The Kingdom of Heaven
The passage’s “purpose is to strengthen the faith, hope and resolution of the church as it faces its ultimate trial.”
The Kingdom of Heaven IS NOT a place where Christians float around on clouds in the sky.
The Kingdom of Heaven IS NOT a place in which you and I get to be chunky babies with undersized wings.
The Kingdom of Heaven IS NOT up there and out there somewhere.
The Kingdom of Heaven IS NOT a place where Christians gather for an all day, every day, forever worship service consisting of contemporary Christian music (it’s not One Day, all day, everyday).
The Kingdom of Heaven IS a new and sinless earth, created in the fashion of the beginning prior to the fall (not over a long period of time, see Revelation 20), where God himself will be among us and he will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death will be no more, and there will be no crying or mourning, and there will be no pain because the former things will have passed away!
The Kingdom of Heaven IS where the church will forever drink fully from the well of the Holy Spirit (water of life).
The Kingdom of Heaven IS NOT where those whose treasure was in the inferior will be.
The Kingdom of Heaven IS where the church will enjoy the full presence of the Triune God forever.
The Kingdom of Heaven IS the place where Kings and nations will dwell in perfect peace and bring what is the Lords into his capital.
1. Kingdom of Heaven: Place for those who do Father’s work
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
(Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)
A. There is a distinction between doing spiritual works and doing the Father’s plan with
2. Kingdom of Heaven: Place for people from all nations
I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
(Matthew 8:11-13 ESV)
3. Kingdom of Heaven: Place where those who belong to Jesus are gathered to him
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
(Matthew 13:24-30 ESV)
4. Kingdom of Heaven: Place for those whose treasure is NOT in this life
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
(Matthew 13:44-46 ESV)
5. Kingdom of Heaven: Place for the trained
“Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
(Matthew 13:51; Matthew 13:52 ESV)
6. Kingdom of Heaven: Place for the forgiver
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
(Matthew 18:21-35 ESV)
7. The Kingdom of Heaven: Place for the wise
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
(Matthew 25:1-13 ESV)
8. The Kingdom of Heaven: Place where faithfulness is rewarded with more work and faithlessness is banished
“For it (it = KOH from the previous section) will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
(Matthew 25:14-30 ESV)
1. Be there, don’t miss it
2. Train for the full Kingdom now
A. Church Life (community, Kingdom work)
3. Don’t get down in the fight here, look up and be encouraged
4. Don’t stop now, keep plodding!
Outline for Study
I. John’s Vision of the New Jerusalem (21:1–8)
A. What he sees (21:1–2)
1. A new heaven and earth (20:1)
2. The Holy City descending from heaven (20:2)
B. What he hears (21:3–8)
1. The words of the angel (21:3–4)
a. He says God himself will mingle among his people (21:3) .
b. He says God himself will minister to his people (21:4) .
2. The words of the Almighty (21:5–8)
a. He will be the Father to all the saved (21:5–7).
b. He will be the foe to all the unsaved (21:8) : They will be cast into the lake of fire.
II. John’s Visit to the New Jerusalem (21:9–27): The apostle records the following facts.
A. John describes what he sees (21:9–18, 19–21, 26).
1. The city itself (21:9–11, 18b): It is filled with God’s glory and shines like a precious jewel and pure gold.
2. The gates and walls (21:12–14, 18a, 21a)
a. The gates (21:12b–13, 21a): There are twelve gates, each made of solid pearl, guarded by twelve angels. The names of the twelve tribes of Israel are written on the gates.
b. The walls (21:12a, 14, 18a): The walls are made of jasper, supported by twelve foundations, on which are written the names of the twelve apostles.
2. The size and dimensions (21:15–17)
a. The city measures 1,400 miles long by 1,400 miles wide by 1,400 miles high (21:15–16).
b. The walls are two hundred feet thick (21:17) .
3. The foundations (21:19–20): Each of the twelve foundations is inlaid with a different precious jewel.
4. The street (21:21b): It is made of pure gold, like transparent glass.
5. The worship (21:26) : All nations bring their glory and honor to the temple.
B. John describes what he does not see (21:22–25, 27).
1. There is no Temple there (21:22) .
2. There is no need of the sun (21:23–24).
3. There are no closed gates (21:25) .
4. There is no impurity or evil (21:27).
I. Facts about the City (22:1–2, 3a–3b, 5a, 14, 17)
A. Its river of life (22:1–2a)
B. Its tree of life (22:2b, 14)
C. Its throne (22:3b)
D. Its purity (22:3a)
E. Its divine light (22:5a)
F. Its invitation to enter (22:17)