Breaking The Silence Seminar videos 2023

The Impact of the Kingdom of God Part Two

January 30, 2022 Speaker: Allen Snapp Series: Bracing for Impact

Topic: Kingdom Passage: Matthew 7:21–23, John 6:29, John 6:37–40, Matthew 7:24–27

Bracing for Impact

Allen Snapp

Grace Community Church

January 30, 2022


The Impact of the Kingdom of God Part Two

The title of the message last week was the Impact of the Kingdom of God. This morning is part two of that message.

If you’ve read or watched any news this week, you know that the tensions between Russia and the United States and its NATO allies have escalated with over 100K Russian soldiers amassed on the border of Russia and the Ukraine. No one knows what is going to happen over the next several weeks or months but it’s already having serious impact on many lives. The US has asked the families of US diplomats to leave the Ukraine.

We have a sister church in Rivne, Ukraine called Hosanna Full Gospel Church. I texted Aron Osborne this week to see if he had heard from Volodymyr, the pastor of Hosanna, and he texted me back saying “what timing! I am sitting with him in the Ukraine right now!” along with a picture of the two of them having coffee. He said there is a sense of calm there and the people there are realistic but not fatalistic. Aron left the Ukraine on Friday.

I texted back asking Aron to let Volodomyr know we are praying for him and his nation and I ask you to pray for Volodomyr and his family, for Hosanna Full Gospel, and for the people of the Ukraine. Then I texted this statement: God is sovereign over the affairs of men.

Sovereignty is a “kingdom” word. A sovereign is a supreme king. A sovereign nation (like the Ukraine) is a nation that has power to govern itself and supreme authority over its population and territory. The rising tensions between the Ukraine and Russia are over sovereignty. Is the Ukraine a sovereign nation or is it a satellite to be ruled by Russia? Who rules who?

There’s actually no bigger question than that: who rules who? That’s what was at stake in the Garden of Eden – would Adam and Eve obey God or Satan? They chose wrong and lost their close walk with God and their place in Eden. Sin and death entered the world. Their first son killed their second son. All the wars and killing and heartache of human history traces its origins back to that question: who rules who?

Last week I made the point that there are ultimately only two kingdoms on earth, and everyone is either a citizen of one or a citizen of the other. God meant for mankind to have dominion over the earth under His good rulership. The temptation that Adam and Eve gave into was to rule the earth as their own gods, saying “my will be done” rather than God’s will be done. When they chose that, without knowing it they gave Satan authority and power over the systems and kingdoms of the earth. The horrible truth is we were all born as citizens of the kingdom of Satan.

The good news of the kingdom is that Jesus came to transfer our citizenship from one kingdom to the other.

…giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Col. 1:12-14 (NIV)

Through faith in Jesus Christ and what he accomplished on Calvary, we are transferred from Satan’s dark dominion to Jesus’ brilliant kingdom. The good news of the kingdom doesn’t begin with what we do for God, or even what God does in us. The good news of the kingdom begins with what God has done for us.

Jesus qualified us for heaven, stamping our papers with the words “citizens of the kingdom of God”. That’s the best news ever! When we close our eyes on this world, we will open our eyes in the kingdom of Jesus! Not because of what we did or didn’t do, but because of what Jesus did for us. We believe in what Jesus accomplished!

But Jesus didn’t come only to get us into the kingdom. He also came to get the kingdom into us. To be our king, and to make us his happy subjects. Remember the question who rules who? Listen to what Jesus says at the close of the sermon on the mount, a sermon all about the values and priorities of the kingdom of God:

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matt 7:21-23

These are the words no one wants to hear. Jesus warns there will be many who call him Lord and do great things in his name only on that day to find the gates of the kingdom closed to them. Notice that they don’t say “we tried to prophesy in your name or cast out demons in your name or perform many miracles in your name” – they did those things and they did them in Jesus’ name. That’s kind of scary.

The legalist in us might think, “if what they did wasn’t enough to get them into the kingdom, I don’t have a chance!” You’d be missing the point: what they offer as their credentials to enter the kingdom of heaven are the good works they did. Jesus I did this in your name and I did that in your name. Their confidence was in all the good works they were doing.

But something deep inside is very wrong. Just before these verses Jesus is talking about false prophets who outwardly look like sheep but inwardly are ravenous wolves, and he says here it’s not those who call him Lord who are his followers but those who do the will of the Father. Jesus exposes them as frauds when he says I never knew you (which means they never knew him either), depart from me, you evildoers.

