#16 ~ The Church: Working for the Kingdom of God
This was the boring lesson. All the other lessons in this series were packed full of conversation in the classroom as I taught them. Stories are fun. The stories of Jesus are conversation starters. When we discussed the parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, the class was engaged, wanting to understand this kingdom that Jesus never defined except through parables.
But this lesson, it had to be taught as a conclusion, but there was very little discussion. And no wonder because I did not highlight any one parable. The connection between the Kingdom of Heaven and the church had to be established, though. So here it is. This is the information I presented to help my students understand that the Kingdom of Heaven is not simply this future thing that will one day appear, it is not only this thing that Jesus offered Israel and they rejected it, IT IS the current work of the church.
The following is proof from the teachings of the apostles as they led the church that the kingdom is intricately woven into everything that the church should be doing. After I taught through the first section, I summarized each week of my teaching on the subject in one sentence where possible, a couple went a bit over. So I read those 16 descriptions to give a summary of this Kingdom of Heaven that we had been studying about for 16 weeks.
We typically sing a song a cappella out of the hymnals in our classroom. But I did something different for the first lesson and the last lesson. We sang accompanied by a CD with Hillsong’s version of This Kingdom by Geoff Bullock. It was quite fitting. I love that song.
Here it is. It’s meant to be a study, where you look up each reference in context to determine the relationship of the church to the kingdom.
Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 1:1-5, Acts 4:2, 33.
The Church was commissioned with preaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Passages that contain the phrase “the end of the age”: Matthew 13:39, 49, 24:3, 28:20.
The Church Preaches the Kingdom of God
Acts 8:12-13, 19:8, 20:24-25, 28:23, 31.
The Church was also commissioned with preaching the Kingdom of God.
The Identity of the Church
Colossians 1:13-14, 4:11, I Thessalonians 2:9-12.
We have been brought into the kingdom, we are working for the kingdom, and we are called to walk worthy of that kingdom.
The Unshakeable Inheritance of the Church
I Corinthians 6:2-3, 9-11, James 2:5, II Peter 1:8-11, Hebrews 12:25-29.
The church will inherit the Kingdom of God and will judge the world. This eternal inheritance cannot be shaken.
Suffering for the Kingdom of God
Acts 14:21-23, II Thessalonians 1:4-8, Revelation 1:9, 12:10-12, Mark 13:9-13.
Tribulation is appointed for the church. When Christ comes in power and glory, He pays back those that have been persecuting the church. The church is commissioned to preach the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God until the end of the age when Jesus comes in power and glory.
The Future Kingdom for the Church
II Timothy 4:1-2, 18, I Corinthians 15:20-28, 50-58.
Christ’s appearing and kingdom are linked together. He comes and reigns. As He is reigning, He defeats all enemies including death. Then He delivers the kingdom up to His Father. Our resurrection enables us to inherit this kingdom.
The Resurrection of Jesus is proof of the Kingdom
The Kingdom of God, or Kingdom of Heaven, is eternal life. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead was indisputable proof of this eternal life and kingdom. Jesus walked and talked with His disciples showing them the reality of this future kingdom in the present.
#1- The Kingdom of Heaven involves judgment, chopping down of unfruitful trees and burning of the chaff. For the righteous it means being gathered into the barn. Matthew 3:10-12.
#2- The Kingdom of Heaven means healing as Jesus came humbly to bear our sicknesses, weaknesses, and sins. Matthew 8:14-17, Isaiah 53:3-6.
#3- Jesus came to preach the Kingdom of Heaven and to send forth people to preach, or to evangelize. Matthew 13:1-23.
#4- The Kingdom of Heaven is like a harvest which means judgment for the wicked and salvation for the righteous at the end of the age. Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, 47-50.
#5- The Kingdom of Heaven is powerful, Matthew 13:31-33, and valuable, Matthew 13:44-46.
#6- The preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven results in apathy for many people. Matthew 11:16-19.
#7- The Kingdom of Heaven is for the lost. Luke 15.
#8- The Kingdom of Heaven is a place of forgiveness. Matthew 18:15-35.
#9- The workers of the Kingdom of Heaven all get paid the same. Matthew 20:1-16.
#10- The Kingdom of Heaven was taken from the nation of Israel and given to people bringing forth the fruits. Matthew 21:28-46.
#11- The Kingdom of Heaven is like an invitation to a royal wedding. Matthew 22:1-14.
#12- The coming of the Son of Man (the coming of the kingdom) will be like a fig tree when it buds in spring. It will be preceded by certain signs when it is near. Matthew 24:1-35.
#13- Jesus calls us to be prepared for the Kingdom of Heaven and not taken unawares. Matthew 24:36-25:13.
#14- Jesus calls us to be productive for the Kingdom of Heaven in the here and now. Matthew 25:14-30.
#15- The Kingdom of Heaven will result in a separation. The wicked depart into eternal punishment while the righteous inherit eternal life. The entrance depends on how you treated the King, meaning the least of these, the poor, homeless, hungry, sick, etc. Matthew 25:31-46.
#16- The church is currently working for the Kingdom of Heaven in preaching the gospel, the resurrection of Christ, and the Kingdom of Heaven. The entire New Testament.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman