Archives from September 2018

What Is the Kingdom of Heaven Like? The Parables of Jesus: The Coming of the Kingdom

Sunday Sermon Series The Parables of Jesus

This is the final sermon of this series where we have looked at what Jesus says about the Kingdom of Heaven. We have seen that the Kingdom is already here but not yet complete. This week is mostly about what’s to come in the future.

The Kingdom has a present and a future dimension. The Kingdom is already here, but it is not yet here in fullness. What will the coming of the Kingdom be like?

The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)

In the time of this parable in Israel, there were two parts of a marriage, the betrothal and then the marriage. You may have already known this from the story of Mary and Joseph. They were betrothed when Mary was made pregnant. Joseph would have had to divorce Mary if he no longer wished to marry her. After the betrothal period is the wedding ceremony and then a party that might last a week. They knew how to celebrate weddings.

In this parable there a ten virgins, ten bridesmaids. They were waiting for the bridegroom to arrive so the wedding could begin. Well, he was taking a long time to get there and eventually night came. Five of the virgins were prepared for the night with lamps and five were not. The five who did not have oil in their lamps asked to borrow some from the ones who were, but they were told to go buy their own. Here we learn that salvation is non-transferable. Your parents’ salvation, your spouse’s salvation, no one else’s salvation can save you. The five went to get some oil and the bridegroom arrived while they were gone. The wedding started, the doors were closed, and the five unprepare virgins were not allowed in.

The key word in this parable is: ready. … Are you ready? Do you have oil in your lamp? Have you accepted the salvation offered by Christ? … Some of us think we are ready because of some singular event in the past, but we never changed and were never really ready. That’s what this next parable is about.

The Parable of the Bags of Gold (Matthew 25:14-30)

This parable tells about a rich man who was going away for a while and put three servants in charge of different amounts of gold. He gave one five bags, the second two bags, and the third a single bag of gold. The ones who received two and five bags went out and doubled what they were given. The third servant just hid his bag of gold in the ground because he feared what the master would do if he lost it.

The key word in this parable is: faithful … God wants us to be faithful. This parable shows us that there are rewards in Heaven for our faithfulness as the two who doubled what they were given were given more and the one who hid his had it taken away. We see that the rewards are:

  1. The Master’s praise

  2. More opportunity

  3. The Master’s joy

Grace transforms and produces faithfulness. A lack of faith is a sign that you haven’t been transformed by grace. The servant who hid his bag in the ground had his reward taken away and was thrown out of the house. He didn’t make it into the Kingdom.

Some of us have fooled ourselves into thinking we’re locks to get into the Kingdom, but we saw last week that there will be a separation of true followers from fakes. And now we see again that there are plenty of frauds who expect to get into Heaven but won’t. Make sure your salvation is real.

What is the Kingdom of Heaven Like? The Parables of Jesus: The Separation of the Kingdom

Sunday Sermon Series The Parables of Jesus

Have you ever wondered why there is evil in the world? Ever had someone who claimed to be a Christian hurt you? Ever had a church leader disappoint you? … We’ll try to see why some of these things happen as we see that the present Kingdom contains a mixture of good and evil, but a day of separation is coming.

The Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) … Someone sowed weeds into a farmer’s field. The weeds were probably darnell (tares) which are indiscernible from wheat until the head grows

  1. Jesus is setting up His Kingdom now in the lives of people who follow Him (Matthew 13:37-38). … This isn’t new info as we’ve seen this already in this series, but it certainly reinforces the past sermons.

  2. The devil is planting people in the world who look like Christians but are not (Matthew 13:38-39). … The Devil is a copycat. He plants weeds among Jesus’ harvest. By doing this, he is trying to drive people away from the church.

  3. We cannot, at the present time, confidently separate Christians from imposters (Matthew 13:28-30). … In the verses, we see that pulling the weeds before the harvest could harm the good wheat. Likewise with Christians and imposters, we could harm actual Christians by removing those we perceive to be imposters. This does not mean we can’t make moral judgments though. Matthew 18:15-17 is where Jesus tells us how to confront sinners who claim to be followers. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 5:3-5 to judge the actions of a man and woman. We are not to condemn or pass judgment on someone’s final destination, but we can judge their actions and confront the person because of them.

  4. There is coming a time when God’s angels will weed imposters out of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:39-41). … When the harvest comes, when this age ends, the imposters will be thrown into a blazing furnace, into Hell. Let’s be clear that the division is not between sinners and non-sinners, but between repentant sinners and unrepentant sinners.

The Parable of the Net (Matthew 13:47-50) … In case we didn’t understand that parable, Jesus tells us another to teach us the same points. This time it’s about fishermen casting a large net, collecting both good and bad fish. Once the net is full and brought ashore, the fishermen separate the good from the bad.

What Is the Kingdom of God Like? The Parables of Jesus: The Growth of the Kingdom

Sunday Sermon Series The Parables of Jesus

  1. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a growing seed (Mark 4:26-29).

    1. The growth of the Kingdom is continual.

      1. Night and day ... Just like how a seed grows throughout the the night and day, so does the Kingdom.

    2. The growth of the Kingdom is mysterious.

      1. Though he does not know how ... God's work is unexplainable by humans.

    3. The growth of the Kingdom is unstoppable.

      1. All by itself ... The Kingdom does not need any particular person for it to grow. It doesn't matter who is in office or has power. The growth of the Kingdom is automatic.

    4. The growth of the Kingdom is Incremental.

      1. First the stalk, then the head, the full kernel ... Sometimes great awakenings and revivals happen, but that is not the norm. The typical way the Kingdom grows is a gradual growth.

  2. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed: it starts small and becomes very big (Mark 4:30-32). ... Here is another parable about a seed. But this time it's not about the process, but the contrast between how small it starts and how large it grows to be.

  3. The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast mixed into flour: It works its way all through our lives and world (Matthew 13:33). … Yeast spreads through the flour and is what causes it to rise when baked.

What Is the Kingdom of Heaven Like? The Parables of Jesus: Prayer and the Kingdom Life

Sunday Sermon Series The Parables of Jesus

Luke 11:1-13; 18:1-8

How are we to pray as citizens of the Kingdom?

  1. Pray boldly (Luke 11:1-13). … Jesus prays. That’s something that is pretty telling. Jesus, part of the Trinity, prays to one of the other parts of the Trinity. If Jesus prays, that

    should tell us just how important is for us to pray. Then Jesus also gives us a model prayer, one we can model our own after. After that He tells a parable that relates to prayer. A man has guests show up he wasn’t expecting and was unprepared for. This man goes to his neighbor’s house in the middle of the night and shamelessly, boldly, and persistently asked for food. The neighbor wasn’t going to get up and wake everyone in the house just to give him bread out of friendship, but the neighbor would do it to make him be quiet. This parable is a contrast to God. God will do what’s best for us and what we need if we ask, He wants us to ask boldly and persistently and shamelessly though. God isn’t going to give us a spider if we ask for a fish, just like a good father wouldn’t. God wants to give us good gifts.

    If God is eager to give good gifts, why do so many prayers go unanswered? Jesus said the Kingdom is already here (Luke 17:20-21). Jesus said the Kingdom is not yet here in fullness (Luke 17:22-25). There will be days of waiting and days of silence. Why the delay?

    1. There is spiritual warfare that can delay the answers of prayer. (Daniel 10-12-13)

    2. God has a bigger purpose sometimes (2 Peter 3:8-9)

  2. Pray persistently (Luke 18:1-8). … A widow kept complaining to an unjust judge for justice, Eventually the unjust judge grew tired of her and granted her justice. If an unjust judge grants justice after must persistence, then surely a good and just God will also grant justice.

What Is the Kingdom of Heaven Like? The Parables of Jesus: The Value of the Kingdom

Sunday Sermon Series The Parables of Jesus

Luke 12:13-21; 16:1-9; Matthew 13:44-46

This is the halfway point in the series, so here’s a quick recap of what we’ve learned:

Two overarching truths:

  1. The Kingdom of Heaven is wherever the King rules.

  2. The Kingdom of Heaven is already here, nut has not arrived in full.

Four truths from the first four sermons:

  1. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a party with an open invitation.

  2. The Grace of the King is what allows us to be part of the Kingdom.

  3. There is a high cost to being part of the Kingdom. The price is obedience to the King and the opposition of His enemies.

  4. Life in the Kingdom requires we serve our neighbor and love our neighbors as ourselves.

Now for today’s sermon notes.  

The Kingdom of Heaven is more valuable than anything else. The wise person invests his or her life in the Kingdom.

The Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21). … A contested will can bring out greed in many of us. Jesus warns us that life is not about having many possessions. Then Jesus tells a parable about a man who stored up riches on Earth to serve him for years to come. This man had a great retirement plan, but he was too focused on himself, storing up things for himself, but not being “rich towards God”. We are warned that we should invest in God and l;ife after death instead of the life we have right now.

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16:1-9). … Why would Jesus tell a parable where a dishonest man is the hero? Well, it’s not to encourage us to be dishonest, but to tell us to be shrewd, to be clever, with our investments. He tells us to use worldly wealth to make friends and to turn worldly wealth into eternal wealth. We should take every opportunity and every dime to show others Christ and build up treasure in Heaven.

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Value (Matthew 13:44-46). … Jesus tells us that Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure. It’s a treasure that requires we give up everything else and go all in to get it. It is a treasure so valuable we joyfully give up everything else in order to obtain it.