When visiting your local Christian bookstore, you are confronted with shelves that are littered with books and sermons focussing on such a varied list of topics. From personal spiritual development to church planting and from theology to financial success. Many of the books are written by preachers who transcribed many of their sermons into a paperback format. While most have their place, we should take note of what the Lord Jesus preached, as well as his disciples.
Jesus preached the good news of the Kingdom of God, and that it was not only near but was ‘at hand’. In other words, Jesus was proclaiming that he had come to establish this Kingdom right then and there. Despite the expectations of the people of Israel at that time, Jesus was not creating a military or political state that would banish the Roman occupiers but instead he came to create a spiritual Kingdom in the hearts and minds of the people. This is the Church!
Paul declared that ‘..the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Rom 14:17. It is not physical but a spiritual Kingdom that continues to this day and is indeed an ‘everlasting Kingdom.’ Not unlike an earthly Kingdom, the Kingdom of God is ruled by the King – who determines the laws, principles and benefits of the Kingdom. Therefore as citizens of the God’s Kingdom, we are to adhere and adjust our lives to conform to the King’s ways and expectations aligning ourselves to his Word. We are in the world but we are not of the world because we are of the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is all-encompassing: We are born into the Kingdom (John 3:3-16), we are to seek first the Kingdom of God (Matt 6:33), the Kingdom of God is now (Mark 1:15), the Kingdom of God is within (Luke 17:21), the Kingdom of God brings healing (Luke 9:11), it is what we preach (Luke 16:16) and it is for little children (Luke 18:16).
This year, we invite you to live together in God’s Kingdom, following his Word, in fellowship with God’s Spirit and his people and Let us extend and establish this Kingdom in the lives of everyone we can reach.
This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.