In Your Bible Read This
1 Corinthians 15
Here Is Your Memory Verse
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18.3
Afterwards Talk About This
Is Jesus really the King over your personal life, marriage, family, workplace and church. Where are you not obedient to his commands? In those areas we can repent and change with God’s help.
Something To Do Before Next Time
Go for a walk near the main institutions of your district. The government office, the police, the army, the orphanage, the schools. Pray over them that God’s kingdom would break in and the plots of darkness be defeated.
Written Diploma Work
What did you think the kingdom of God was all about? How would you describe it now in one page of writing?
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse
Spend a Minute to Change the World
Pray for Brunei – Only 300,000 Malays and Chinese. Incredibly wealthy from oil, 71% Muslim, 8% Christian. No evangelism of Muslims permitted
Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.
What Is The Kingdom?
“Is it an inward power which enters the human soul?” Adolf von Harnack.
“Is it uniquely in the person of Jesus when he entered time?” C H Dodd.
“Is it an apocalyptic realm to be inaugurated by an act of God when history is broken off and a new heavenly order begins. Altogether future and supernatural?” Albert Schweitzer.
“Can we can stretch out our hands and grab great handfuls of it and drag kingdom life, spirit, truth and principles into our personal morality, our relationships, finances, business life, ministry and travels. The Kingdom of God is at hand?” Roger Forster.
“Or is the kingdom not primarily concerned with individual salvation or with the future but with the social problems of the present?” (Popular liberal view)
“Or is the kingdom only identified with the true Church, which as it grows, the kingdom extends by mission to slowly win the entire world to Christ and thus transform the world order into the Kingdom of God?” Augustine.
“Can it be that the Kingdom and the Church are not the same thing, but church is Kingdom community. The Kingdom is the reign of God, which is far greater?” John Wimber.
Which Is The Real Kingdom Of God?
Let us go back to the Bible and see what it says about the kingdom:
- A present spiritual reality, Rom. 14.17
- A future inheritance which God will bestow when Jesus returns in glory. Matthew 25.34.
- We are already in it now! Col. 1.13, Luke 16.16
- A later realm we enter when Jesus returns. 2 Peter 1.11, Matt. 8.11, 13.41
- The Bible says that the kingdom is in you so it must be here. Luke 17,20-21
- Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world at all! John 18.36
Are you clear now?
No, well do not be surprised. Why so many opinions? Surely there is only one kingdom?
“There is such a lot in the Bible about the kingdom and that explains the many interpretations with verses for all. The kingdom is a present reality, and a future blessing. It is an inner spiritual blessing which comes by new birth and yet it has to do with government of the nations. It is a realm that men enter now, and also a gift of God which he will bestow in the future, yet which must be received in the present. Obviously there is no simple explanation! “
Abbreviated from G. Ladd, Gospel of The Kingdom
Matt. 12.28; 1 Cor 15.50; Romans 14.17; John 3.3; Rev.11.15;
Matt. 21.31; Luke 12.32; Mark 10.15.
The Key That Unlocks The Kingdom
What does kingdom mean? In modern language it means a geographical state with a monarch and people who are ruled. The bible word for kingdom is basilea which means royal power, kingship, dominion, rule, not an actual kingdom but the right or authority to rule over a kingdom; the royal power of Jesus. In ancient languages this is exactly what kingdom meant. When God judged Belshazzar, it was his kingdom rule not Babylon that was terminated, Daniel 5.26. In the parable of Luke 19.11 the nobleman went to receive his basilea or right to rule.
Your Kingdom Come
Jesus said we must pray for his kingdom to come, and we must seek it first as little children. Matthew 6.33; 6.10; 18.3.
But What Are We Asking For?
Is it more church? Or heaven on earth, solutions to human disorder, or power to colonise the world for Christ ? We are asking for Jesus, the King, to reign in me and in all of us. We are asking for the doing of his will, the increase of his rule, his lordship or kingship. When our prayer for his kingdom to come is answered then heaven enters into our lives, families, churches and cultures.
“You can tell when the kingdom is present in a situation when you see harmony in it, when people are right with God and with one another. When you don’t see harmony, it’s a clear sign that God’s rule has been thwarted and something must be done about it.” From John Wimber.
So, Where Is The Kingdom?
“The kingdom of God is full of people hungering thirsting and seeking; knocking on the doors of heaven and hoping to empty it of its truth, power and integrity until we have heaven on earth. Of course there are many things that are ‘already’ and some that are clearly ‘not yet.’ The kingdom of God does not consist of dragging our past around with us, it consists of dragging God’s future into the present.” From Gerald Coates, Kingdom Now.
“The kingdom of God is present in every nation where people own Jesus as King. It is essentially spiritual with tangible, visible manifestations of love from another world. The kingdom of God is also future, when Jesus delivers the kingdom to God and puts an end to all enemy rule, power and death, and one day brings in a new heaven and new earth. 1 Cor 15.24-26. Until then we live in a world where many enemies of God and his people are still present. Satan is called the god of this age, the prince of the power of the air and has the whole world under his sway. And that written after the Cross! Before the Cross Satan’s control almost total, he could offer the world to Jesus. But the world is about to hear some good news because the kingdom of God is near and a liberating army is at the doorstep of humanity.” From C Peter Wagner, Spreading the Fire.
2 Cor 4.4; 1 John 5.19; Eph. 2.2; Luke 4.6.
To Close Pray for the World’s Most Unreached Peoples by Name
Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.