Summary: What the kingdom of God is and is not.

Title: The Kingdom of God is Near – What is the kingdom of God?

Theme: Understanding what the true Kingdom of God is.

Text: Matthew 3:1 – 2, Mark 1:14 - 15

Note: Some of this message is from the note of: The Kingdom of God is Near by Sermon Central

Introduction: John preached the Kingdom of God/heaven

Matthew 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

John came on the scene like a bull. The bible says he was clothed with camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist. He looked like the OT prophet clothed in camel hair, eating locust and honey (. (as we see in 2 Kings 1:7 – 8). He came in fired up. Preaching a message of repentance and baptism. Why? For the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mark 1:6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

For 400 years , people were waiting for this Elijah (Malachi 4:5 – 6). Then a man showed up in the desert wearing the same clothes as Elijah. Actually for 400 years Israel (and the world) was waiting on a “word form God”. Could you imagine that? For over 400 years God was not speaking. I pray that we here today cannot go a day without hearing from God.

Reference: The king asked them, “What kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?”

They replied, “He had a garment of hair and had a leather belt around his waist.”

The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.” 2 Kings 1:7-8

Luke 3:3 says:

Luke 3: 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,

The word repentance is from the root word repent?

- Transliteration: metanoeo

- Phonetic: met-an-o-eh'-o

- Definition: 1. to change one's mind, i.e. to repent 2. to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins

- Strong's: From G3326 and G3539; to think (and act) differently or afterwards that is reconsider (morally to feel compunction): - repent.

It basically means to stop and turn in the opposite direction. In referring to a person it means to change ones lifestyle. Here it is not just about an outward action but and inward thinking. To think and consider things differently.

Metanoia: 1. (n) the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self or way of life.

2. (v) the act of reforming; becoming new.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Why? Because there is a forgiveness of sins.

Remission of sins:

Transliteration: Aphesis - Phonetic: af'-es-is - Definition:

1. release from bondage or imprisonment 2. forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty

Total KJV Occurrences: 11

• forgiveness, 4 Act_5:31; Act_13:38; Eph_1:7; Col_1:14

• remission, 7 Mar_1:4; Luk_1:77; Luk_3:3; Act_2:38; Act_10:43; Heb_9:22; Heb_10:18

To be honest John was strong and forward. He had one focus. When the Pharisees came to hear and even some to be baptized he said:

Luke 3:7 Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

But he was setting them up for the “kingdom of heaven”. This also became the central message of Jesus. Listen again to Mark 1:14 – 15

This was the same message Jesus preached as He came on the scene.

“After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” (Mark 1:14-15)

Just to let you know the words “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” are interchangeable. They are used for the same purpose. If we had time I could take you through the gospels and show you

Matthew used the kingdom of heaven because he was talking to the Jews, they would understand this better.

Two important phrases here:

1) The good news – or as we say the gospel. This is what the Good news is all about.

2) What is that Good news! “the time has come” “The kingdom of God has come near.”

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