The King of what kingdom?
"An earthly kingdom cannot exist without inequality of persons. Some must be free, some serfs, some rulers, some subjects."
- Martin Luther
True in the kingdom of earth, but what about the kingdom of God?
Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like?
What shall I compare it to?
It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”
What is the kingdom of God like?
Man plants seed in his Garden
God co-creates with man.
The Kingdom of God…
1. initiates co-creation with God.
People are a catalyst for the kingdom of God.
One of the key ingredients in “being created in the image of God.”
God had Adam create names for the animals.
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
Review: initiates people to co-create with God.
Next: Then the seed becomes a large tree.
26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
2. does not grow based on human effort.
Without God, man cannot produce life.
Tree becomes large enough for the birds to perch in its branches
Birds - are sometimes good (as seen here) and sometimes bad.
4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up…
15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
Birds are neutral.
Sowing is neutral.
It seems that motive (the heart) determines the fruit on the tree.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:7-9 (X2)
Sowing lust or greed today might reap adultery or theft in 10 years.
Example: James MacDonald’s demise. The alcoholic drinking again.
Application: What kind of seed are you planting?
20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to?
21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
At that time, it’s an illustration for a man (farm) and one for a woman (kitchen).
IN VOLUME: 60 pounds of flour (Dough)
3. works its way through people.
“I am not where I want to be, but I am not where I was.” (a good sign)
Application: Be patient with the process of sanctification in your life.
“…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8b
…like the seed, the yeast is also neutral.
“Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees…” (gossip, greed, deception)
also works its way all the way through, hence Jesus’s example of it.
(2 steps forward, 1 step back)
4. progresses slowly, but with total certainly.
2 opposing views of the world among Christians today:
- The world is black, awful and getting worse by the second, the enemy is winning and we are just waiting for Jesus to come back.
- Believers are strong and positive. No need to bring up anything negative, always paint everything in a positive light. The world is improving and getting better because of the influence of Christianity.
Example: (Colin Smith) the story of the 3 bears, the porridge and these views.
Too hot, too cold, and just right.
It might seem to take a step back, but it advances with 100% certainty.
There is one thing missing here in all this.
There is no kingdom without a King!
5. is not entered without obedience to its King.
If you don't enter the kingdom of heaven by God's way,
you cannot enter at all.
~ Dwight L. Moody
Talking of the kingdom of God and about the way it comes and what it’s like without the cross…
Self-Help comes from the KINGDOM OF HUMANITY:
The kingdom where I am the king. Self-worship.
…it is self-propelled, fear driven, fickle, fallible, bankrupt, self-righteous and conditional.
Without acknowledging personal sin, the need of forgiveness, repentance, it might be a kingdom, but it’s not the kingdom of God.
any other “kingdom of god” that leaves out SIN, REPENTANCE, FORGIVENESS, and LORDSHIP but by the blood of Jesus is another kingdom.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit…”
the kingdom of God starts with personal bankruptcy.
…for theirs is the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:2