Dwight Fletcher | Understanding the Kingdom of God
Last week we asked and answered the question, ‘What is the Kingdom of God?’ This week we will begin to discuss the building blocks of it to help us understand it. The first elements are:
1. COMPRISED OF BORN-AGAIN BELIEVERS
“I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a person is born again [reborn from above — spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 (AMP). According to Jesus’ definition, this kingdom is exclusive to only those who follow Him and take upon themselves the rule of God. In this context, we can understand what Matthew 7:21 (NIV) is saying … “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
To be saved into God’s kingdom is to embrace God’s comprehensive rule over every aspect of life. This is not merely ‘asking Jesus into my heart’. It means accepting that I will now live a new life, have a new identity, and be a part of a new kingdom.
2. A MESSAGE THAT LIBERATES PEOPLE
The message we share should alleviate people’s burden, not aggravate them. That’s why it is called “the good news of the kingdom of God”. It is more than just getting a pass into heaven. Entering into this Kingdom brings us into a new reality and significant life change here on earth. “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…” Colossians 1:13 (NIV).
The kingdom of God provides a holistic understanding of salvation, including not only what we are saved from, but also what we are saved for:
• From death and for life.
• From shame and for glory.
• From slavery and for freedom.
• From sin and for following our Saviour
• From the kingdom of darkness and for the kingdom of light.
3. A SOURCE OF TRUE HAPPINESS IN THIS LIFE
When we start to understand the message of the Kingdom and walk in the truth of God, we will begin to have peace, joy and hope in our lives. This life seems to come at us with all types of problems, disappointments, discouragement, and, as Jamaicans say, “crosses”. But God’s Kingdom teaches us how to cancel these negative effects. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17 (NIV).
God desires to bring restoration to every one of His good plans for us that the enemy corrupted or destroyed. Some of us have lost so much we can’t think of a time when things felt whole or complete. God wants to restore us. He wants to heal the broken hearts and the sick and pained places in our souls. The Kingdom of God provides that place of healing.
God wants to bring us back to a place where we can laugh again, as we learn to do the right things in the sight of God. We often undervalue the power of obeying God, but, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (NIV). It is not in the truth we know but in the truth we obey that allows the blessings and the promises of God to come alive in our lives.
Begin your journey towards that freedom today and join us next week when we will learn about the other building blocks of the Kingdom.