Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Niko Prajogo, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 10 February 2019.
The Kingdom of God
The word “kingdom” has different meanings in the Old and the New Testaments. In the Old Testament it is written in Hebrew (Mamlakah) and it means Kingdom or Governance. In the New Testament, it is written in Greek (Basilea) and its meaning is power or sovereignty of a king. Kingdom speaks about the king’s dominion. If we refer to Jesus as Lord, it means that He is Sovereign over our lives.
In other words, in the Kingdom of God, God rules as a King and is Sovereign in everything. God created the earth/world for mankind to experience His Kingdom. As children of God, we are part of His Kingdom. We need a new way of life to follow the way of God’s Kingdom.
In the Bible, the Kingdom of God = the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of God is mentioned 31 times in Luke and the Kingdom of Heaven 34 times. Matthew was written for the Jewish people and therefore, there was less emphasis on the word “God” (Yahweh) as they try not to use it out of reverence for God.
What is the Kingdom of
Heaven all about?
1. Heaven – Eternal place prepared for His people
The Lord has established His throne in Heaven and His Kingdom rules over all (Psalm 103:19). The Kingdom is unshakable and will never be defeated. In Isaiah 66:1, the Lord said, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?”
In Matthew 19:23-24, Jesus told His disciples, that it was easier for a camel to enter the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. The eye of the needle refers to a very narrow opening beside the main gate through which people enter during the night after the main gate was closed. It is so small that they had to crawl through it. For a camel to enter it, the camel
i. needs the burden unloaded (remove our pride)
ii. needs to kneel down (humble)
iii. needs to be pushed (We need God’s grace to go through.)
2. The very presence of Jesus Himself with power and authority over sin, death and hell
In Matthew 3:2, John the Baptist declared, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
We need to have faith in order to experience a breakthrough. In Mark 10:15, Jesus tells us that we need to receive the Kingdom of God as little children in order to enter it. Why it is so? It is because children have obedience, trust and love towards their parents. We should have a child-like faith to love, trust and obey God. It is not easy but the more we know God, the more we will love Him, trust Him and obey His voice.
3. Heaven on earth - it attributes Heavenly power and His truth
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3). The more we rely on God, the more we find His presence in our life. Jesus taught us that the Kingdom of God is in the midst of us (see Luke 17: 20-21). As we walk with God, His Kingdom is within us. We are the ambassadors of God, and wherever we go we represent His Kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20). As ambassadors, people around us take note of whatever we do and say. It will definitely glorify God if someone sees how we live and decides to give their life to Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
There is a saying by Myles Monroe that, “The earth is the colony of the Kingdom of God.” Colony is an extension of a kingdom. For example, Australia is a former colony of the British Empire and there is still some British influence in the country (currency with Queen Elizabeth on the note).
As ambassadors of Jesus Christ, we need to bring God’s culture to the world and that the world may know Jesus through us. All of us have assignments on earth, let us finish our assignment well to establish the Kingdom of God by bringing an impact to our family, community and nation.