Three Kingdoms


I.         John 3:1-21

            A.        In this teaching to Nicodemus, Jesus alludes to three different kingdoms. One directly and two indirectly

                        1.         The kingdom of the flesh, or the world.

                        2.         The kingdom of God, or the Spirit

                        3.         The kingdom in heaven

            B.        One preacher, Alexander Campbell referred to these three kingdoms as the kingdoms of nature, grace, and glory.

II.        What is a kingdom?

            A.        It is a place where someone rules, a king, and where many live under that rule, the citizens.

            B.        The Kingdom of this World

                        1.         It was created by the word of God - Gen. 1 “And God said”

                        2.         We enter the kingdom of this world through birth

                                    a.         In fact, it is impossible to be a part of this world, a citizen in it, without being born.

                        3.         It was designed to support and reproduce beings of its realm - Gen 1:28

                                    a.         It supports its natural life

                                    b.         Humans reproducing to bring about other humans

                        4.         Satan is its king, the prince of this world - Jn 12:31

                                    a.         He is even called the god of this world - II Cor 4:4

                        5.         His citizens are all those who live in disobedience to God - Eph 2:2

                                    a.         I Jn 5:19 - The whole world lies in darkness

            C.        The Kingdom of God

                        1.         It too was created by the word of God

                                    a.         John 1:1 - Jesus was the Word

                                    b.         Matt 16:18 - Jesus established his church (vs. 19 - his kingdom)

                        2.         We enter the kingdom of God through birth

                                    a.         A spiritual birth - Jn 3:5

                                    b.         As with the physical world, it is impossible to be a part of the church without being born into it.

                                    c.         Paul speaks of going through birth pains with the Galatians - Gal 4:19

                        3.         It too was designed to support and reproduce beings of its realm

                                    a.         I Pet 1:23 - We are born of the incorruptible word of God

                                    b.         I John 2:29 - Righteousness produces righteous people

                                    c.         I John 5:1 - Belief and love produces children of God

                                    d.         Christians reproducing by spreading the word of God to produce other Christians

                                    e.         Being in this kingdom, we take on characteristics of this realm - Gal 5:19-20

                                                (1)       Have put on Christ - Gal. 3:27

                        4.         Jesus Christ is the king - Col. 1:13

                                    a.         We are delivered from one kingdom into another.

                                    b.         I Cor. 15:25 - Reigns until all is conquered

                        5.         The citizens of this kingdom are those who live in righteousness

                                    a.         Gal 4:3-7 - We are adapted in God’s family

                                    b.         Given the right to inherit

            D.        The final kingdom

                        1.         It too was created by the word of God

                                    a.         Jn 14:2-3 - Jesus prepares a place

                        2.         We enter it through a birth

                                    a.         I Cor 15:35-58 - We die to the old and are changed into a new form

                                    b.         In fact, we cannot become a part of heaven without a rebirth. The corruptible cannot inherit the incorruptible.

                        3.         The nature of heaven is to support the eternal life of its citizens

                        4.         God is it’s king - I Cor 15:24,28

                        5.         The citizens of this kingdom are those who have live righteously to the end

                                    a.         They are delivered from one realm into another

III.       The three kingdoms

            A.        Of nature - the physical

            B.        Of grace - a gift freely given to those who would accept

            C.        Of glory - a victory of the incorruptible

            D.        Many shadows

                        1.         The temple

                                    a.         Outer court - the world

                                    b.         The Holy - the church where the priests serve (all Christians are priests)

                                    c.         The Holy of Holies - heaven where God reigns supreme