Summary: A teaching Message on Luke 17:20-37.
Luke Series #76 August 18, 2002
Title: The Kingdom of God for Dummies Part 1
Introduction: Welcome to New Life in Christ. This morning we are in Chapter 17 of the Book of Luke in our verse-by-verse teaching series out of that book.
Read Luke 17:20-37
In the past few years, a popular line of "how-to" books has taking up an ever-increasing amount of space on the shelves of bookstores. They’re known as the "Dummies books" They include titles such as: Golf for Gummies, Religion for Dummies, Windows 95 for Dummies, and a future book to be released only in Palm Beach County: Voting for Dummies.
The books are not really for stupid people; rather they are for uninformed people. They take sometimes complicated subjects and explain them simply, while sticking primarily with the basic information that most people need to know about the subject.
I entitled today’s message: The Kingdom of God for Dummies. I did not do this because I believed that anybody in the congregation lacks intelligence, but rather because I will be covering the basic information or characteristics of the Kingdom of God. Everything in the passage we read, in one way or another relates to the Kingdom of God. I will be sharing with you five characteristics of the Kingdom of God, but before I get to the first characteristic, I need to explain what the Kingdom of God is, and why the Pharisees asked about its coming in verse 20.
The subject of the Kingdom of God was spoken about by Jesus on numerous occasions, and it obviously has great importance. Jesus described his teaching and preaching as a message about the Kingdom of God (Luke 4:43; 8:1). Jesus taught his disciples that they were to pray that God’s Kingdom would come (Luke 11:2). Jesus instructed his disciples to proclaim the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:2), and many of the parables were illustrations used to instruct us regarding the Kingdom of God. The epistles of the New Testament also mention the Kingdom of God often. The apostles wrote about inheriting the Kingdom of God and the establishing of the Kingdom of God.
So just what is the Kingdom of God? That is no easy question to answer because the term is used broadly, so any definition will fall short in some respects. Nevertheless, I would define the Kingdom of God as the manifestation of God’s authority, power, and purposes, whether in a person or place. Let me clarify this with an illustration. Many years ago, England was the world’s political superpower. She had colonies, which she ruled politically, all over the world. Collectively, England’s rule and these colonies were referred to as the "United Kingdom." It was called a Kingdom because that is where England exercised her authority and purposes.
The Kingdom of God is where God’s authority and purposes are manifest. For instance, the Bible says that Christians are taken out of the Kingdom of Darkness and enter into the Kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13). In other words, Christians are now under a new authority, experience a new power, and fulfill the purposes of God, instead of Satan. Therefore it can be accurately said that they have entered the Kingdom of God.
The Bible also refers to a time when God’s Kingdom will be established not just an individual lives, but geographically over the whole Earth. The will come a time when only God’s authority is exercised and only his purposes are experienced. Many Scriptures make reference to this future establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Rev 11:15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
"The Kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever."
Rev 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
The people of Jesus day understood, as we should also understand, that although God was sovereignty in control of all things, his authority and purposes were not currently being fully manifest throughout the earth. God’s Kingdom had not yet come, if it had, there would be no more sin, Satan, suffering, or sickness, because these things are not manifestations of God’s purposes. This is why we pray for God’s Kingdom to come, recognizing that it is not fully present at this time.
Currently there are supernatural powers, political entities, and rebellious people who are opposed to and resistant to God’s authority and purposes. Nevertheless, the Old Testament clearly prophesied a time would come when God’s enemies would be destroyed, and his purposes fully manifest. There is coming a new day, with a new order of things.