Luke 4:43 - The Kingdom of God

Overview

Today, we will talk about (1) Christ and the Kingdom, (2) the Spirit and the Kingdom, (3) the Scope of the Kingdom, and (4) the Future of the Kingdom. The implications for us are astounding. The kingdom of God is like the pearl of great value (Mt. 13:46). When you see what the kingdom is, I believe you will seek the kingdom of God and find peace in your heart.

Introduction

1. Your Search

Many of you have come today with unsettled hearts. You feel an emptiness in your soul. You would like for things to change. Would it be fair to ask today, "What are you seeking?" Do you know what it is that you are wanting? If you obtained what you want, would it satisfy? If you are seeking, I recommend to you the kingdom of God.

2. Jesus

Because Jesus offered us membership in the kingdom of God, I recommend this kingdom to you. He preached His first sermon in Nazareth, and then He journeyed to Capernaum. He taught there in the synagogue, then went to Simon's house where He healed Simon's mother-in-law. After that He departed and went to a lonely place. The multitudes tried to keep Him from going away. Then (Luke 4:43) Luke writes: But He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose." (NASU) Clearly, Christ was sent to earth for the purpose of preaching the kingdom of God. Given His mission it was necessary for Him to go to other cities. He would not restrict this message to just one city.

3. Theme

The kingdom of God was a topic constantly on the lips of Jesus. It was His theme. When He began His ministry, He preached the kingdom of God. Throughout His ministry, He referred to the kingdom. Moreover, He exhorted His disciples to preach about the kingdom of God. His death did not change His emphasis and resurrection. Between His resurrection and His ascension, He talked with the disciples about the kingdom of God.

4. Preview

Today, we will talk about (1) Christ and the Kingdom, (2) the Spirit and the Kingdom, (3) the Scope of the Kingdom, and (4) the Future of the Kingdom. The implications for us are astounding. The kingdom of God is like the pearl of great value (Mt. 13:46). When you see what the kingdom is, I believe you will seek the kingdom of God and find peace in your heart.

I. Christ and the Kingdom

1. Presence

The kingdom of God is God's kingdom. Because He has always existed, His kingdom has always existed. Nevertheless, the presence of the kingdom became known in a new way when Christ came to earth. Jesus came to establish the kingdom of God on earth.

2. Realization

When Christ began preaching, He preached the kingdom of God. It was clear from the beginning that He was talking about an ideal kingdom. The ideal kingdom is the perfect form of a kingdom. He only ministered on earth for three years. Early in His ministry it became evident that the ideal kingdom would not be established, or realized during His earthly ministry.

3 The Paradoxical Way

This did not come as a surprise to God. It was all a part of the divine plan. He was the lamb slain (Rev. 13:8, NIV) from the foundation of the creation! Jesus must walk a paradoxical road (Phil. 2:5-11) before the ideal kingdom would be established. He had to be the Servant Messiah before He could be the King Messiah. It was necessary for Him to suffer, die, and be resurrected for the forgiveness of the sins of man.

4. Repent and Believe

What should our response be? Jesus declared this at the beginning of His ministry. In Mark 1:14-15 we read, " 14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." NASU We must repent and believe the gospel. This is the gospel of God (Mark 1:14). It is the gospel of the kingdom of God (Luke 16:16). It is the gospel of Christ (Rom. 15:19). Christ is central. We must believe in Him.

II. The Spirit and the Kingdom

1. Another Paraclete

The Holy Spirit is God. He has always existed. He empowered Christ during His ministry. He empowered the disciples. Then, when Christ was near the end of His earthly ministry, He spoke about sending the Holy Spirit to help us. Jesus declared (John 14:16): "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever." (NASU) The Holy Spirit is another paraclete. Very simply translated, we can say that the Spirit would be another helper.

2. Exalt Christ

Let us observe the ministries of the Spirit. To begin with He would exalt Christ. Jesus said, (John 16:14) "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you." NASU Our gospel of the kingdom is first, last, and always centered in Christ. Because Christ is exalted, He and His kingdom are ever present with us.

3. The Bridge

The Spirit is the bridge between the kingdom of God and this world. Through the power of the Spirit, great measures of the Kingdom are realized among us. When the Spirit is present, and Christ is exalted, we know that God is among us. When God is among us, the kingdom of God is present.

