Our Kingdom Come

Heb 12:28-29

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire. NKJV

Many men have set out to build themselves a kingdom. To conquer and destroy if necessary all those who stood in their way. Millions have died on either side of that battle. And a few have benefitted from the struggle.

Almost everyone has a desire to succeed. We fight and scratch for our inch of turf. We struggle against the elements and against others to get ahead in life. But are we getting ahead?

Or did Jesus show us that He has a different way. A way that is not so much for us as for Him. A way that does not involve taking but of giving. A way that looks not on our own things but that looks out for others. But how can you win that way? How can you get ahead that way?

It comes down to understanding the game. The runner that gets out of his lane and trips up the other players and pushes them off the track will not be declared the winner. There is an official that oversees the proceedings and has the right to disqualify those who do not play by the rules.

In life we have no less a binding set of rules by which our maker demands that we run this race. He is watching all along the course and He has the authority to disqualify us at any time. I am reminded of that day when the special Olympics were being played out. And there was a race for the finish line. But one of the early runners fell to the track and gave up all hopes of winning the race. But to the amazement of the crowd, the other runners stopped, went to their fallen competitor and helped them across the finish line.

I am also reminded of that day when tow of Jesus' disciples came to Him, James and John, the sons of thunder Jesus called them. They said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us." Mark 9:38 NKJV

Or later on when Jesus was going up to Jerusalem and would not stay among the Samaritans James and John said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?" But Jesus responded, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." And they went to another village.

The Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them.

As we look at this passage this morning let us focus not on what the world tells us, but on what Jesus said.

  1. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom
    1. God's people are a kingdom people
      1. Our citizenship is in heaven.
      2. That is where our treasure is also to be.
      3. Our reward is reserved there for us.
      4. And although we are in the world we are not to buy into its schemes.
    2. Luke 12:32 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. KJV
      1. Our greatest desires are not something that we must earn or labor for.
      2. Our Savior has purchased them for His own by the sacrifice of Himself.
      3. Jesus said in Matt 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. NKJV
      4. And that is how Jesus could say, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth."
  2. Which cannot be shaken
    1. Doesn't that seem unlikely.
      1. If your had been alive back in the days of the apostles I and were to tell you that the great and mighty empire of Rome would vanish from the face of the earth but that this fledgling group of disciples would one day become a might force, what would you say.
    2. But the kingdom we are receiving is not unmovable because we are so great but because the one we worship is so great.
    3. You can spend your life building your own kingdom or you can receive the one your Heavenly Father has prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matt 25:34
  3. Let us have grace
    1. Grace is God's favor to us that we do not deserve.
      1. Without the grace of God we can do nothing.
      2. It is the grace of God that teaches us. Tit 2:12
      3. It is grace that we are shut up to.
      4. For without it we are as others who are lost from God.
    2. We need to seek God's grace.
      1. That we would plead for God's direction in our lives.
      2. That we would not try to figure it out on our own but that we would come to God and ask for His direction.
    3. And notice that if we have this grace that it changes us, it does something in our lives.
      1. That is the key to knowing we are a child of God.
      2. If we cannot see the effect of the grace of God in our lives, it is possible that we do not know it.
  4. By which we may serve God
    1. If we are receiving a kingdom then we owe our allegiance to that kingdom.
      1. I used to think I was here to make a living.
      2. I used to think I was here to get married, raise kids and provide a good living for myself and them.
      3. But one day I came to the realization that I am a member of a different kingdom and it is there that God has called me to serve.
      4. Now some will say, well of course you are a preacher.
      5. I love it when people ask me why I went into full time Christian work as though you could be a part time Christian.
      6. When I came to that realization I didn't divorce my wife and decide not to have kids, no. I just came to realize that God had a higher purpose for me and all other Christians.
    2. Acceptably
      1. We are to live and serve acceptably.
      2. Not acceptable to mom, or our wife or husband but to God.
      3. The word means agreeable, that is a life that is agreeable to God.
      4. I have worked for a lot of different people in my life, and I learned early that if you wanted to stay employed you did what was agreeable to your employer.
      5. But God has called us to a higher calling.
        1. We are called to still provide for our families but we are also called to serve in the kingdom work of God.
        2. If we, we are receiving a kingdom, then we need to invest in that kingdom with our very lives.
        3. The worlds treasures are so slippery they get away if we do not hand on, but the kingdom we are receiving is unshakable.
    3. With reverence
      1. If we have lost anything in Christianity it is reverence.
      2. Few today stand in awe of God.
      3. They do not consider him one to be feared.
      4. And it has caused us to sloppy not only in our attitude toward God but in our lives.
      5. Two boys will get much more fence painted when dad is watching than when he is not.
      6. If you study the OT you will quickly see a God that demands reverence.
      7. But then should not, does not a king demand reverence from His subjects else the kingdom collapse under anarchy.
    4. And godly fear.
      1. We do not have a slavish fear.
      2. For our King is our Father, we are not so much subjects of the kingdom as we are children of the kingdom.
      3. But even in a kingdom the children fear the king with a godly fear.
  5. For our God is a consuming fire
    1. God is not to be trifled with.
    2. Jesus Himself said, "do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matt 10:28-29 NKJV

Dear Lord, help us to recognize that we are children of a heavenly kingdom that cannot be moved. And then give us the grace to serve you acceptably.

This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com