Sermon Notes: Kindom – KDSC

Kingdom 2023

The purpose of our KDSC series every year is twofold: 

1. Set our collective hearts on God’s vision for his church and thus be the foundation of our unity as a church on mission.

2. To know and love the good news of the kingdom that is our DNA that makes everything else go. 

Vision(why?): For God’s glory, disciple the nations.

Mission (what?): Be and produce Radical followers of Jesus. 

  1. Radical followers of Jesus are John 15 disciples who live in the three relationships of John 15 and the book of Acts.
    1. God
    2. Each other
    3. The world

Strategy (how?): Radical Life – UP/IN/OUT

  1. The RL is the life of these three relationships.
    1. UP – relationship with God
    2. IN – relationship with each other
    3. OUT – relationship to the world

Tactics (granular, measurable, changeable, and vertically aligned, how?): Corporate Worship / Children / Youth / RL Groups / Local Engagement / Global Engagement 

DNA: KDSC – the spiritual blood that flows through the veins of the whole organization. 

Let’s begin with KINGDOM. Stand and Read:

Mark 1:14-15 (CSB) 14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God: 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Matthew 4:23 (CSB) 23 Now Jesus began to go all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Kingdom

We will ask five questions that will form the outline for the sermon this morning. 

  1. Why is the order of KDSC important?
  2. Why do we talk about the kingdom of God first?
  3. What is the kingdom of God? 
  4. When is the kingdom of God? 
  5. How can we apply the truth of the kingdom of God?

Why is the order of KDSC important?

  1. The order of KDSC is vital because that is how Jesus works out his ministry. 
  2. We have to begin with the kingdom because that is where Jesus begins.
    1. KDSC is the sequence and framework of the gospels and it’s the order that is worked out in Acts as captured by the inspired authors.
      1. Jesus’ preaching of the kingdom in Mark 1:14-15 and Matthew 4:23 come before disciples believe and the command is given to the church to disciple the nations 
    2. Therefore: it is K – D – S – C
      1. KDSC is the content of the gospels and it is the inspired sequence of events in the gospels. 
  3. With the kingdom of God, we understand that disciple-making is much more robust than escaping God’s wrath over our sins and going to some undefined weird consciousness concept of paradise we call heaven. (We get to be with Jesus in the intermediate state fully conscious and spend time with Jesus before our resurrection to Edenic life on a renewed heaven and earth with humanity fully restored to God’s people.) 
    1. The truth of what God has for us is better than a scaled down choice between two undefined destinations. Let’s not cheat people. Let’s tell the whole awesome story of what God is doing in the restoring and redeeming work of the kingdom.
      1. The gospel of the kingdom puts us on God’s mission, grows us into maturity as disciples who hear and obey God’s word (Matthew 7:24-27), and then leverages our created vocations and God’s created systems in God’s designed domains of society for us to preach this good news as ambassadors of Jesus, and from there Jesus builds the local church.

Why do we talk about the kingdom of God first?

  1. We talk about the kingdom of God first because it is what Jesus preached, and what the apostles and the young church preached.
    1. Jesus begins in Acts, according to Luke, instructing about the kingdom of God. 
    2. Paul ends the book of Acts, according to Luke, preaching about the kingdom fo God.
      1. Acts 28:30-31 (CSB) 30 Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house. And he welcomed all who visited him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
  2. We talk about the kingdom of God because The kingdom of God is the entire message of the gospel that forms the metanarrative of reality in which all of the creation sits.
    1. The kingdom of God is the whole story of God, who he is, what the world and mankind’s problem is, what God’s plan is, and how God executes his plan to save and transform people and restore all of creation through the person and work of Jesus Christ. 
    2. The gospel is not some truncated version of the story, the gospel is the whole story of who God is and what his ends are. 
    3. This is why Jesus began with this truth and why he calls it the gospel.
    4. How in the world did we ever get to an understanding of the gospel as salvation divorced from God’s purposes in salvation?
      1. Mark 1:14-15 (CSB) 14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God: 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
      2. Matthew 4:23 (CSB) 23 Now Jesus began to go all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
      3. The gospel of the kingdom forms the framework of an entire worldview, a metanarrative that defines reality and is the framework for interpreting everything.
        1. Creation
        2. Fall
        3. Redemption
        4. Restoration

What is the kingdom of God?

