Summary: Jesus begins his public ministry, and if you’ve ever wondered what he preached as he started, here it is: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
INTRO: Heaven. The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving. To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. –Oliver Wendell Holmes (Progress, Eternity)
-Heaven is something we all desire. I don’t think I’ve met a person who is looking forward to going to Hell.
-So with this, we’ve been taking a look of what the kingdom of heaven is like. Summarize last week for those who were not here.
: First of all we looked at what the kingdom of heaven is. "It is the sovereign activity of God as King, saving men and overcoming evil, and establishing the new order to come."
1. Jesus said the kingdom is like a mustard seed. The concept is the ways of God start small but grow into something large that touches a lot of people.
2. The kingdom transforms, permeates, changes what it comes in contact with. -Listen to what Christianity did during the time of the apostles (beginning stages). Acts 17:6, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also."
3. We learned the kingdom of God is advancing and desperate people will lay hold of it.
4. As the kingdom is advancing what are we supposed to be doing?
-Seek first his kingdom (Matthew 6:33, idea of top priority).
-We are also to pray for God’s kingdom to come.
-We are also to advance the Lord’s kingdom and today we’ll talk a bit more about this.
TITLE: The Kingdom of Heaven – Part 2 TEXT: Matthew 4:17
Jesus begins his public ministry, and if you’ve ever wondered what he preached as he started, here it is: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
1. Repent is a change of mind, the idea in the New Testament is change of mind and actions. -If I’m going in one direction, when I repent I’ll change and go the other way.
2. Jesus also tells us in the text that the kingdom of heaven is near. This brings me to what we’re going to focus on this morning. "Where is the kingdom of heaven?" We’ve discussed what the kingdom of heaven is; now let’s look at where the kingdom of heaven is.
I. Where is the kingdom of heaven, is it over here or there, or is it somewhere in outer space?
A. Jesus says (Like 17:20-21), "Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ’The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say here it is or there it is because the kingdom of God is within you.’"
1. William Barclay: That is to say, the kingdom of God works in men’s hearts; it is to produce not new things, but new people. It is not a revolution in material things that we are to look for, but a revolution in the hearts of men.
B. Think of this revolutionary concept—the kingdom of God can be found through your heart.
1. So when we’re out and about doing our shopping or working, the kingdom of God is as close as you are to people.
-So when Jesus or the disciples are going around saying, "Repent for the kingdom of God is near"—
Truth: It is as near as the person standing there. Imagine people missing the ways of God when they are so close.
Example. I watched this show about an exploration to the South Pole where this team (I believe they were from England) wanted to make it to the South Pole, so they trained . They had their dog sleds and equipment. They had problems from the start. It was terribly cold (more than normal) so the sled didn’t slide as well. On the trip people were getting hurt and dying.
This man kept a diary of his journey, day 1, day 2, and so forth of the events that were taking place. The team whittled down to just one person at the end who pitched a tent and figured he’d get up the next day and finish the journey.
He never made it. The sad thing—he was only 10 miles away from safety. Another expedition found him, frozen to death in his tent, and his diary.
-Can you imagine traveling hundreds and hundreds of miles over several months to come so close and not make it?
-If you think that was tragic, can you imagine not making heaven and having the Lord show you how close it was; it was as close to someone sitting next to you.
C. Christians have a great responsibility—that is to share the kingdom of heaven (ways of God with others).