Room in Godís Kingdom

 

Today there are many groups and organizations that you could be part of today, however many of these groups put on limit on who can join. Some will only allow men while other will only allow women. Some groups discriminate against your race and will only allow their particular race to be included and the list can go on and on. However when it comes to Godís Kingdom we find out that any person whether they be male, female, rich, poor and no matter what race they may be they can all be apart of Godís Kingdom if they are willing to submit themselves to God truth and righteousness.

 

Now before Godís kingdom came into existence Jesus was teaching his disciples many parables about the kingdom and just how big it would become. For example lets take a look at the parable of the Mustard Seed.

 

Matthew 13:31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,32 "which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."

 

Jesus wanted his disciples to understand that the kingdom would start out small however just like the mustard seed the kingdom would grow into something very big. Now one thing we need to understand is that this little bitty speck of a seed would grow into massive tree like plant that would reach up 12 to 15 feet in height. This was common knowledge to the first century Christian so they could really visual this parallel that Jesus was making in regards to size and greatness of the coming kingdom.

 

So this morning we are going to be looking at things that have to do with room in Gods kingdom.

 

1. The first thing I want to point out about Godís Kingdom is a Greek word called oikos.

 

The Greek word is usually translated at house. Lets take a look at how it is used in:

 

Matthew 12:3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him:4 "how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?

 

In this instance Jesus is referring to the OT tabernacle as being the house of God. This of course was physical place where the priest resided under the OT system. However we learn from Heb. 10 that the OT house of God along with its animal sacrifices and Levitical priesthood was done away with by the death of Jesus Christ. Lets take a look at few of these verses that bares this out.

 

 

Hebrews 10:5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.7 Then I said, 'Behold, I have come -- In the volume of the book it is written of Me -- To do Your will, O God.' "8 Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the law),9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second.10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 

 

Hebrews 10:16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,"17 then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,

 

 

You see under the Old covenant the physical nation of Israel was God house but now under the new covenant the church of Jesus Christ is the new spiritual house of God. We can see that Gods kingdom or church is called the house of God in.

 

1 Timothy 3:15I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

 

We also learn from Heb. 10 that Jesus is now our high priest and Peter teaches us that every person that is in Jesus spiritual house makes up a holy priesthood.

 

1 Peter 2:3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

 

Unlike the physical house ofGod under OT today you and I make up the spiritual house of God and we are priest within his kingdom. Paul also teaches us in Gal. 3:29, 6:14-16 that those who are found in Christ through an obedient faith are considered to be the seed of Abraham and the new spiritual Israel.

 

2. The second thing we learn about Godís Kingdom is that there is room for all that will obey his commandments.

 

This being the case you will find a great diversity of people within in Godís kingdom. Every race and gender can be a part of Gods kingdom. You will find those who are babes in Christ all the way down the line to those who a spiritual mature but one thing that we learn is that God does not show any partiality.

 

Romans 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.

 

God does not view one person better than another based on the ethnic background or their physical appearance no he looks at their heart.

 

1 Samuel 16:7 For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

 

When we become apart of Godís Kingdom we must do our best to think like God. Notice Paulís words to Timothy.

 

1 Timothy 5:21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.

 

So, as Christians in Godís kingdom we must learn not to show partiality especially based one a person outward appearance. We have come a long way in this country on accepting different races but some in the world and even some who call themselves Christians struggle with accepting and treating others different than themselves without partiality. In the first century the blind, maimed, and the poor were avoided but Jesus being our master example spent a great deal of his time reaching to those who were rejected by society. We must learn to follow in Jesus footsteps and a see person a soul for God and not as an inferior being.

 

Now when Christians are allowing Godís word to be their guide you are going to find a church that in unified in word and deed. As we work to maintain our unity with one another we must recognize the fact that some Christians are spiritual weak and may do foolish things so this means we must learn to work together and through loving attitude correct one another and build one another up. Paul gives a great description of what should be found in the kingdom of God.

 

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

 

Now we are not always going to agree with one another every aspect of our lives but one thing we do learn is that a Christian in Godís kingdom that is doing their best to follow in Jesus footsteps is going learn to love their brother or sister in Christ despite their differences of opinions and if they find someone who is sinning they will find a kind and humble way to lead them back to the right path.

 

3. Another thing we learn about God kingdom is that there is always room for workers.

 

There is always more work to be done in Godís Kingdom than there are workers. Jesus said,

 

Matthew 9:37 "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.38 "Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."

 

This saying is true today because in Godís Kingdom you will find some who are workers and you will find some who slackers but this should not be the case. Paul writes in,

 

Galatians 6:5 For each one shall bear his own load.

