The Kingdom (continued)

Mark chapter 1 verse 15  Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”


In the previous point2ponder we briefly looked at the ‘kingdom.’  The kingdom depicts the reign and rule of God.  It is both here and now and will be fully completed at some future time.


Mark chapter 10 verses 14 & 15:-  But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”


We can debate what Jesus means here but in essence He is saying that one must receive the kingdom in a child like manner.  The kingdom is also something we receive; we do not create it; we do not bring or usher it in: we simply receive and enter into it.  Jesus (God incarnate) ushered the kingdom in some 2000 years ago and He is coming back at some time in the future to fully establish it.  He is doing it not His followers.  Whatever you think about what our part in the kingdom actually is we don’t initiate, produce or create it we receive and enter into it.


Matthew chapter 13 verses 1-52 gives some explanation of the kingdom.  Verses 31 & 32 likens it to a small mustard seed which eventually grows big enough for birds to come and nest in.  Jesus sowed the seed and the kingdom has been growing ever since.  Eventually from that small start (the seed in the soil) the kingdom will be fully revealed.


Matthew chapter 13 verses 31 & 32:-  He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.  It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”


We stated last time that the kingdom being here and now manifest itself in the person of Jesus Christ and His deeds.  The public and visible healings, miracles and casting out demons were signs as to who Jesus was.  This is where the ‘rubber hits the road’.  Many people today especially in the Western World find it difficult if not impossible to believe in the miracles of Jesus.  They are looked upon as symbolic references akin to myths.  A lot of modern day scholars who believe that Jesus was indeed someone who stood out from the crowd; also believe that He must have used conjuring tricks and psychosomatic techniques to effect some of the healings and miracles.  If you remove the miraculous from the message of Jesus then you also nullify His proclamation of the kingdom.  Jesus’s miraculous works are an integral part of His message regarding the kingdom.  Take away the miracles and you are left with little basis on which to believe His words.  That’s why we are to receive and enter into the kingdom in a child like manner.  We adults need to accept the truth of what Jesus is saying just as children accept that their parents give them instruction for their own good.  It’s called faith.


Hebrews chapter 11 verses 1 & 2:-  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not yet seen.  For by it the people of old received their commendation.


Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 & 9:-  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.


Christ Jesus is who He claimed to be or He is the greatest deceiver the world has ever seen.  C.S. Lewis wrote in the Modern Review 1941:-

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.  He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the Devil of Hell.  You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.  You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.  But let us not come up with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  He has not left that option open to us.  He did not intend to.”      

The choice is yours to make.


Jesus gave a list but by no means an extensive list of the attributes needed to enter the kingdom in Matthew chapter 5 verses 2-12:-

Matthew chapter 5 verses 2-12:-  And He (Jesus) opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


The Gospel (Good News) is if you fail to make the grade in any part of this list like I and everyone else did and still do:  Jesus was crucified on the cross, died, was buried and rose from the grave three days later.  He did this to pay the penalty for those who fell short of the grade.  Have faith, trust He is indeed the Lord God Almighty.  Repent (turn away) from your wrong doings.  Ask Jesus to come into your life tell a Christian what you have done and get baptised.  Then live your life in obedience to Christ’s ways. 


John chapter 3 verses 16 & 17:-  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John chapter 14 verse 6:-  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


As stated previously it is entirely your choice whether to receive and enter the kingdom.  It is exclusive as John chapter 14 verse 6 claims, in other words all roads do not lead to God.  The kingdom is God’s kingdom and sadly not everyone will choose to enter it. 

All Bible verses taken from the English Standard Version