them to happen. Most of our kingdoms are very small. And we have peaceful relations with the kingdoms around us, like those sitting next to you.

The kingdom of heaven is the same as the kingdom of God and it is that place or places where things happen the way God wants them to happen. Does that mean all the time, everywhere? Clearly, not everything around us is happening the way God wants it too.

DRAW KINGDOM OF GOD

I have an illustration that may be helpful. Think of a zoo you have been too or can imagine. The zoo is a kingdom, the kingdom of the zookeeper. Maybe it’s the CEO or president of the zoological association. We will call him or her the zookeeper.

Here is an amazing part of the kingdom message. The king’s resources can be brought to bear on any situation in his or her kingdom. If an employee at the zoo has been tasked to build a new enclosure for an animal, that employee gets all the resources them need to do the job the zookeeper gave them to do. Those resources may include supplies, lumber, other workmen. When someone in God’s kingdom is doing what God has directed them to do, God makes sure they have the resources to do the job. What do God jobs involve? Love, joy, peace. Patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control. Sometimes money and other workmen. All of it God can supply. What happens when a zoo employee decides he doesn’t like the zookeeper’s plans. Maybe they want to build a souvenir building instead of the enclosure. How long do they get to keep using the zookeeper’s resources? Only until the zookeeper finds out.

We have the opportunity to live in our kingdom or God’s kingdom, with just our resources or with God’s. It’s a choice we make every day.

DRAW SMALL KINGDOM OF SELF

This gospel of the kingdom was the most exciting thing I had ever heard about faith and Christianity. I was ready to give up trying to be a good Christian when I discovered faith wasn't about trying.

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