(Original radio broadcast from May.22, 1998)
Today we are entering into the 8th week of teachings concerning the Kingdom of God, and no doubt this could go on almost indefinitely. The universal reign of God in Christ is a vast subject, and here we will do well to just scratch the surface.
But the encouraging thing is that your spiritual life is not solely dependent this one podcast, or any single human teacher for that matter! All things are working together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose!
Every moment of every day of our lives are filled with challenges and possibilities for participation in the Kingdom of our God! He is at work in you right now, to plant His desires in you to will and do His good pleasure! Yield to Him! Surrender to Him! Say “amen” to Him — but first of all confirm that you are giving yourself to the power of the Living Word of God, and not the lies of Satan!
Yes, there is a struggle to enter into the Kingdom of God! The Gospel is preached, and every man presses into it!
In Acts 14:22: “Paul confirmed the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much pressure enter into the kingdom of God.”
But what of salvation? What of the free gift of God’s grace? Here is where the confusion begins, and here is where we must find clear answers.
From the time Jesus began His public ministry, people began to be set free. The Spirit of the Lord was upon Him, anointing Him to preach good tidings to the poor. He was sent to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18,19)
Jesus Himself IS the year of Jubilee! He is God’s gift of grace to mankind! Untold millions have known his salvation, and thousands more are discovering it unto this day!
But the reign of God is another matter. The slave to sin must first be set free, but what will he do with that freedom? God is looking for those who will voluntarily come under His authority, and how many even understand this fact?
The Gospel of the Kingdom is greater than the popular Gospel of salvation! This is the Good News of God’s wonderful reign of righteousness, peace and joy in the earth! This is the power of God to save us from our own ways, and bring us into a full understanding of the way, the life, the love and the service of God to mankind!
What a gracious, giving God we serve! What an awesome offer He has given us — to rule and reign with Him! What joy we have in knowing that He lives within us to accomplish His purpose through us! What a thrill it is to begin living Kingdom life — today!
Truly, the world at large has yet to see the Kingdom of God, but many of us are like His disciples, who did not taste of death until they saw the son of Man, coming in His Kingdom! (Matthew 16:18)
Those who are born from above have special, heavenly vision! By the Spirit of God, they are enabled to see the kingdom of God! (John 3:3) But entering the Kingdom of God is a process in which salvation and regeneration are just the beginning!
Jesus said we must be born of the water and the Spirit to enter into the Kingdom or reign of God. Some believe this to be a reference to water and Holy Spirit baptism, but please bear with me in this for a few minutes. Water has often been used to symbolize the Word of God.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Water baptism is important in many ways. It is used to represent our identification with the death of our Lord, and our personal death to the old life. It is very possible that Jesus was speaking of water baptism, but also of the part that His Word plays in our cleansing, as we are brought under the wonderful reign and purposes of God!
John 15:3: “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
Peter also wrote that we are “being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Pet 1:23)
Oh to search out the miracle of our new birth, and our new life in Christ! Who can comprehend it? How does His marvelous Eternal Word begin to transform us from within? How do we then begin to walk in newness of Life by the power of the Holy Spirit?
And how do we continue in His Word, becoming His disciples indeed! Growing in the Grace and knowledge of Jesus our Lord — from faith to faith, from glory to glory — being transformed by the renewing our minds to prove His good, acceptable and perfect will, demonstrating the reality of His Kingdom to the world!
Do you feel yourself beginning to enter into this higher dimension of Life, where righteousness, peace and joy prevail, where the will of God is done as if heaven has come down? This is the power of the Gospel of the Kingdom, the cleansing of His Word, and the renewing of His Spirit! This is your entrance into His realm today!
You and I are daily learning of the Lordship of our Saviour Jesus Christ! By His Hand we are being conformed to His image, while all of creation awaits our completion! The faithful apostle Peter continues to exhort us unto this day, concerning this amazing progression!
2 Peter 1:5-11: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Many do not like these words, “if,” and “do.” They fear that the Gospel of His Grace can so easily be undermined. But I declare unto you that His Grace “has appeared to all men, teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, to live soberly, righteously and Godly, IN THIS PRESENT WORLD, Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:12-14)
It is time for some of us to begin to take responsibility for the gifts that God has given us, and begin to bear fruit today in the Kingdom of God!
These great mysteries of your Kingdom are too wonderful for us to comprehend. How can we fully understand, much less describe them? But we do have the assurance that you will surely bring us forth unto maturity in your purposes.
Bring to birth that heavenly life within each of us, and then continue to manifest your majesty both to us and through us today.
In Jesus Name we ask,