Welcome to Pastor Richard's brand new teaching series; Kingdom Life - Understanding the Kingdom through the Parables of Jesus.
We are super excited to bring you weekly blogs on each part of Richard's teaching. For those familiar with these blogs, you'll know there is always a short snippet of video to watch which highlights one of the main points of this blog. And, if you'd like to hear the whole teaching, you'll need to visit one of our Home Church locations around the world. If you like to know more about our Home Churches and their locations, click here.
Matt. 4:17 - From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Luke 9:2 - And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
The Kingdom is at hand! Jesus was pretty clear that preaching, demonstrating and establishing the Kingdom of God/Heaven on earth was a main priority! It’s the central principle in the teachings of John the Baptist and Jesus. So, it's critical for us believers to understand what the Kingdom of God is.
It’s a Kingdom like no other. It’s unique. There are some similarities with our natural kingdoms on earth. The United Kingdom, for example, have a King. The King is the ruler of that kingdom. King Charles is now the ‘sovereign’ over the United Kingdom and its realm. But the difference is his rule is governed by external force, by laws. It’s governed by the threat of imprisonment and if you break the laws of that kingdom, you will suffer the consequences. Let's look at 4 principles that help us understand more about the Kingdom of God and how it differs to earthly kingdoms.
1. It’s not of this world. The Kingdom of God is different. There will come a time when ‘force’ is used. At the judgement, there will be consequences for those who reject the Lord, but for right now we live in a time where God’s power and authority is exercised in and through us voluntarily. The kingdom of God follows a different pattern to the kingdoms of this world. Jesus said it in John 18:33 - Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And then in v36 - 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.
2. It’s unseen, it’s within us. Luke 17:20-21 - And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
The same idea is seen in Romans 14:17 - For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. It’s not that God isn’t concerned with the external, He absolutely is. But He’s more concerned with the inside. God's kingdom works from the inside out. The world’s kingdoms force change from the outside in.
3. You must be Born Again. So, we’ve established that the world runs its system through outside force. But that system doesn’t change your heart. It controls your behaviour, but God wants to change your heart. He wants our minds renewed by His Word, by relationship with Him and fellowship with other believers. That, in turn, changes our conduct. In John 3:3, Nicodemus is asking how to get into the Kingdom of God. Jesus gives him the answer. Get born again! John 3:3 - 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.
4. We've been Transplanted! All who believe in Christ have been transplanted into the kingdom of God. Col. 1:13 - Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Now we are seated in heavenly places!
So, in order to prosper in the Kingdom of God, we need to learn about that kingdom. Jesus taught about His kingdom in His parables and that's where we are going to learn about the Kingdom of God in this series.
Jesus taught about;
1. The Word of the King
2. The Heart of the King
3. The Heart’s of the King’s True Servants.
This is what we are going to study as we look at Kingdom Life through the parables of Jesus. I hope you can join us again next week as we dive into the Parable of Sower - the foundational parable.
DON'T MISS THIS TEACHING CLIP FROM PASTOR RICHARD
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