Introduction | “The Kingdom of God”
Gather round! Merry Christmas and draw near,
all you with eyes to see and ears to hear.
Would you come with me as we open this great book?
It is written by God and demands a look!
Its continuity is inarguably consistent,
Written by fishermen, scholars and physicians.
Over a span of 1500 years true,
All saying the same thing…Christ’s Kingdom for me and you.
We hope by the end of our service your heart would love Him more,
We pray you would lay down your life to the one you adore.
So listen to this story and hear the good news, my friend,
Of the kingdom of God from beginning to end.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1)
He created all things, even to time, he gave birth.
He spoke the world into existence
The power of his voice needed no assistance.
The blue seas and the green on the trees
The God who was and is, breathed life into you and me.
God said “it was good” to all of creation,
He looked at man and had only one evaluation.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone;
he made a helper suitable for him from his rib bone (Gen 2:18-22).
God made them according to His image
The role of ruling over the earth was man’s great privilege (Gen 1:26-27).
God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful, fill the earth and subdue it
Rule over the fish and the birds and all that is under the sun I lit (Gen 1:28).
And they did!The rivers and places and animals all were named,
Adam and Eve walked with God and knew of His great fame.
It was beautiful! You would have never wanted it to end.
But God was writing this story of His great glory, no human could have penned.
To show us the fullness of His good, darkness entered onto the scene
For if good had no contrast, how would we know what ‘good’ means?
As the serpent laid the backdrop of black veneer
The character of God stood pure and clear.
The snake was more crafty than any other beast the Lord had made,
He questioned God’s truth and said, “Did God actually say?” (Gen 3:1)
With wide eyes of lust and pride in their hearts
Adam and Eve took the fruit and darkness did impart.
Adam’s seed to us we did receive,
Fallen from God, separated indeed.
Man failed as ruler when he fell into sin
The Kingdom was lost, now ruled by Satan (Gen 3).
Yet hope was given on that dark day,
A king would come to make a way.
This king would crush the serpent’s head (Gen 3:15)
The payment our due, on the King instead.
Oh! What great news! Our redemption! Let the Kingdom come!
“So bring on the king!” Israel said…and Saul was the one.
“We want him to fight our battles and go before us,
We want to be like other nations…a king we can see and trust!” (1 Sam 8:5)
Although their hearts were sinfully bold
God’s merciful hand kept them in his hold.
The hope of the nation turned to David the king,
But time after time after time, even was found wanting.
They thought the Kingdom of David perhaps would be the one
To save them from their enemies and bring peace under the sun!
A “man after God’s own heart” was said of this king,
But his rule was not perfect. His reign was passing.
The people needed a worthy king to sit on the throne,
A ruler with compassion, a love for His people own.
A ruler who’s government would never cease
A mighty God, ever lasting Father, prince of peace (Is. 9:7).
Would we ever see a king like this?
A ruler with power and a sword in his fist?
Yes! The promise that our wounds would cure
Given to David, “Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure” (2 Sam 7:16).
“Bethlehem Ephrathah, one will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me.
His origin is from antiquity, from eternity” (Micah 5:2).
Shhhhhhh. Silence. From the Lord they heard not a word.
“400 hundred years! Where is our king? Will we ever be heard?”
The word from the Lord was rare in those days (1 Sam 3:1),
Behold! Light broke forth to speak of a child who would save (Matt 1:21).
Mary will bear a son and he will wipe away their sins,
Conceived of the Holy Spirit and in the line of David’s kin (Matt 1:20).
You see, Abraham had Isaac, and Isaac had Jacob, and Jacob Judah and his brothers
Eliud, Two, skip a few and Mary would be Jesus’ mother. (Matt 1)
Judah was the kingly tribe, to him the scepter promised
The family tree of Joseph, Zerubbabel and Solomon all came from the Psalmist.
Would this be the king, the one we did expect?
Would he bring civil peace and from Rome…us… protect?
We see this baby born in Bethlehem and lying in a manger, (Luke 2:12)
How can he, the Messiah be, save us from our danger?
Yet Simeon says his kingdom will be different for ones with faith like those,
“The child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, for a sign that is opposed” (Luke 2:34)
His first advent He came to seek and save and serve,
He showed mercy to mankind in which we did not deserve.
His kingdom was re-gained through his birth and death on the cross,
He rose again, defeating death and ransomed all of us.
This message of the kingdom, “his sword will pierce your soul
So that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed”, his glory ever told (Luke 2:35).
“Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift” (2 Cor 9:15).
Yet is His plan complete now? Kingdom Re-gained? Was this it?
Well…what’s the plan now? Thy kingdom come…the king is here…is there anything else I need to know?
If King Jesus won and the serpent is crushed, doesn’t that tie the story in a nice little bow?
If I am a follower, a faithful subject of the king
How do I offer up my life as a fragrant offering? (Romans 12:1)
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, God’s new creation,”(1 Pet 2:9, 2 Cor 5:17)
commissioned and designed to advance his kingdom to every tongue, tribe and nation.
Before our king ascended he gave us a responsibility. A weight.
He said that we are to make disciples. This was our mandate. (Matt 28:18-20)
A daunting call and high privilege, “Go to the earth’s end!”
He left us not alone, giving us a Helper, a Guide, and a friend.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon You,
And you will be my witnesses to all the Gentiles and the Jews” (Acts 1:8).
God builds his kingdom now through the church appearing
…in peoples lives with the message of the gospel because “faith comes by hearing” (Rom 10:17).
And when they hear and respond with faith and repentance
They too will be saved, and experience saving grace and forgiveness.
And now my friends, we find ourselves in the church age,
A period of time where we labor and look forward to the day.
The day of the Lord is when He comes again,
To re-establish the kingdom, the clouds will break and return from heaven.
For you yourselves know that He will come like a thief in the night,
This day will not overtake you if you are of the sons of light. (1 Thess 5:4-5)
Our king will come back, but this time it will be different,
Every tongue shall confess and every knee shall be bent. (Phil 2:10-11)
Riding on a white horse, His name Faithful and True,
He will come to make all things new (Rev 19:11).
In righteousness he makes war and judges those who rebelled,
His eyes are like a flame of fire, His justice sends hell (Rev 19:12).
He will be clothed in a robe dipped in blood red,
Many diadems will adorn the crown his head (Rev 19:12).
The name by which he is called “The Word of God”,
The armies of heaven of white fine linen following full of awe (Rev 19:14).
His second advent he will strike down the nations,
This is our God, who formed the earth from its foundations (Rev 19:15).
This time, He will rule them with an iron rod,
He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of Almighty God (Rev 19:15).
From his very mouth comes a sharp sword,
On His robe and on his thigh he has a name written, “King of kings and Lord of lords”.