Summary: A sermon about living under the reign of God.
“The Kingdom of God is Like…”
2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17
By: Rev. Ken Sauer
Last week I spoke briefly about Jesus meeting with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a seeker.
And Jesus told Nicodemus: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Of course, Nicodemus was confused by this, but what Jesus was saying is that in order to see God’s Kingdom a person must be born not only in the fleshly sense…
…that is being born of our earthly mother and father…
…but a person must also be born spiritually.
In order to see God’s Kingdom we must be born of God through God’s Holy Spirit.
And this occurs when we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, repent of our sins and put our whole trust…our entire lives into His hands…
…making the decision that we will become followers of Jesus.
And when this occurs we begin to change in some radical and new ways!!!
Because God’s Holy Spirit takes up residence in our lives and begins changing us from the inside out!!!
As Brooke read a little while earlier from our Epistle Lesson in 2 Corinthians: “if anyone is in Christ, he [or she] is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
And to be in Christ is to be in the Kingdom of God and to see the Kingdom of God.
Now some of you might be thinking to yourselves right now that the Kingdom of God only refers to what happens to those of us who are saved through faith in Christ after we die.
We often think of the Kingdom of God only as some geographical area…
…as heaven or paradise.
But this isn’t what Jesus means when He speaks about the Kingdom of God…
…sure Jesus is speaking about eternal life with God…
…but He’s not just talking about some place where we will go after we die…
…He’s also talking about life right here and right now!!!
You see, the Kingdom of God really means the reign of God.
And so, when we enter the kingdom of God we are entering the realm of new life where God reigns!!!
We are entering the realm of new life where Jesus is Lord!!!
We are allowing Jesus Christ to be in control of our lives.
We are allowing God to have free reign over our lives and our decisions and every aspect of everything!!!
That’s what it means to enter the Kingdom of God or see the Kingdom of God!!!
It’s what we see and experience once we allow God to be in control!!!
And what freedom, what burdens are lifted, what new life is granted when we allow God to bring us into God’s reign!!!
Yes, praise God, “if anyone is in Christ, he [or she] is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!”
In our Gospel Lesson for this morning we come across Jesus saying: “This is what the kingdom of God is like,” and “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like…”
Jesus did this a lot when trying to get across to those who were listening what it is like to live under the reign of God.
He compared it to things we can understand or relate to.
Jesus spoke of earthly things in order to convey heavenly truths.
And this makes sense, does it not?
We can’t possibly know what something is like unless we have experienced it, touched it, tasted it or seen it.
Say you have seen a color that no one else in the entire world has seen.
How would you explain it to someone else?
You would have to say: “This color is like…”
Otherwise, there is no chance that anyone would be able to even come close to grasping what you were talking about.
So again and again throughout the New Testament, Jesus tells us: “The kingdom of God is like…”
Jesus doesn’t tell us that the Kingdom of God “IS” “a treasure hidden in a field,” or that the Kingdom of God “IS” “a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish,” or that the Kingdom of God “IS” “yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked through the dough…”…
…and I could go on and on and on…
…No, instead, Jesus says that the Kingdom of God is “like” these examples.
So in our Gospel Lesson for this morning we see Jesus using illustrations from the growth of nature to describe the Kingdom of God.
In verses 26-29 Jesus is telling us that the Kingdom of God is happening, and for those who are able to see it—there are clear signs of its reality.