New Hope Notes
Invitation To The Kingdom
Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
The Kingdom of God is mentioned 400 times in the Bible. But what is it? It is simple but revolutionary. The Disciples asked many questions about it. We do know that it is a very important subject because Jesus spoke about it at the time of His death. The Bible says, “After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3) Jesus was concerned because some of His followers were missing the Kingdom of God.
Apostle Paul was very concerned about the Kingdom as the Bible says, “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” (Acts 28:30-31)
In modern times, a kingdom is a foreign concept to us because there are not that many kingdoms in power currently. We generally do not like kingdoms because we have had terrible examples in our history of kings and dictators that have done terrible things when they have held absolute power over the people. But God is a benevolent king. He is wants to free us from the Kingdom of Darkness and bring us into the Kingdom of Light. God is freeing us and the neat thing is that Jesus is our advocate for entrance into the Kingdom of God.
It is a Kingdom that we cannot observe but it starts in our hearts. We must be near to God to receive His protection – much like standing next to a mighty king who is holding an umbrella. We need to go in the same direction that king is going in order to continue to be under His umbrella and protection. If we falter or stray we can still repent – which means change our minds back to God’s path and thinking – and He will welcome us back in. So in relation to God …
Stay NEAR and stay UNDER.
Remember, you can enter the Kingdom of God but you cannot steal it.
We are not that far from it. As the Bible says, "When Jesus
saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, 'You are not far from
the kingdom of God.' After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more
questions." (Mark 12:34)
But entrance is not gained without effort, as it is written, "As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, 'Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' And Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. "You know the commandments, "DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.'" And he said to Him, 'Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.' Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, 'One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.' But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property." (Mark 10:17-22)
So here are some tips to help you enter.
In modern times, a lot of things go from manual to automatic
like car transmissions and other technologies.
In our personal lives, things are suppose to go from automatic to manual
or intentional. When we are young, we automatically go to school and learn. As
we get older we have to choose to keep on learning or enter some kind of post
high school education. In our youth we were automatically slender. As we age we have to be intentional about
being slim or it will not happen. Growth in Christ has to be intentional, too.
Basically death is automatic.
Remember, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." (Matt. 7:21) So why do we stray from the Lord? “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
2. Be willing to PAY the PRICE in order to enter the Kingdom.
Jesus even said, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20) Salvation is free but everything else after has a cost. Even if it costs you an eye – "If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than having two eyes, to be cast into hell." (Mark 9:47)
Many struggle with the costs but we have to struggle because it makes us strong. Remember, He is a benevolent God so …
3. TRUST God to provide in ways that will make you RICH toward God.
I know people that have plenty of money but are poor in their marriages and relationships.
you enter the Kingdom of God,
He will help you to be rich but it may not be financially.
But God is a rewarder. As the Bible says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
So what if you have to leave behind a whole lot in order to enter the Kingdom? Jesus answered, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters, mother or father, or farms for My sake and for the Gospel's sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in this present age, houses and brothers and sisters, mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions, and in the age to come, eternal life." (Mark 10:29-30)
God will reward you. It may not be in material wealth but your soul, conscience and relationships will be pure. When you understand the Kingdom of God, you will love being a people of the Kingdom.
1. Where is the Kingdom of God?
2. What is the Kingdom of God?
3. Where do you have to be to get into the Kingdom?
4. What is the entrance fee to the Kingdom?
5. Who do you have to trust?