Already but Not Yet

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Matthew 6:33 ESV
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
You hear the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven talked about.
Do you know what it is?
Can you define it?
Do you know what the Bible says about it?
It was is a popular topic in the New Testament.
The gospels mention it over 120 times.
Over 30 in the rest of the NT.
Let me set the expectation.
This week is theology / teaching
TONS of Bible verses.
July is a practical side of this you probably haven’t thought about.

1. What Jesus said about the Kingdom.

(1)A. Jesus started His earthly ministry talking about it.

Mark 1:14–15 ESV
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

(1)B. Jesus finished His earthly ministry talking about it.

Acts 1:3 ESV
3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

(1)C. Jesus included the Kingdom when sharing the gospel.

Matthew 4:23 ESV
23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
Luke 4:43 ESV
43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

(1)D. Jesus sent the disciples to preach the gospel that included the Kingdom.

Luke 9:1–2 ESV
1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
Luke 9:59–60 ESV
59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

2. What Paul said about the Kingdom.

(2)A. He persuaded Jews in the Synagogues.

Acts 19:8 ESV
8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.

(2)B. He taught the Kingdom to churches.

Speaking to the elders in Ephesus...
Acts 20:25 ESV
25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.
1 Thessalonians 2:12 ESV
12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

Questions we should be asking!

What is this Kingdom Jesus and Paul were so focused on?
Is this Kingdom literal or are were they using imagery?
Is this Kingdom here now or is it coming in the future?
Should I be as concerned as Jesus and Paul about the Kingdom?
Do I preach the Kingdom or some other gospel when I share the gospel and does it matter?

3. What is the Kingdom of God?

(3)A. A kingdom is everything that is under a king’s control.

Psalm 103:19 ESV
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
This is in a sense a “general” kingdom.
Jesus said all authority had been given to Him.
Matthew 28:18 ESV
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
This is a statement about who Christ is and who God is.
He is king.
He is king over the entire universe.
The universe He created.
Hebrews 1:2 ESV
2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
1 John 5:19 ESV
19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV
4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Colossians 1:13 ESV
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
There is a kingdom of darkness that controls this world.
So then, what is this Kingdom?

(3)B. The Kingdom of God is spiritual.

Luke 17:20–21 ESV
20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
We can’t see the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is among you.
John 18:36 ESV
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
No force would be needed for a takeover.

(3)C. The Kingdom of God is coming.

Isaiah 2:4 ESV
4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
2 Peter 1:10–11 ESV
10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:9–10 ESV
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

(3)D. The Kingdom of God is here.

All things are under Christ’s feet.
Colossians 1:13 ESV
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
Hebrews 12:28 ESV
28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,

4. Already but not yet.

There is a tension here as we see in many areas of biblical truth.

(4)A. The Kingdom of God is already here.

1 Corinthians 15:27 ESV
27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.
Ephesians 1:22 ESV
22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,

(4)B. The Kingdom of God is not here yet.

Hebrews 2:7–8 ESV
7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.

(4)C. Three time frames of God’s rule.

Creation - God ruled over all things in this earthly realm at the beginning of creation.
The Fall - Sin entered the world and God has been restoring all things in this earthly realm to Himself in a way that His sovereignty is not impinged.
The Last Day - On the last day at Christ’s second coming, He will once again rule and reign over all things. His will will be exercised on earth as it is in heaven.

5. A Definition of the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is the restoration of God’s rule over all things.

Since the fall, God’s earthly rule has not been static.
It has been constant and settled in the Heavenly realm.
However, His rule on earth has been dynamic or changing. (growing)
That’s why the disciples were taught to pray that God’s kingdom would come.

6.The kingdom of God is wherever Christ is ruling.

(6)A. The Kingdom of God is present in the gospel.

Luke 4:43 ESV
43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”
If we correctly understand and share the gospel, we are proclaiming Christ’s rule.
Luke 2:10 ESV
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

(6)B. The Kingdom of God is present in the lives of those who repent, believe, and follow Jesus.

Colossians 3:15 ESV
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

(6)C. The Kingdom of God is present when Christ is ruling in local churches.

Revelation 1:6 ESV
6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
When we gather as a church fully surrendered to God, His Kingdom is among us.

7. “God’s Kingdom” vs. “New Creation

There is a noticeable difference from the way Jesus taught and the way the apostles taught.
Jesus spoke of advancing the Kingdom.
The apostles used phrases like
“restoration of creation”
“new creation”
“new heaven and new earth”
“the time for restoring all things”
Both are speaking of God restoring His rule over all things.
Our purpose is Kingdom work.
Our purpose is to do our part in restoring God’s rule and reign over all things.
The good works we do are to advance the Kingdom.
to bring restoration.
for the sake of new creation.
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