Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The Kingdom of God

 Scripture:  Mark 1 v 14 - 18: "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
16  Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
17  And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
18  And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him."

Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God saying the at the time is fulfilled.  What time was He referring to?  He was telling Israel that being subject to the Law of Moses had now run its course and His Kingdom was present with Him to bring about grace and forgiveness.

Until He met the woman at the well in Samaria, His message and miracles were to the Jews only.  She was the first Gentile believer.  His message to the Jews was bringing mostly the poor and oppressed people to follow Him.  He was causing a lot of controversy among the religious Pharisees and Sadducees.

They were trying to keep the peace with the Romans who ruled with an iron fist.  It involved much compromise, giving them an easy path and bringing hardship to the average citizens of the land.  So having Jesus bringing a whole new kingdom into this scenario was totally unacceptable.  Rather the devil you know.....

Jesus was well aware of their tactics and called them very insulting names, and used parables to teach the people about His Kingdom.  Wherever He went people were healed and delivered of demons.  His fame grew and so did the crowds.

John 18 v 36 - 37: "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
37  Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."

At His trial before Pilate He spoke plainly that where He came from was not of this world.  He told Pilate that He was a King and was born here on Earth to bring truth.  His truth singled out those who hear His voice.

There are different ways of hearing His voice.  The best is when we hear Him speaking into our hearts giving us encouragement, love, discipline, direction, rebuke or advanced knowledge of future events.

He speaks through scripture.  The more we know our Bibles and understand His words, the more we get to know Him, the more we receive from Him.  We know that we have to born into His Kingdom.  It's called being born again.  In John 3 v 3: "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

We cannot see, perceive, understand or be part of the Kingdom of God, or go there when we die, if we are not born again.  Jesus has spoken and the words written down for all generations to heed.

When the Romans changed the foundation of Christianity to intermingle it with other religions, not only the predominance of the Babylonian religion but wherever they conquered they incorporated the national religion with Christianity to form a Catholic religion.  It comes from a Greek word meaning "on the whole" or "in general".  So the Roman Catholic Church means that they will adhere to the Bible in general but add their own spin when it suits them.

This is how cults start and generally get worse the longer they continue.  They are not part of the Kingdom of God but proclaim they are the only way to God and all other ways are false.  Jesus Christ, King of the Jews, King of Heaven, whose kingdom is not of this world said in John 14 v 6: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

If we know Jesus we believe Him and know Him as one who never lies, then these words are absolutely true. He came to rescue us and show us the way home.  When we are born again we become citizens of His Kingdom, we are a New Creation, we are being changed into His likeness, we are His Body, we have everlasting life.  This is the good news of Jesus, the gospel of the Kingdom.

If our church is not teaching us this truth we must find it for ourselves.  We must not compromise what is written in the Bible for that is the unvarnished truth and whenever we try to twist it to suit ourselves we risk embarking on a fools errand that ends in sorrow for eternity.

We have a choice follow Jesus to the fullest possible way, in belief, hope, truth and righteousness to live eternally in His Kingdom of love, peace and joy.  Or our free will given by Jesus our Creator, is used to reject Him and follow a false religion or be an atheist.  This brings such a one into the Second Death which is eternal separation from God.  There is no grey area.  This is an absolute and there are no exceptions, no excuses, no extenuating circumstances.

I hear a question.......what if people have never heard about Jesus?  That's up to us, actually, as that is the task we are given.   There is a lovely chorus...."Go tell everyone the news that the Kingdom of God has come."  If we love Jesus we will do our best to tell the unsaved the good news.  Whether they ridicule, mock, reject us or persecute us, we tell them anyway.  There are many who listen and some of those believe it.

The best way to promote the Kingdom of God is to make Jesus real.  Share our own testimony of what Jesus has changed in us since we knew Him.  These blogs are written in love for Jesus after being born again in 1974 and the extraordinary spiritual life He has given me.  

He is a Friend like no other.  He is more real than anyone I have ever met.  He totally changed my life and threw me in the deep end where I learned to flow in the Spirit more and more each day.  He has provided for every need from then till now.  He uses many ways of communication with me, always innovative.  He initiates everything I do for Him, so I am usually out in the middle of it before I am aware of something wonderful happening.  He gets all the glory because I am just a vessel and all I do is make myself available and am willing to do whatever He wants.  It's a very exciting life!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, may our Kingdom come and Your will be done in Heaven and on Earth.  Lord there are many who need to know about Your Kingdom, there are many who need to be raised up to tell them.  It's not by might, its not by power but by Your Spirit that things get done.  Send us the power of the Holy Spirit to evangelize the world, and turn it upside down for Jesus.  In Jesus' name. Amen.