  1. “The kingdom of God is the reign of God. It is Jesus Christ, the Lord over all things in action. Wherever the will of God is being done, that’s where the kingdom is being manifested.” – Bob Roberts
  2. The only improvement I would make to Bob’s definition is adding the word “manifested” in front of “reign”.
    1. The kingdom of God is the manifested reign of God. 
    2. This is good, and it’s a good start. 
    3. Let’s ask and answer a key question underneath our question regarding what the kingdom is: When Jesus preached the kingdom of God, what would his hearers have likely thought about from their Bible training?
      1. They would have thought of the Davidic covenant and the promise that David’s throne would be established forever.
        1. The promises of Deuteronomy being lived out and coming to life on earth as in heaven. 
        2. “The central theme of Jesus’ preaching was the coming kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not God’s sovereign reign over all things, for that has never ceased; the reign Jesus announced must be that of the Davidic covenant, which will restore the reign of man over the earth under God’s greater reign (cf. Gen 1:28).” – Brian Collins, “The Davidic Covenant,” in Lexham Survey of Theology, ed. Mark Ward et al. (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018).
      2. They would have thought of Messianic prophecies about the coming king who would set all things straight as the end of history.
        1. Daniel 7:9-14
  3. So, the kingdom of God is the kingship of God manifested in his people with Jesus as the King, the new and better David, advancing his reign on earth as in heaven as the good news of his kingdom is preached, believed on, disciples made, creation brought back to order, and God’s reign put into practice by his people through the power of the Holy Spirit manifested in the establishment of the local church. 
    1. The breaking in of the kingdom of God is not God restoring his sovereignty. God never stopped being the sovereign king.
      1. Satan is not God’s co-equal so as to take from God what he can never take from God.
    2. With the breaking in of the kingdom of God, God restores back to his people their co-regency that was stolen by Satan in the garden in the rebellionl. God does this by transforming people through the gospel of the kingdom and empowering them with the Holy Spirit.
      1. Jesus transforms and empowers his people with the Holy Spirit so that we can effectively combat the dark and vindictive counter kingdom that was introduced into creation and built on deceit and lies.
        1. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (CSB) 3 For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, 4 since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments 5 and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.

When is the kingdom of God?

