"THE KINGDOM OF GOD"
I. WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
A. It is the kingdom where God reigns.
1. Thus the kingdom of God is in heaven. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven are thus synonymous. Matthew is the only writer that uses the term kingdom of heaven.
2. The kingdom of God can be in you.
a. If God reigns in your heart then is the kingdom of God within you.
b. Jesus said, "Not all who say Lord, Lord are going to enter the kingdom of heaven, by he that doeth the will of the Father.
B. When Jesus comes to reign over the earth, the kingdom of God will then be here on earth.
1. Right now this earth is under the rule of Satan thus is presently the kingdom of Satan. Jesus said to certain Jews you are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you do.
a. Jesus called him the prince of this world.
b. Paul called him the god of this world.
c. When they came to arrest Jesus He said, "This is your hour and the power of darkness.
d. Jesus called Paul to go to the Gentiles to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God. i.e. to bring them from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God.
e. Col. 1:13
"Who had delivered us from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son."
2. There are thus two vastly opposing kingdoms in the world today, and everyone is living in one of the two.
a. Those who have submitted their lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ are living in the kingdom of God. But they are living in a world that is governed by Satan.
b. They are thus aliens, and often treated like aliens.
c. It was the desire of our forefathers to come to America and establish a nation that would be governed by God's laws. One nation under God. It was a beautiful dream. They sought to establish a form of government that would guarantee the perpetuation of that dream by the separation of the legislative and judicial branches of government.
d. There dream was to establish a constitution that would insure the domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.
e. This could only be guaranteed by remembering that we were one nation under God that had put it's trust in God.
f. When the courts began to declare that to talk about God or Jesus Christ in a favorable way in the public schools was against the Constitution they took us from a nation under God to a nation under the edicts of the men and women on the Supreme Court, they began to allow liberties that our forefathers never dreamed of. The liberty to create, distribute and sell pornographic materials of the most explicit sort. The liberty to abort babies. The liberty to exploit children in pornographic materials. No longer the liberty to pray in a public school. No longer the liberty to read the Bible in public school. No longer the liberty to post the ten commandments in a public school.
g. The tragic results are that we no longer have domestic tranquillity. We are ruled by men who are for the most part ruled by Satan, and we are seeing the tragic consequences. Once again we are aliens, and are being called the radical religious right, and have become the victims of bashing by the media and the heads of government.
h. Paul said, "For our citizenship is in heaven from whence we look for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who when He comes shall change our vile bodies, that we might be fashioned after His own glorious image." But being a citizen of heaven living in a world controlled by the powers of darkness takes real commitment.
i. Look at how all of the forces seem to be determined to tear down any moral values. The music, the talk shows, what the Bible declares is evil is looked on as good and what the Bible declares as good is looked on as evil.
II. WHAT DID JESUS MEAN, THAT SOME OF THOSE WHO WERE STANDING THERE WOULD NOT TASTE OF DEATH UNTIL THEY HAD SEEN THE KINGDOM OF GOD COMING WITH POWER?
A. The next verse tells us that Jesus took Peter, James, and John into a high mountain and was there transfigured before them.
1. There they got a glimpse of Jesus in the power of His kingdom.
a. His raiment became shining.
b. It was exceeding the whiteness of snow.
c. Moses and Elijah appeared and were talking with Him.
2. John later in the book of Revelation had a vision of Jesus in the glory in which He will appear when He comes in the power of His kingdom.
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire;
And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
3. Jesus spoke of the Son of Man coming in His glory with all of His holy angels, then shall He sit on His throne of glory.
4. The book of Revelation tells of the time when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Messiah.
III. WHAT WILL HIS KINGDOM BE LIKE?
A. Heaven on earth.
1. No more tears, no more suffering, no more pain, no more sin, no more sickness, no more physical infirmities, no more wars, no more poverty, no more exploiting of others.
2. The kingdom of God is not meat or drink, but righteousness peace, and joy.
a. Righteousness. Sin is that which destroys, it destroys love, joy, goodness. It brings death and destruction.
b. Peace. It is sin that brings envying, strife, wars, disputes.
c. Joy, the end result of sin is sorrow and pain.
B. The kingdom of God will be marked by love.
1. Love for God manifested in our love for our fellowmen.