Summary: THe Kingdom of God is of great worth, and it will cost you everything.
The Secret Message of Jesus July 23, 2006
The Cost of the Kingdom
The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
44"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it
The cost of the Kingdom – read Jeanie Wylie-Kellerman in Sojorners
She gets the cost of the kingdom
The worth of the Kingdom
The way God meant it to be – the Garden of Eden
When the dream went wrong – Genesis 3
Sin is separation – Paul Tillich
The effect of sin is separation
Separation from God – cast out of garden,
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
Separation from one another – the woman you gave me caused me to eat…
Cain & Able,
we see how our own sin separates us from the ones we love, whether it is directly hurting them, or it is just distraction from the time that we should be spending with them,
- sin hurts others – there is no victimless sin.
- This separation is born out in divorce, estrangement, & warfare
Separation from the environment – cursed is the ground because of you;
Through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life
In the garden there was work – work is good and part of paradise, but we have been alienated from our work – we no longer partner with creation for our work, but it is almost as if creation, to a certain extent works against us and sabotages our best efforts.
On the other hand we too have become an enemy of creation – we have worked against her.
We can see today that we have continued the curse, and that because of our greed and lack of wisdom, we are cursing the ground – global warming, acid rain, environmental disease… We have made the earth sick with our sin both directly and indirectly
Separation from our true self – “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.
… with pain you will give birth to children…”
Not only is the partnership between humanity and creation broken down, but the partnership between ourselves and our own bodies has broken down, so that we don’t work the way we should, we get sick, we get aches and pains, even the things that are bodies were made for, like childbirth is difficult, non of us are pleased with our bodies…
There is even separation in our own soul, so we can say things like “I just don’t feel like myself today, we do things that we don’t want to do, and we do things we don’t want to do. This separation is born out in addiction and mental illness for some, and a constant struggle for integrity for most of us.
That is the bad news
The kingdom of God reconciles what has been separated
The first time I preached on the Kingdom I read from Isaiah 65:17-25 for a description of what the Kingdom is like (read it)
Reconciliation with God – Isaiah 65:23-23
…they will be a people blessed by the LORD,
they and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer;
while they are still speaking I will hear.
Revelations 21 says of the new city
"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. …
…I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. (Revelation 21:3, 22-23)
Reconciliation with one another – Isaiah 65 says poetically that The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox
Paul writes to the Galatians That all the things that divide us are broken down in Christ: So in Christ Jesus You are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28)