Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven Part 2

“And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.” (Matthew 13:10-11)

The Kingdom of Heaven is not some distant place that we will reside in the future. It is true that we are residents of that Kingdom and represent it in the way that we live our lives in the present world. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) When people of the world see the way in which we live, the Biblical principles that rule our lives and manner, and the love that we have for God and our neighbor, then they will know that we are different and we live in the glory of a far better realm. Thus, for us the Kingdom of Heaven is wherever the sovereignty of God is accepted in their hearts and the people walk in His ways.

We live in a material tent, a tabernacle of flesh, but if we live in servitude to that tent and bend to its desires for the pleasures of the world, then are we really free? Jesus teaches us that the truth of His Word sets us free. Jesus tells us that if we abide in His Word we will find freedom. “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32) What is that freedom? Is it power, wealth, influence, fame, or a long life? It is some or all of that when placed in the proper perspective but our greatest bondage is the sin that is in our life. No amount of power, no wealth, no influence, no fame, or a long life will save us from the bondage of sin that we are in. Only a saving knowledge of Jesus and faith in His Word will save us from the debt that we owe to our Creator God. This then is freedom to be free from the wage of sin, death, free from the wrath of God to come, and the freedom from the loss of His love in eternity. We are spiritual beings that will go on after our short time in this world. This is the greatest decision that we have to make in our lives, as the effect of it is eternal.

Today the outward manifestation of God’s spiritual Kingdom is found in the Church. The Holy Spirit fell upon the Apostles and disciples of Jesus on the Day of Pentecost and has empowered the Church of Christ to accomplish its mission to preach the gospel of God to the uttermost parts of the earth. “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4) The Church will complete its mission and the time will come for the Lord to call the Church out before the great tribulation.

Many do not believe this, many believe that God, who is love, will not bring His wrath upon the people. They forget that God is also just as there cannot be love without justice. The Lord is not slow but patient and not wanting any to perish. There will be a time when all accounts are settled and unrighteousness will be driven from the creation of God. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

At the proper time according to God the spiritual Kingdom will be called out and meet their Savior in the heavens. At that time Jesus will present His Church to the Father. “But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.” (1 Corinthians 15:23-24) This is the spiritual Kingdom of Heaven in the future sense.

The Church while here on earth was to be the light of truth, the sowers of that truth, and the ambassadors from the Kingdom of Heaven. The faithful followers of Jesus Christ will now be as He is fully sanctified and righteous. “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1 John 3:2) Those who were the lights of the world will now shine forth eternally as the sun. “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:43)

Then the Church the Bride of Christ, (Ephesians 5:27) will possess the New Heavens and the New Earth that we have been told about by the Apostles Peter and John. There will be no more sin, no thought of disobedience, as all will live in righteousness. “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13)

In the future Kingdom the Tabernacle of God will be in the midst of men and God will dwell with His people the saints of Christ. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.” (Revelation 21:3)

The Church which is the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth will have the privilege of experiencing the New Heaven and the New Earth for their walk in God’s ways. Those who have done the will of the Father. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21-23) This is the love of God that those who have obeyed His Word, walked in His ways, and lived in His will shall receive His justice, to live in the Kingdom of Heaven.

This is the future Kingdom of Heaven that awaits the Church, the faithful flowers of Jesus. Those who have suffered the trials and tribulations of this journey in the world and overcame though their faith. Those who held fast to their love for their Heavenly Father and had compassion and love for their neighbor. The Saints who worked diligently to sow the seeds of God’s Word into every ear that would hear. Those who have longed to live in the Promised Land in peace where righteousness dwells. It is coming as God’s Word is Faithful and True. “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.” (2 Peter 3:13-15)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, September 17, 2016

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