There is one concept that seems to be the focal point of all that Jesus did and taught. The "Kingdom of heaven" or "Kingdom of God" is at the very heart of all Jesus did and said. In fact, you could say that His teaching was the proclamation and His actions or works were the doing or demonstration of the Kingdom of God. I shall use the term Kingdom of God to refer to the both of these kingdoms.
(Art bWilliamam Hallmark) http:Christianan-art.biz/ID23faithfulandtrue.htm
When we read the Gospels and the New Testament, we
repeatedly see the terms "Kingdom of Heaven" used 32 times in
Matthew and "Kingdom of God" used 70 times from Matthew to II Thessalonians. This concept, more than any other, depicts the impact and purpose of Jesus coming. The Jewish people longed for Messiah to come and to restore Israel as an independent state with God ruling over His people.
Throughout the period between the Old and New Testaments leaders rose up who had as their primary purpose to see Israel a free nation again. God, however, had another plan. This plan was revealed in the Old Testament, but its true meaning was hidden from most. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. In Acts 28:23-30 Paul teaches about the Kingdom of God and Jesus from the five books of Moses and the prophets. We know that the Old Testament law, sacrifices, and prophecies are but a shadow of what Jesus the Messiah (or the Christ) came to do and teach.
This Kingdom of God that Jesus came to proclaim was not what many expected, an earthly Kingdom; it was instead the completion or fulfillment of what they expected, and because of this, it was even greater than their expectations. Lets look at few key verses in order to understand more about this Kingdom of God.
1. In Mk 1:15 we see Jesus telling us the time is fulfilled (there is no more waiting needed); the kingdom of God is near; turn from your sins and believe the good news (Gospel).
2. In I Cor. 15:50 Paul tells those to whom he is writing that flesh and blood cannot inherit this kingdom because the flesh does not last forever.
3. In Acts 28:23-30 it says that if the people hear and obey the good news, they would be cured or mended by God. He would cause them to be well again. This would be healing for the whole person; this would include the body, the soul, and the spirit.
"The Gospel is more than asbestos underwear for the soul." It is about the restoration and freedom of people under the rule or reign of God as their savior and king or lord.
The Kingdom of God as made evident in the New Testament is a Kingdom of people being movedthey th Holy Spirit of God. If we are to havtrulyuely New Testament Church that can once again turn the world upside down and reach this generation with Gomessagesgae of life, it must be one in the power of the Spirit. The people of this generation want more than nice people with a form of religion just as those in the New testament did.
2 Tim 3:4-5 ...rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! NKJV
Is this the reason why people are turning away from churches in growing numbers.
Will you join me in asking God to give us Spirit powered Churches and leaders who will never be the same because of their own encounters with God so that this generation can taste and see that Lord is good and they can discover Him in all His splendor, majesty and be in awe that He chooses to work through and with us?
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