Summary: God has invited us to enter into the Kingdom of God and experience a transformed life. Like the story of Cinderella, we are destined to live happily ever after in Heaven with the Prince of Peace Jesus.
THE KINGDOM #1: HAPPILY EVER AFTER
We are called to seek first the kingdom of God. What is that?
“John the Baptist came preaching, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 3:1-2).
“Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17).
“Jesus said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” (Luke 4:43).
“Jesus has made us kings and priests to His God and Father.” (Rev. 1:6).
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” (1 Peter 2:9).
“Those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:17).
In my Bible, I use a colour-coding system to identify different themes: Jesus the Saviour (red), Jesus the Healer (blue), Jesus the Baptiser (yellow) and Jesus the coming King and the Kingdom (purple).
THE BIG IDEA: God has invited us to enter into the Kingdom of God and experience a transformed life. Like the story of Cinderella, we, the bride of Christ, are destined to live happily ever after in Heaven with the Prince of Peace – Jesus.
FAIRY TALES AND MOVIES:
Why do we love fairy tales, and fantasy movies? We love stories that tell of transformation.
QUOTE: “In the original Beauty and the Beast… a creature that no one could bear to look upon is transformed into a handsome prince. That which was dark and ugly is now glorious and good. Is it not the most beautiful outcome of any story to be written? Perhaps that is because it is the deepest yearning of the human heart. Look how often this theme surfaces. Cinderella rises from the cinders to become a queen. The ugly duckling becomes a beautiful swan. Pinocchio becomes a real boy. The frog becomes a prince… In hope beyond hope, they are all transformed into the very thing they never thought they could be. Why are we enchanted by tales of transformed? Why is it an essential part of any great story? Because it is the secret of Christianity.” (John Eldredge, Waking the Dead).
• Christianity is not just about trying to be religious or being good – it’s about experiencing new life in Christ – entering the Kingdom of God, and being transformed!
• Are you addicted to drugs or alcohol or pornography? Struggling with depression? Have you dreamed that you could one day be free? This is the message of the Kingdom!
WE SEE KINGDOM THEOLOGY IN NURSERY RHYMES TOO:
• Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
• All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
• Jack and Jill went up a hill to fetch a pail of water.
• Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill cam tumbling after
• Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop, When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
• When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, And down will come baby, cradle and all.
• When we go somewhere we’re not supposed to go (high places / pride) we will fall!
THE CLASSIC FAIRY TALE STORY OUTLINE:
1. Hope and Promise
2. Loneliness and Despair
3. A Spark of Light (Romance)
4. Loss and Hopelessness
5. The Promise of Love / No possibility of guy/girl coming together
6. Couple finds each other, gets married and lives happily ever after
THE STORY OF CINDERELLA:
• Born with hope and promise.
• Loneliness and despair – when mother dies, father remarries wicked step-mother.
• Heroine works in rags, cleaning up cinders. Spark of light – invitation to the ball.
• Loss and hopelessness – dress ruined, step-mother says she must clean the house.
• The promise of love – enter fairy godmother – transformation into princess.
• Hope lost – midnight hour.
• Knock at the door – couple finds each other, gets married, live happily ever after.
THE CINDERELLA STORY IN THE BIBLE:
• Cinderella = Adam and Eve (and us) – created by God with great destiny.
• Enter the wicked stepmother = Satan and his demons.
• Glimpses of hope and light throughout the OT.
• Then – the Prince arrives, cheering and celebrating.
• But – the Prince is murdered by the villain. Hope lost? No!
• Surprise twist = Jesus is raised from the dead, the Prince wins His bride.
• When we enter the Kingdom of God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our lives are forever transformed!
• The story ends: “And the Prince, who was now the King, and his bride lived happily ever after.” Our “happily ever after” is to live forever in the paradise of Heaven with Jesus!