Summary: In the Garden of Eden sin decided to invade and seperate man from the Kingdom rule of God. However two thousand years ago Jesus came to re-establish that Kingdom rule through us. The Kingdom has come and the battle has begun.
Sermon preached after a presentation by New Horizons.
We are beginning a series on Kingdom living today. Often when we hear about the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven we envision a future Kingdom that will one day either take us up to it or will descend upon us. However the Bible teaches us the truth about the Kingdom of God. My desire is to expose you to this truth so that you can begin living Kingdom principals today.
When the Bible speaks of the Kingdom of God the Greek word “basiliea” is used. According to Strong’s Concordance “basiliea” means “ royal power, kingship, dominion, rule ; not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom.”
May I give you a brief history lesson? In 1860 and 1861 eleven southern states declared themselves seceded from the United States and joined together to form the Confederate States of America. This led to the Civil War.
In 1869 Texas v. White was argued before the U. S. Supreme Court. The case involved a claim by Texas that U.S. bonds owned by Texas since 1850 had been illegally sold by the Confederate state legislature. The suit was filed based on the fact that the Supreme Court, which, under the United States Constitution, retains original jurisdiction when a state in involved in a suit. The Supreme Court ruled that Texas had remained a state ever since it first joined the Union, despite joining the Confederacy and being under military rule at the time.
The Supreme Court further held that the Constitution did not permit states to unilaterally secede from the United States, therefore making secession unconstitutional. Now all that’s very educational but what does it have to do with God’s Kingdom.
God created a perfect world. It was a world that did not experience worries, illness, and death. But sin invaded this perfect world and declared itself sovereign of God’s word. Sin declared itself to be the ruler of the world. Sin brought with it the curses and woes we now suffer. Like the southern states, sin declared itself independent of God.
However, God never relinquished the control of his Kingdom to sin. In fact, He declared it unconstitutional to his will. So two thousand years ago He decided to strike back and to begin defeating sin and re-establishing his Kingdom on the earth. This re-established kingdom came in the form of his Son, Jesus.
This was not a kingdom that was to be established to overturn a particular government or even the laws of a government. Jesus said “---My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. ---” (John 18:36) His Kingdom came to overthrow the sin that had captured the hearts of the people that lived in the earthly kingdom.
In Matthew 4:17 we read ---“Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” This was not a threat, “repent and turn or else.” This was an introduction to the Kingdom. The Greek word for near used here is “enginzo”. It meant “to join one thing to another.” Jesus was announcing that the time to join the Kingdom had arrived. He was giving the qualifications for joining. One had to repent and turn to God to join.
Furthermore, Jesus made it clear that the Kingdom is here now. Luke 17:20-21 “One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?”
Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.” It’s already here. It’s not a visible kingdom. You can’t claim it’s here or there. Why? Because if you are a follower of Jesus it is within you.
And if it is within you, then you have the royal power. You have the kingship. You have the dominion over sin. You have the rule over satan. You have the right and authority to rule over the world that God created. It will not be easy. Sin will not willingly relinquish its hold. It’s a battle and battles are bloody, painful, costly, and uncomfortable.
In Matthew the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. In Matthew 6:10 He said pray “May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” This was a plea. A plea from Jesus that soon the Kingdom of God would go into action. That soon the will of God will be done on earth through the Kingdom in us as it is being done in the Kingdom that exists in heaven and one day will exist here.
Somewhere we lost the keys to living that kingdom life. When Jesus told Peter “And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 16:19) He wasn’t talking about literal keys and He wasn’t giving them to Peter. He was giving them to what Peter represents, the church. And the keys were parables and illustrations that would unlock the secrets of Kingdom living. (Matthew 13:11-13)