The Kingdom: Past, Present, and Future

Text: Hebrews 11:8-16

 

I.         God had foretold the coming of a kingdom like no other

            A.        It was a kingdom that would not end - Daniel 2:44

                        1.         Every kingdom of the world has ended at some point

                        2.         Mighty kingdoms, such as Assyria

                        3.         Ancient kingdoms, such as Egypt

                        4.         The world has never seen an invincible kingdom

            B.        Its ruler would be like no other - Isaiah 9:6-7

                        1.         Jesus would be the ruler of this kingdom - Luke 1:31-33

            C.        Its laws would come from God - Jeremiah 31:31-34

II.        As Jesus began his ministry on earth, he told the people about the good news concerning the kingdom of God - Mark 1:14-15

            A.        It was a message, Jesus said that would be preached to all the world before the destruction of Jerusalem - Matthew 24:14

                        1.         A message that Paul said was delivered - Colossians 1:3-6, 13-23

            B.        Hence the message that the kingdom was close at hand - Matthew 4:17; Mark 9:1

                        1.         And that it has come upon people - Matthew 12:28

            C.        It was a message that occupied a large portion of Jesus’ teaching while on earth

                        1.         Mentioned nearly 120 times in the gospels. Perhaps the most often mentioned topic in the gospels

                        2.         It would start small and grow large - Matthew 13:31-32

                                    a.         It would spread, permeating everything else - Matthew 13:33

                                    b.         It would be persecuted - Matthew 5:10-13

                        3.         It was valuable - Matthew 13:44-46

                                    a.         God would provide care - Matthew 6:33

                                    b.         Those in it are rewarded equally - Matthew 20:1-16

                        4.         It is a kingdom without natural born citizens - John 3:5

                                    a.         Those who should come will refuse, but it will attract the lowly - Matthew 22:2-14

                                    b.         It’s standard of desirable and undesirable would be different - Matthew 21:28-32

                                    c.         Matthew 5:3 - Belongs to the poor in spirit

                                    d.         Matthew 18:1-4 - Must become child-like to enter

                                    e.         Mark 10:23-27 - The rich would have difficulty entering

                                    f.         Matthew 7:21 - Only the obedient would be accepted

                                    g.         Luke 9:61-62 - It requires complete dedication and commitment

                                                (1)       Luke 18:29-30 - Might even require severing family ties

                        5.         In its growth, though, it would pull in undesirables - Matthew 13:24-30, 47-48

                        6.         Yet, it would be a kingdom without borders - Luke 17:20-21

                                    a.         Its capital would not be in this world - John 18:36

            D.        People eagerly sought the kingdom - Luke 16:16

                        1.         Even in his death, people looked forward to the kingdom - Luke 23:42

                        2.         The thief on the cross - Luke 23:42

                        3.         Joseph of Arimathea - Luke 23:50-51

            E.        Even after his death, Jesus spoke of the kingdom - Acts 1:3

III.       That kingdom, so long sought, now exists

            A.        Jesus rules with all authority - Matthew 28:18

                        1.         God made him the anointed and ruler - Acts 2:36

                        2.         All things are under his feet - Ephesians 1:20-22

                        3.         All earthly authorities are under his control - I Peter 3:22; Revelation 1:5

                        4.         He rules forever - Hebrews 1:8

            B.        The nature of this kingdom

                        1.         Not physical - Romans 14:16-17

                        2.         Yet not without strength - I Corinthians 4:20

            C.        The proclamation went out, inviting people into the kingdom

                        1.         Philip - Acts 8:12

                        2.         Paul - Acts 19:8; 20:25; 28:30-31

            D.        People are being made citizens in the kingdom

                        1.         Called into the kingdom - I Thessalonians 2:10-12

                        2.         Translated into the kingdom - Colossians 1:13

                        3.         Receiving the kingdom - Hebrews 12:28

                        4.         We have companions in the kingdom - Revelation 1:9

            E.        Entrance requirements for the kingdom are established

                        1.         Forsaking sin - I Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5

                        2.         Faithful service - II Peter 1:10-11

IV.      The future of the kingdom

            A.        In its growth, the kingdom would attract undesirables, those how pledge loyalty, but do not remain loyal

                        1.         There will be a time of purging - Matthew 13:40-43

                        2.         A judgment - Matthew 25:31-34

            B.        Only those who persevere will remain - II Timothy 4:18

            C.        When Jesus comes again, it will not be to establish his kingdom, but to take the loyal citizens of that kingdom home - I Corinthians 15:24-26

V.        Will you be among them?