 

Paul is telling us that ever Christians has there own individual responsibility for being a worker for the Lord. We cannot rely upon someone to do our work for us. I can encourage a person to worship God faithfully but I cannot worship for them. I encourage them to let their light shine but I cannot shine it for them. I can encourage a person to study their Bible and to teach others but I can not study it for them nor do their teaching for them. We need to realize that when we became a Christian we signed up for life time of servitude and when the day of judgment comes we will judged on what we did as individuals and not for what someone else did for us.

 

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

 

You see the works that we do for the lord is a reflection of faith in God. The less we are willing to do for God the less our faith is in God. The more we Love God the stronger our faith will be which will motivate us to more works for God. We need to remember the word of Jesus in,

 

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

The word of God stresses the responsibility of the individual Christian over and over again. Paul writing to the Christian at Philippi say this,

 

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

 

Jesus also taught individual responsibility many times.

 

John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;

 

Also in Jesusí parable of the 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins he makes very clear that each person is responsible for their own actions. When 5 foolish virgins came unprepared they tried to borrow oil from the 5 wise virgins. But notice their response,

 

Matthew 25:9 "But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'10 "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

 

The wise virgins lets the foolish virgins know that they are going to have to get their own oil for themselves. But because they were slackers they were to late and they we shut out. The same thing is going to happen to Christians who neglect their responsibilities and the door of heaven be shut forever.

 

We must be careful that we do not allow our busy lifestyles to keep us from putting Gods kingdom first in our lives. Jesus clearly tells us,

 

Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness Ö

 

So as you can see there is plenty of room in Godís Kingdom for workers.

 

4. Now we cannot leave this topic of Godís Kingdom without talking about how we become a part of it?

 

Well the first think I want to point out is that in the NT the terms kingdom, church, and the body of Christ are used synonymously and we can clearly see that one must be in the body of Christ to be saved.

 

Ephesians 5:23 Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. ††

Acts 2:47 And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

 

So if we want to be saved if we want to make it to heaven we must figure out how to get into the kingdom of God. In John chapter 3 Nicodemus a Pharisee had heard about Jesus and he went secretly by night to Jesus. Notice what Jesus says to him.

 

John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

 

Jesus teaches us that we must be born again in order to enter Godís kingdom but before we can be born again we must first be begotten. This is what Paul tells us in,

 

1 Corinthians 4:15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

 

The gospel is the word of God and Jesus says the word of God is the seed of the Kingdom in Luke 8:11. Paul adds this,

 

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

 

Once a person hears the word of God with an open heart they will believe and this will cause them to want to obey the gospel which leads them to be born again so they can enter into Godís kingdom. Notice what Peter says about this in:

 

1 Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,24 because "All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away,25 But the word of the LORD endures forever." Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

 

So you see in order to enter God kingdom you must follow Gods word which was brought forth by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Now the word of God is very clear on what a person must to do to enter Godís kingdom where you will be saved. For instance Jesus tells us,

 

John 8:24if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

Luke 13:5†† 5 "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

Matthew 10:32 " Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.33 "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

 

Now many in the religious world will stop right here and say this all that you have to do to be saved but that not what the Word of God teaches. There is still one more thing a person must do in order to be saved and enter into the kingdom of God. Remember Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born of water and the spirit to enter the kingdom of God. The new birth consist of obeying what the spirit says about salvation and this term being born or water is talking about water baptism. This is why Jesus tells his disciples,

 

Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

 

Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be savedÖ

 

Jesus message is simple and his disciples understood it clearly because from the birth of the church in Acts 2 and beyond you see that Jesus disciples taught this message over and over again and baptized thousand and thousands of people into Godís kingdom.

 

Now I will tell many in the religious world baptize people but they donít baptize them for the right reason. Many times they simple baptize them to make them a member of their denomination or sometimes they simply baptism them saying that baptism is just a symbolic of them already being saved but again the Bible doesnít teach this it all. Paul makes it very clear in Eph 4:4 that this only body which means there is only one church. So getting baptized for purpose of becoming a member of a denomination is something different than being baptized into the one body that belongs to Christ. Again Paul this very clear in,

 

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

 

So in order to be saved and to enter into Gods kingdom described as that one bodyyou must be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins. If you did it for some other reason then you have never been added to that one church by God. If you discovered this morning that you are not a part of God kingdom why not make today the day of your salvation because there is plenty of room in Godís kingdom and he will accept everyone that comes to him again notice what Paul says in,

 

Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.