The Kingdom Of God In The Teaching Of Jesus
* The Kingdom of God does not belong to this world (John 18:36). The Kingdom of God has come into this world (Mark 1:15). God's Kingdom cannot be identified with anything that belongs to this world. The church is not the Kingdom. The church is a signpost. It points us to the Kingdom. It is a sign that the Kingdom has broken into earthly existence.
* Jesus has come. The Kingdom has come. When Jesus says that the Kingdom is in the midst of us, He is speaking of His presence in our midst. Where Jesus is, there is the Kingdom. Jesus is the Kingdom.
* In Christ's first coming, the Kingdom has come. In His Second Coming, the Kingdom will come. Jesus teaches us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come." He is directing our attention to the coming Kingdom. In Jesus' first coming, there is a real coming of the Kingdom. There is also this message, "There is more to come." When we pray, "Thy Kingdom come", we are praying, "Lord, lead us on, from the promise to the fulfilment." Jesus' first coming was a fulfilment. It fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. Jesus' first coming is more than a fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies. It's also a promise that points forward to the ultimate fulfilment, the coming of God's eternal Kingdom.
* The supreme sign of the Kingdom is Jesus' resurrection. The resurrection follows on from the incarnation (Jesus living among us) and the atonement (Jesus dying for us). The resurrection is God's way of saying, "Jesus really is My Son. Jesus really is your Saviour and Lord." The resurrection also points us to the future.
* The Kingdom has come. The Kingdom will come. This is the context within which we are to live the Christian life. We have received the Kingdom (Luke 12:32). We have entered the Kingdom (Mark 10:24). We have become sons of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:38). The Kingdom belongs to those who have come to Jesus with simple, childlike faith (Matthew 19:14). The Kingdom has come to us. This is real, but there is more to come. We have only begun to experience the power of God's Kingdom. We must always be longing for more of God, looking forward to the fullness that is still to come.
* The Kingdom has come. This is Good News (Matthew 4:23; Mark 1:15). Without this Good News, our life is built on sand. With this Good News, our life is built on the Rock, which is Jesus Christ. Building on Christ, we have hope for the future - hope that is more than hoping for the best, hope that is grounded in who Jesus is and what he has done for us.
* Jesus calls us to put our faith in Him. He calls us to open hearts to Him This what Jesus means when He speaks about entering the Kingdom. We receive the Kingdom when we set aside our own self-righteousness and come as sinners to Jesus, the Saviour of sinners. We receive the Kingdom when we come to Jesus with simple and sincere faith (Mark 2:17; Matthew 18:3; Matthew 11:25).
* Jesus calls us to commit ourselves to Him. we are to live as His disciples. We are called to live a life that honours Him, a life upon which His blessing rests (Matthew 5:1-12).
* Jesus calls us to prepare ourselves for His return. We are to be grateful for His first coming. We are to have the attitude of gratitude. Thankful to the Lord for what He has done for us, we are to give ourselves in obedience to Him. We are to trust the Lord, and live in obedience to Him. This is the way of receiving joy. This is the way of bringing glory to God.