  1. The disciples wanted to know the answer to the question, “when?”.
    1. Acts 1:6-8 (CSB) 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
  2. The disciples were looking for Jesus to bring all things to their understanding of conclusion that fit with their timeframe (this is not evil or sin on their part, they just didn’t know.).
  3. Jesus tells them it is not for them to know all the ins and outs of the timing the Father has set.
    1. Jesus wants them to understand they have a job to do when empowered by the Holy Spirit.
  4. The best answer to the question “when?” Is to understand that we have what is called an “inaugurated eschatology”…an eschatology that has begun and will be completed at some point.
    1. The end has come in the middle of history.
      1. The coming of the Son of Man, his life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension are the climactic end of history and the fulfillment of God’s promises.
        1. Daniel 7 is believed by Jewish folks to be the end. The day of the Lord.
          1. This is one reason Jews don’t believe in Jesus. 
          2. When the Messiah comes, they believed his reign would be immediate, and it does not look very much like Messiah has come most days. 
          3. They were like the disciples wondering when their eyes would see what they believed was to be immediate. 
          4. Because it does not look like it does not mean the kingdom of God has not come. 
        2. Acts 13:32-33 reminds us that God has kept all these promises in Jesus, and now we have Jesus sending us to complete a work. 
      2. The kindom has come and is present. 
        1. Daniel 7 has been fulfilled.
        2. David’s “descendant” has received his throne. 
        3. All the power of the kingdom is available to God’s people whether it looks like it or feels like it just yet.
      3. AND the kingdom is not yet fully manifest among the nations. 
        1. Jon Tyson illustrates this point in his sermon and writing about the kingdom with the holiday, Juneteenth.
          1. Juneteenth marks the day in June of 1865 that federal troops entered Galveston, TX to let enslaved people know they had been declared free all the way back in January of 1863 by the emancipation proclamation and bring the enforcement of their freedom.  
          2. It was 2.5 years before this good news reached slaves in Texas. 
          3. They were free, but the news had not reached them, and they were still living in slavery.
            1. No one had come to tell them and enforce the realiities of the powerful news. 
          4. Good news: The enemy has been defeated.
            1. Colossians 2:13-15 (CSB) 13 And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive with him and forgave us all our trespasses. 14 He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; he triumphed over them in him.
          5. Jesus has died. Sin has been atoned for.
            1. People have freedom available to them by faith. 
            2. People have the powerful gifts of the Holy Spirit available for mission. 
            3. God’s reign has come. 
          6. But there are people who have not been told. They don’t know.
            1. Matthew 24:14
            2. The kingdom is here, and 42.5 % of the world’s population does not know. https://joshuaproject.net/ 
      4. If the end has come in the middle, when will the end-end come? When will Jesus visible and fully restored kingdom be our forever? When will the final judgment take place?
        1. Jesus does not tell us, but listen to John Frame’s words.
        2. “God could have remedied the fall in an instant, sending his Son in an accelerated time frame, bringing him to death, resurrection, ascesion, and triumphal return in a a matter of seconds. Or he might have accomplished this work in a matter of decades, allowing for a somewhat more normal kind of historical development. But instead he determined a process spread over millennia. He spent centuries narrowing the messianic line to a chosen family, bringing them into the Land of Promise, ordaining the birth of his Son in the ‘fullness of time’, accomplishing redemption in 33 more years, and sending his disciples on a journey of several thousand years to bring this good news to all the nations. Why he chose to stretch out the drama of salvation over so long a time is a mystery. The length of this time is related to other mysteries of Scripture, such as the problem of evil. We would not cry, ‘How long, O LORD?’ (Ps. 63 etc.), if God had determined to complete his purposes in an instant, and the sting of pain and suffering would be much less if God were to abbreviate his story to a few decades. But God’s decision is clear: that the history of redemption will take millennia, leaving space for dramatic movements, ups and downs, twists and turns, longings and astonishments. Salvation is to be a great epic, not a short story. God will glorify himself, not by measuring his kingdom in time spans appropriate to human kings, but by revealing himself as ‘King of the ages’ (Rev. 15:3).” – John Frame, Systematic Theology, p. 87-88. 

How can we apply the truth of the kingdom of God?

