|Create Date||December 23, 2019|
|Last Updated||December 23, 2019|
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ADVENT: THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM SERMON SUMMARY – CHRIS KHOURY – 15 Dec 2019
Isaiah 35:1–10 (READ)
As we consider the Incarnation we understand that the coming of Jesus brought the Kingdom of God. The prophet Isaiah said the kingdom is coming and you will see people healed, the blind will see the mute will speak, the deaf will hear the dead will be raised. What is significant is that God has chosen us to participate in this kingdom. Today and in the future.
Have you ever been rejected? From a group, an event, by the “in” crowd? How did that make you feel?
When we say God has chosen you to participate in his Kingdom we should be over the moon. He has chosen us not because we are good enough but because he is Good enough. He sees in us potential, talents and abilities.
It’s like God saying come and play on my team!
When we consider Mary the mother of Jesus, would you have chosen such a person to bear God’s son. She was poor, young, inexperienced and not even married. Yet she was chosen by God. This is the truth. God has chosen you, not just to know him, but to participate in sharing the gospel, the good news that Jesus has brought the kingdom to us.
With that in mind, I wish to answer the following questions about the kingdom:
- What is the kingdom of heaven?
- When was it established?
- What did Jesus mean when he said, “the kingdom is at hand”?
- Who are the citizens of the kingdom?
- What is meant by the kingdom is past, present and future?
- What does it mean to be in the kingdom?
- WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
A very simple definition of the kingdom by Dallas Willard: “God’s own kingdom or rule, is where, what God wants done is done. Everything that obeys God’s will whether by nature or by choice, is within that kingdom.”
Craig Blomberg: “The kingdom is God’s dynamic, personal rule throughout the universe. It is both present and future.”
Chris Marshall: “The kingdom of God is all about God exerting his kingly power, through Jesus, to put right what is wrong in the world.”
- WHEN WAS IT ESTABLISHED?
Psalm 145:13 (NIV) 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.
Daniel 7:14 (NIV)14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
The kingdom has existed from the moment of creation and will never end.
- WHAT DID JESUS MEAN WHEN HE SAID, “THE KINGDOM IS AT HAND”?
Matthew 3:2 (NKJV) “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
As some translations say “has drawn near”. Jesus was not speaking of something that was about to happen. The term is ‘eggiken’. Is a verb indicating a past and complete action. It is best translated as, ‘has come’. “Behold, the kingdom of your God is revealed.” What Jesus was saying is that the reality of God’s rule has come upon you. It was available with and through the person of Jesus. Dallas Willard: “Dinner is served.
- WHO ARE THE CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM?
The kingdom is not something to be accepted now and enjoyed later. But it is to be entered now. It already has flesh and blood citizens who have been transformed into it.
Matthew 5:20 New King James Version (NKJV) 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:3 New King James Version (NKJV) 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
John 3 Jesus speaking to Nicodemus said to enter the kingdom we must be born again.
Colossians 1:13 (NIV) 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought (transformed) us into the kingdom of the Son he loves …
So who are the citizens of the kingdom? Those who have been chosen by God, rescued through Jesus and brought from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of the Son.
- THE KINGDOM IS PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE?
PAST: Like I explained, the kingdom has existed from the moment of creation. The kingdom has existed in all age’s past. The ‘gospel’ of the Old Testament was simple, ‘Our God reigns!’ Isaiah 52:7
PRESENT: Jesus did not usher in the kingdom with his coming but what he did do was make it possible for those God had chosen to become citizens of the kingdom. Whenever Jesus performed a miracle, when he healed, forgave sins, drove out demons, in effect those people were experiencing the kingdom in action. In that sense the kingdom has come in him and with him.
FUTURE: Although it was clearly stated that the kingdom is manifest here and now there is still a future aspect to the kingdom. This reality will happen with the return of Jesus a 2nd time. Revelation 11:15
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE IN THE KINGDOM?
The church is the assembly of those who have accepted the gospel of the kingdom in faith. Its citizens participate in the salvation that the kingdom offers, which includes the forgiveness of sins, adoption by God, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the possession of eternal life.
This is what it means to be in the kingdom. It is this and much more. It is these adopted citizens of the kingdom who are the light in the word, the salt of the earth and who are called to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to the whole world.
WHAT THEN SHOULD WE AS CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM BE DOING?
The church as the organ of the kingdom, is called to confess Jesus as the Christ. This proclaiming of the gospel is not an option. We were chosen by God for the task. Sitting on the side lines is not an option.
The word ‘gospel’ in the Greek is ‘evangelion’. It means good, merry, glad, joyful tidings. It makes men’s hearts glad – sing and dance and leap for joy!
DEFINITION: The gospel is the joyous proclamation of God’s redemptive activity in Christ on behalf of man enslaved to sin.
Isa 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings.
1 Corinthians 9:16 (NIV) 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
To Paul there was a sense of urgency to proclaim the gospel, no sacrifice was too great.
CONCLUSION: During this time of advent, we should look forward in great anticipation, excitement and with joy to the birth of Christ and to our participation in the kingdom and to the proclaiming of the gospel.