Jesus declared that the Spirit would teach us and bring His teachings to our remembrance (John 14:26). He would guide us into all truth (John 16:13). The very name of the Spirit, which is the Paraclete, indicates that He will defend us, comfort us, and help us. Although Jesus is not physically present with us, we are not left alone. He has sent His Spirit to help us.

In addition the Spirit will empower us. We read about this in Acts 1:8. Jesus was soon to ascend. The disciples were concerned about when the kingdom would be restored to Israel. Jesus told them that it was not for them to know when this would happen. Then, He went on to talk about the baptism in the Spirit. Luke writes:

1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach,
2 until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.
3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said,"you heard of from Me;
5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"
7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. NASU

4. Receive the Spirit. What should our response be. We should be candidates for the work of the Spirit in our lives. He draws us to Christ, He regenerates us, He empowers us to live according to the principles of the kingdom, and He endues us for service. He gives us power to be witnesses. As we witness the kingdom is established. We should pray and believe that the Spirit will come upon us in great power!

III. The Scope of the Kingdom

The scope of the kingdom is comprehensive. Even though the kingdom is not fully realized and established now, no aspect of life is untouched. When Christ returns, we will realize the ideal of all aspects of life. Today, I will mention just three aspects of our lives that are included in the kingdom.

1. Righteousness

When you read the Sermon on the Mount, you begin to understand what the ideal kingdom will be like.

The best summary of this is in Mt. 5:48. "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." We can lessen the force of this in various ways. We can say, "Well, we must be perfect in attitude, in submission, in humility, and so on." In an absolute sense, there is only one perfect person. His name is Jesus. When we are in Christ, we inherit His perfection. In this life, we grow and mature in Him and constantly become more like Him. When He returns, we will live out that perfection fully.

2. Healing

Jesus preached the kingdom of God. Many times, along with His preaching, He heals the sick, casts out devils, and performs miracles. According to Matthew 4:23: "Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people." NASU

On one occasion (Luke 11:14-20), Jesus cast out a demon that was mute. When the man who was mute spoke, some of the crowd said He cast out the demon by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Jesus replied

(Luke 11:20) "But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." NASU The finger of God is a figure of speech for the Holy Spirit. The Spirit empowered Jesus to cast out the demon.

Not every illness is healed in this life. We do not always see the miracles we desire. However, we do know that all things are in His hands. Ultimately, we are complete victors. As believers in Christ, we cannot be defeated.

3. Economic

Many people were concerned about what they would eat, drink, or wear. Jesus was concerned about all these matters, but His approach to meeting the need put everything into proper perspective. He said (Mt. 6:33): "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." NASU

4. Pray with Faith

What shall our response be? We could suggest many things, but let us begin with prayer. As we pray, the Lord will lead us in all things. Jesus exhorted us to pray in this way (Mt. 6:9-13):

9 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 'Give us this day our daily bread.
12 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]' NASU

When we pray, we must pray with faith. We can pray believing that God will care for us in every way. Through faith in Christ, the power of the Spirit, and our determination to trust and obey, His kingdom will be present in our lives. He will take care of us. We can cast all our cares on Him and rely on Him to be with us.

IV. The Future of the Kingdom

1. The Ideal Future

Throughout this message we have emphasized that the ideal kingdom will be realized in the future. When Jesus returns, He will come back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will rule in justice, love, and power. All the goals of the kingdom will be realized. We read about it in Rev. 21:3-4:

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,
4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." NASU

2. Reign with Him

When He comes, we will reign (II Tim. 2:12) with Him. The ideal future includes us as leaders with Him. Our lot is to be side-by-side with Him in ruling the universe. I do not think that the Word has fully revealed all that will take place. It would be too glorious for us to comprehend. We have much that awaits us!

3. Witness Worldwide

We do not know when the Christ will return. It is not the will of God that we do know. However, we do know what our responsibility is until He comes. When Jesus gathered His disciples on the Mount of Olives near the end of His earthly ministry, He told them (Mt. 24:14) "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come." Only God knows when this forecast has been fulfilled. He could come today! Meanwhile, we must do all we can to fulfill the Great Commission.

Conclusion

1. Believers

Realize as much of the Kingdom now as you can. Believe in God in the hard times. Trust in God always. You are ultimate victors. In the future you will reign with Christ.

2. Seekers

Some of you have not accepted Christ. End your search and turn to God. He will answer your problems and bring the power of the Kingdom, through the Spirit, into your life. Your life will never be the same!