  1. Beware of false gospels. 
    1. The gospel of salvation.
      1. This gospel is only concerned with the soul and making sure they get to heaven with no concern for the present reality of mission, holiness, and the restoration of all things.
        1. As Jon Tyson says, the kingdom of God is concerned with more than getting souls into some concept of heaven the Bible never teaches.
          1. We want whole people, culture, and systems to be set right. 
    2. The gospel of social reform.
      1. This is the opposite of the gospel of salvation.
        1. This false gospel ignores the need for heart transformation in favor of only external systems in the world being made just. 
    3. The gospel of ease.
      1. This gospel has no room for joyful suffering.
        1. This gospel delays engaging in hard things becuase there is no theology of suffering that will allow for them, their kids, or their family to engage in suffering joyfully for the sake of God’s fame and their ultimate sanctification. 
        2. This gosepel isolates and insulates and chears others on, but will not allow hard things to touch them. 
    4. The gospel of prosperity.
      1. This gospel teaches that we can “personally manifest” abundance through the exercise of faith and thus never have any lack.
        1. This gospel isolates Bible verses from the gospel of the kingdom and thus the author’s intent, and puts meaning into God’s word from Satanic sources to put words in God’s mouth about their becoming rich. 
    5. The gospel of poverty.
      1. This gospel teaches that God wants us to be dirt poor, and any accumulation of wealth is pure evil.
        1. This gospel is rooted in atheistic Marx level ideology that believes God only sides with poverty and hates riches. 
  2. Be aware of an over-realized eschatology and/or an under-realized eschatology.
    1. Over-realized eschatology is seen in those folks who always seem to have a word from God or hear the Holy Spirit as clearly as you hear me right now or a supernatural healing or some kind of magical awesomeness. Their whole life is one God encounter after another.
      1. As humans who are being sanctififed, it’s easy to run off the rails with the kingdom of God and create emotionally charged “things” that are not in fact supnernatural. 
      2. We have to learn to discern good from evil and truth versus error. 
    2. Under-realized eschatology is seen in the stoic expectation that we just have to hang on until the end in cold and Holy Spirit-less perseverance until the Lord rescues us or practice some witchcraft of summoning to get the Holy Spirit to “show up”.
      1. We need to guard agasint the false idea that we are on our own and need to grind everything out in some “wait it out” scenario. 
    3. There is a tension in the already-not yet of the kingdom of God that takes Biblical knowledge, discernment, practical experience, and covenant fellowship to walk in.
      1. “When the people of God get together we can practice this by gathering expectantly with no agenda.” – Jon Tyson
        1. He is God and he is present and we are his and he can do whatever he wants to do and we are good with it. 
  3. Know God from his word and experience of God the Holy Spirit. 
    1. Jesus ascended and sent us the Holy Spirit to reveal make Father and Son’s home within us and with us, remind of us what is true, convict the world of sin, lead us into righteousness, remind people about God’s judgment, and keep us reminded on what is to come.
      1. We know these truths from John 14-16.
        1. We know the Holy Spirit from the word. 
        2. So the word and the Spirit go hand in hand!
      2. We can begin living this out as we interact with God in the pages of Scripture and as we live out our day on mission.
        1. God’s word and the work of Holy Spirit will not let you miss the kingdom of God. 
  4. Pray, fast, and seek after God’s kingdom as first priority. 
    1. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us the kingdom of God in concentrated form, and reminds us that prayer, fasting, and seeking his kingdom first are the 3 most valuable pursuits there are.
      1. If you want to taste the power of the kingdom, learn prayer and fasting NOT by reading a book, but by doing them with the Lord.
      2. Learn to seek after the reign of Jesus over your entire being first if you want the power of God at work in you.
      3. What we set out eyes on is what fills us (Matthew 6:22-24).
        1. Jesus said if it is light, our bodies will be full of light. 
        2. Jesus said if it was darkness, our bodies will be full of darkness. 
  5. Don’t let the spiritual warfare beat us up. Be aware of the spiritual conflict that is continually raging around us. 
    1. When you believe in Jesus you go from blissfully captive to being involved in a violent fight in which you are now a target.
      1. You have to be aware. 
    2. In places like western civilization that function on right and wrong and honor and shame values, we don’t experience the spirit world like places on the planet that operate on fear and power dynamics.
      1. In fear and power places, the spirit world manifests itself without covering up it’s evil. Very much like you might imagine a horror moview playing out.
        1. They want you to be afraid so they can flex their power on you. 
      2. In western civilization, that is not so much the case.
      3. The Bible says that Satan is a liar and father of lies. 
      4. Genesis 3 clearly presents him playing the fear and power dynamic. 
    3. Where we live, Satan can definitely flex fear and power, but his most prevalent methodology is through lies and values that covertly masquerade as our own thoughts, thoughts of others, advertisements and sales jobs that quietly rob and destroy over, days, weeks, months, years and millennia. 
    4. Regarding the work of Satan among us where we live, Jon Tyson says, “I’m convinced Satan dresses really well and has incredible people skills.” – Jon Tyson
      1. You need to pay attention to your thoughts and match them with God’s word or flush them and start over. 

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