The Kingdom of God is here now.
We are continuing our blog posts on the Kingdom of God. Today we are going to look at how the Kingdom of God is a present reality. We will also look at how you enter the Kingdom of God.
At this point I think it is worth a very brief recap of last week’s blog post:
The Kingdom of God was a central theme of Jesus’ message.
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
The Kingdom of God is described in scripture in three ways:
is the rank, authority, and sovereignty exercised by a king… first of all, a kingdom is an authority to rule, the sovereignty of the king.” George Ladd
Secondly, it is a present reality.
Thirdly it is a future realm
Upon the foundation set last week will look in more detail today at what the bible says about the Kingdom of God. Being present now and how you can enter the Kingdom of God should you wish to.
We live in a world whereby permission satan is at work,
2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
We see all kinds of wrong in the world.
Greed, Poverty, Murder, Hatred, Persecution of all Kinds, these bad things do not come from God. They come from satan. His aim is to destroy you, to keep you away from God, his way of life is horrible and ultimately leads to death and eternal separation from God, which for those of you who are in any doubt is a place called Hell.
Satan has blinded many to God, satan encourages people to look to themselves, to put themselves before others, and to look out for number one.
Jesus came to usher in, to inaugurate the Kingdom of God, there is a great verse in
Colossians 1 v 13
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
The Greek word translated dominion is a word that can also be translated as power, control, authority, or right.
Jesus came to rescue us from the control of satan, from the rule of satan. Think of the darkness of this world that we have already mentioned, these are things that Jesus came to rescue us from.
That rescue involves a transition from the darkness of the world to the light of the Kingdom.
As we receive Jesus into our lives (more on that in a bit) we are accepting the authority of God in our lives, His Kingdom is coming in us.
We are not transported to another place, the Kingdom of God in this instance is not a physical place like a country, it is in us.
14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
Here the disciples were being prayed for by Jesus, He was asking God not to remove them from the world but rather protect them as they did the work of Kingdom Advancement.
When we enter the Kingdom of God it is not a guarantee that we will have an easy life. There will be challenges, difficulties, the evil one will come against us. Jesus did not ask for disciples to be taken out of the world, out of this place where satan prowls, why because we have a role to play, in advancing the Kingdom one person at a time.
There will come a time in the future when the Kingdom of God is fully realised, and we are going to look at that in the next few weeks. But for now, we need to realise that we are in a time where the Kingdom of God has not been consummated.
George Ladd describes it as a mystery saying fulfilment of the Kingdom is here; but consummation of the Kingdom is not.
Now we see in part in the future we will see fully.
As we see the Kingdom of God advancing there are things we should see:
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
So, how do we enter the Kingdom of God, how do we enter a place where God rules in our lives.
Many people I believe think that you automatically go to heaven, be a nice enough person and that is where you go. I see online and hear many people saying “they will be looking down on me” “they will be up there partying with ….” That is not what the bible says.
Jesus tells us:
John 3: 3,5-6
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
The words used here by Jesus are powerful you cannot enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and Spirit.
The words very truly which Jesus starts His answer with are the same word in Hebrew, amen, amen, Truly, Truly I tell you could be a translation, the repetition by Jesus to almost underline the importance of what He is going to say.
We need to be born again! We need to be born again Spiritually
How is that possible?
It is possible by accepting that we are sinners, that we all have done things that damage our relationship with God and that we want to enter a right relationship with Him by accepting that Jesus died for us, paid the price for our sins on the cross, defeated death and rose again.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Once we put our faith in Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit starts the process of transforming us, the aim for us to become more like Christ.
We are rescued from the dominion of darkness. We should no longer be controlled by the ruler of this world but rather God reigns in our lives.
Once we are born again people should start to see the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This fruit is the opposite of what satan would have the world look like.
The Apostle Paul again in his letter to the church in Colossae tells them how the Gospel, the Good News is bearing fruit and growing.
the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.
The Kingdom of God is growing, and as we tell more people it will continue to bear more fruit in the world.
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