They were doing good things in Jesus’ name, but they were evildoers. At the core they were wolves, they were evil, they were doing their will not the Father’s will. Jesus wasn’t their Lord, even though they called him Lord.

Jesus said only those who do the will of the Father will enter the kingdom, so what is the Father’s will? We don’t have to guess because Jesus tells us what the will of the Father is.

Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."John 6:29

The work and the will of the Father is that we believe – put all our faith and trust – in His Son, Jesus

Christ. Listen to what Jesus says about his will and the Father’s will just a few verses later:

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.38For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." John 6:37-40

The Father’s will is totally wrapped up in our coming to Jesus with love and trust.

Back to Matt. 7 Jesus warns us that there will be many who “do” things in Jesus’ name, things that on the face of it seem to be good things - and yet Jesus says, are evildoers. Let’s continue reading in Matt 7:24

24 “Therefore

Jesus says “therefore” – because there will be many who outwardly do good works but inwardly are evildoers who will not enter the kingdom – therefore…

everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matt 7:24-27

So much could be said about this parable but at its core it’s about doing what Jesus says. Jesus contrasts the life built on following Jesus and the life built on anything else.

The kingdom is doing what Jesus says

The good news of the kingdom is Jesus getting us into the kingdom AND getting the kingdom into us. There can’t be one without the other. Faith leads to obedience. Following Jesus leads to following Jesus. Hearing his words don’t build our lives on Jesus’ lordship. Doing what he says does.

  1. Do what Jesus says from the heart

The legalist in us tends to focus on externals. Go to church, wear your Sunday best, throw a few bucks in the offering, don’t swear, smoke, drink, or watch R rated movies and you’re a good Christian.

Jesus is concluding his beautiful sermon on the mount, and it’s all about kingdom living, but it’s also focused largely on what goes on in here – in our heart – which then expresses itself in what we do. Jesus calls us to pursue from the heart kingdom qualities such as mercy, peacemaking, love, generosity, secret prayer and devotion, forgiveness, and love for God – all expresses as seeking first the kingdom of God. And Jesus calls us to reject dark kingdom qualities such as anger, hatred, lust, lying, self-righteousness, judgmentalism, and vengeance.

Notice all this is heart stuff. It goes on in here where no one can see it, but God sees it and eventually it comes out. Eventually the house either stands or falls depending on whose will we built our life on. Do what Jesus says from the heart.

  1. Embrace his lordship when it goes against the grain

In his gospel John describes a phenomenon of people who believe in Jesus until they don’t. When Jesus is doing and saying what they want they believe, but when he says or does something they don’t like, they walk away. That’s the point – when Jesus goes against the grain – that most clearly reveals who’s ruling our lives.

At one of those points when large crowds have left Jesus, he turned to his twelve and asks, are you going to leave too? And Peter answers, “to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life.” That’s the type of faith that saves; the type that clings to Jesus, and refuses to turn away from Jesus even when his lordship goes against our grain. Those are actually the most important kingdom impact moments in our lives because they most define whether we’re building our lives on Jesus’ will or our will.

  1. Surrender to his lordship again and again

I wish we had more time to spend in the entire sermon on the mount, but super simply, we could never reach the high bar Jesus sets for us in the sermon on the mount, and Jesus doesn’t intend for us to. The sermon on the mount was given to reveal our inability to enter the kingdom on our merits and drive us in desperation to Christ for grace and mercy.

The good news of the kingdom is that Jesus opened the gates of the kingdom so we could enter it. Then Jesus opens our hearts so the kingdom of God can enter it. The first happens the moment we believe, the second is an ongoing process all our life. Little by little, incrementally, the kingdom takes hold of us. Jesus becomes Lord of more and more of our lives. We build our lives increasingly according to his word. When we fall and stumble we ask God to forgive us and then we get up and keep building on Jesus’ words, keep seeking first the kingdom of God. The Christian life is a lifetime of faltering and stumbling and growing in yieldedness to Jesus’ lordship.

We can’t obey Jesus perfectly, but we can obey Jesus increasingly.

And Jesus is the best king and obeying Jesus leads to the best life. To the life that stands when storms come. To the life that isn’t barren and empty and meaningless. To the life that isn’t demolished, the life that doesn’t have nothing to show for it, the life that has nothing left that remains. Jesus came to give us life and that more abundantly. That abundant life is the life surrendered to King Jesus, the life that gets into the kingdom of God and has the kingdom of God getting into us. That’s why Jesus came and we trust and believe in him with all our heart and mind and soul.

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