Monday, August 12th, 2013
Sermon On The Mount (Part 3)
The Kingdom Of God
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, 'Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.'
Matthew 4:17 (NKJV)
But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
Matthew 12:28 (NKJV)
The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.
Mark 1:15 (add a space here) (NKJV)
He said to them, 'To you it has been given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables.
Mark 4:11 (NKJV)
He said to them, 'I must preach the Kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.'
Luke 4:43 (NKJV)
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, 'The Kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you.'
Luke 17:20-21 (NKJV)
Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
John 3:5 (NKJV)
The Kingdom of God (or Heaven) is featured 6 times in the Sermon on the Mount and 36 times in the Book of Matthew: 34 of those Verses are said by Jesus Himself. Add 48 from the other 3 Gospels for a total of 84 references to the Kingdom of God. Obviously, It's important. It is the Tie that binds the Sermon on the Mount to us.
Because the Kingdom of God is Jesus. It is His Spirit. It is His sovereignty. It is His community of true believers. It is a Place of immeasurable beauty, peace, passion and purpose. It is Heaven on Earth and beyond it, but we don't have to wait. We enter the Kingdom of God when the Holy Spirit enters us--and reigns within us.
The forces of hell cannot prevail against It.
Satan is left with one strategy: diversion. He seeks to divert us from the Kingdom of God--especially Its immigration and protection policy, which is voluntary submission to the King of kings.
One day soon, the Kingdom of God will cover the earth--unimpeded. We press into that destiny: 'For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now' (Romans 8:22). Until then, God's Kingdom is entered individually.
Disciples of Christ must shine in this glory. They must herald it. 'The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned. From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, 'Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand' ' (Matthew 4:16-17).
So that others may repent (turn) and discover the Kingdom of God--while the opportunity still exists. 'Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation' (2 Corinthians 6:2). Tomorrow is not guaranteed. 'For the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Master made ruler over His household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his Master, when He comes, will find so doing' (Matthew 24:44-46).
How can Christians show, tell and spread the good news of the Kingdom of God? Embrace His Sermon on the Mount. Therein, you invite Him to do His work through you.
To Be Continued...
Commentary on The Kingdom of God in The Sermon on the Mount (scroll to Part lll): https://bible.org/seriespage/sermon-mount
'What do we mean by The Kingdom of God?' (article): http://www.wordmadeflesh.org/the-cry/the-cry-vol-11-no-2/what-do-we-mean-by-the-kingdom-of-god/
'What is the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus proclaims?' (article): http://www.jesuswalk.com/manifesto/kingdom-of-heaven.htm
Biblical meaning of repentance: http://gospeltranslations.org/wiki/Biblical_Repentance/The_Meaning_of_Repentance; http://christianity.about.com/od/glossary/a/Repentance.htm; http://www.acts17-11.com/repent.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Sermon On The Mount series.