Summary: Sermon number 15 from our series on the Baptist Faith and Message. Looking specifically at article 9 - the Kingdom
Thy Kingdom Come (BFM #15)
Text: 1st Corinthians 15:24; Colossians 1:13
By: Ken McKinley
This morning we are looking at article 9 of the BFM – the Kingdom, so follow along with me as I read that article to you (Read). Now this theme of the Kingdom of God is found in both the New Testament and in the Old and when taken all together it embodies the purpose of God for man on earth, and in heaven. That’s why we see it spoken of as both a present – realized Kingdom and from the perspective of it being a future reality, where believers will spend eternity. And we are going to be looking at it in these two ways today. We can look at this idea of the Kingdom almost like we would look at an inheritance from a will. Or more like a trust fund. Let’s say that we had a great uncle that was very wealthy, and he died when we were very young, say 5 or 6 years old, but this great uncle left us his home and fortune in a trust fund. Now by law, that trust fund is ours from the moment of our great uncles death, but we don’t take possession of it until we reach the age of 21. That’s sort of the idea we get from the Biblical teaching of the Kingdom. Jesus died and has left us an inheritance. In 1st Corinthians 15:24 we see that the Kingdom is realized. Revelation 1:6 says that Jesus has made us kings and priests unto God… And then in verse 9 of Revelation chapter 1 John, in writing to his fellow Christians says, “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island of Patmos…” Christians are companions in the Kingdom of Christ, because Christ the King dwells within each and every one of us. He dwells in us, He rules over us and governs us, and so His dwelling within us is what makes us the Body of Christ, or we could say – the Kingdom of God on earth.
Now a lot of times we think of the Kingdom of God as some future reality that takes place after the tribulation, and we are studying about this in discipleship class but we forget that the Kingdom is also present with us now. Turn with me to Luke 17:21 (Read).
Everyone who is saved has a part in the Kingdom right now, by being in Christ, and He in them. But it is also a future reality as well. 1st Corinthians 15:50 says that, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.” That’s talking about the Kingdom consummated! It’s talking about the future, when we rule and reign with Jesus. That’s talking about when we finally take possession of that inheritance. Now you notice that it says, “Flesh and blood can’t inherit it…” That’s why Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3 that, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Because in this future reality of the Kingdom, we have to put on the incorruptible, we have to be in our glorified bodies that we receive when Christ comes again. The Kingdom that we reign in is now, and the consummated Kingdom is the final state of our reign. We could actually think of it like a bride, who is married in the morning, but doesn’t consummate her marriage until the evening. Or if you understand Jewish tradition, a woman could be betrothed, or promised to a man, but it would not be until later that they were actually married. For all intents and purposes they were married, but not actually. Remember the story of Mary and Joseph?
So the resurrection is what has made the Kingdom of God a present reality, but His return will be what will consummate it and make it a realized reality.
Turn with me to Matthew 13:24-30, 13:36-43 (Read).
Here again, Jesus is teaching that the Kingdom is now, and that He is sowing seed (the children of the Kingdom) in it.
So the children of the Kingdom are now, and Christ’s rule and reign in that Kingdom is now, and that the future Kingdom is one which flesh and blood cannot inherit and that no one can see unless they are born again. Our text from Colossians tells us that God has delivered us from the Power of darkness and has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, again that’s a present reality for Christians.
But again in Matthew 25:34 Jesus speaks of a future Kingdom when He says, “Come, blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”