Kingdom Come PT. 2 - What Is The Kingdom Of God

Kingdom Of God Bible Verses Help Us Understand What The Kingdom Truly Is.

Tim Lundy
Sep 20, 2020    36m
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Have you ever wondered, what is the Kingdom of God? By exploring Kingdom of God Bible verses, we learn that it is both here and in the heavenly realms. In the kingdom we are called to be active citizens, soldiers, and ambassadors rather than passive observers of His reign. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: 00:00 Well, as we continue this series Kingdom Come, I want to ask you a question. If somebody walked up to you and said, how would you define the Kingdom of God? What is the Kingdom of God? Now, most people when they're asked that, their answer is usually, well, it's heaven, the Kingdom of God is the place I'm going to go to one day. Or sometimes we use the term kingdom to refer to good works, or good things, I can be doing. I hear people say it this way, sometimes somebody will say, I don't want a job, I want to do kingdom work. I've even heard people say, I don't want to work in the church, I want to do kingdom work. And even when they say that, I think, well, that's strange. I don't know how you would do that. In fact, I don't know how you would do anything as a believer that's not kingdom work.

Tim Lundy: 00:51 See, when we talk about the Kingdom of God, I think it is one of the most underestimated and misunderstood terms that we use. In fact, when we talk about our relationship with God, it's striking to me how few times the term kingdom even comes up. If you talk to someone about their relationship with God, they immediately go to, well, you know, I have a personal relationship with God. Or they go to the fact that, you know, God is my friend, I'm part of God's family, all of which are true. But I think we've truncated, I think we've compressed this great cosmic story of what God's doing, and our vision of it has gotten so small.

Tim Lundy: 01:35 You know, last week, I walked you through the story, and I purposefully wanted to take you from eternity past to eternity future. Because I think in this great cosmic story, so often, we reduce the whole story down to one weekend. Now it's an important weekend, it's the most important weekend of human history. But oftentimes when you talk about the gospel, when you talk about the kingdom, when you talk about God's story, we immediately want to go to just one place, Christ death on the cross, his burial, and his resurrection, oftentimes they won't even put the Ascension back in. The whole story is taken on in one weekend. Now, again, I'm not diminishing the importance of that weekend, and I know why we do that. The gospel, the Bible itself, points us to that weekend. But I don't think God ever did so, so that we would be limited from the story as a whole. And this great cosmic story, when you reduce it down to one chapter, you miss the whole.

Tim Lundy: 02:39 You know, one of my favorite series of books and movies are the Lord Of The Rings, I love that series, J. R. R. Tolkien. And I read them as a kid, and then when the movies came out, they did such a great job with it. And I was thinking through that vast epic of a story, and all the different great parts, and different chapters, and which chapters are really key turning points. I think for me, one of my favorite scenes of the movie and the book, is the Battle at Helm's Deep. If you remember when Aragorn is captured there, and he and the King of Rohan and [inaudible] and that small army there, they're surrounded by the evil forces of Saruman. And they've got to decide what to do, and they finally decided we're going to ride into battle. They're hoping that Gandalf the Grey, who is now Gandalf the White, will show up with the forces to rescue them. And as they ride into this army, they ride into the forces of darkness, suddenly on the hillside, you see Gandalf the White and he has a staff and all the forces with him and he rides down the Hill. And every time I see that I kind of get chills because I think about that day when Jesus will return, and he rides into the battle, it just gives me a glimpse of that. I love that part of the story. But if someone were to ask me about the Lord Of The Rings, I wouldn't tell him, well, you don't need to read the whole book, you don't need to see all the movies. If you just go to this one chapter, this really is the turning point, this really is the key.

Tim Lundy: 04:09 Now again, I know it is different in scripture because what Christ did on the cross, his death, his resurrection, it's the turning point of all of human history, it is the most important three days in human history. But I don't think God ever meant for us to limit the story, and certainly not to limit the kingdom from our vocabulary. See, I think this is important because so often when we're telling people about the gospel, or we're teaching our own kids, we reduce it down to just knowing those facts. Jesus died, and he rose again, and as long as you have that, you have your ticket. You have your ticket to the Kingdom of God, one day, instead of your entrance into the Kingdom of God now.

Tim Lundy: 04:55 And it's shocking to me when I see the latest stats, that 93% of children who are raised in a Christian home, make the decision at one point in their life to believe that Christ died on the cross, and they accept him as Savior. But only 33% follow him, and actually live out that decision as adults, that's a pretty big drop off. And I think part of it is a truncated gospel. And I think part of it is that we never called them to more than just a decision, but to a lifetime of discipleship. More than just a kingdom I'm going to go to one day, but a Kingdom of God that they'll live in now. That's not how Jesus taught it, that's not how Jesus presented it, that's not how scripture presents it.

Tim Lundy: 05:43 In fact, I want to give you a Bible blitz for just a moment. I want to just walk you through, when the Bible talks about the kingdom of heaven, talks about the Kingdom of God. Listen, how Jesus talks about it. Listen, how for Matthew 3:2, when John the Baptist showed up on the scene, what's the first thing he preached? "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus, the first time he began to preach, "Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 4, "He went throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease." Matthew 5, his character and the kingdom, he says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:10, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 6:10, he says, "When you pray, pray your kingdom come." Matthew 6:33, "Seek first the Kingdom of God." Matthew 8:11, he says, "I'll tell you people from the East and the West, all of them are going to come and join Israel in the kingdom of heaven." When he sent them out in Matthew 10, "Go and proclaim, the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 12:28, he said, "If I cast out demons by the spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you." When he told his parables, how many times did he tell parables? And when he started the parables, how did he start? It he'd started. The Kingdom of God is like, the kingdom of heaven is like. Over and over again, he's telling these stories so we could understand what? The kingdom. Matthew 13:44, "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure." Matthew 18:3, "Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you become like children, you'll never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world."

Tim Lundy: 07:25 After his resurrection, in Acts, what do we hear? Acts 1 and 3, "He presented himself alive to them after suffering by many proofs. He proved that he rose from the dead, appearing to them 40 days." And what did he talk about during those 40 days? Speaking to them about the Kingdom of God. Paul in Rome, he was in Rome for two years, and the whole time he was proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:13, Paul tells us, "We've been delivered from the domain of darkness, and transferred to the kingdom of the beloved son." Hebrews 12:28, "Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken." James 2:5, "Has not God chosen the poor of the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom." First Peter, 1:11, "For in this way, there will be richly provided for you and the entrance into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Tim Lundy: 08:17 Guys, I'm just doing a summary, I just did a Bible blitz. But isn't that interesting to you, at least it is to me, how many times in the teaching of Jesus, how many times if you read through Acts, how many times in the teaching of the apostles as they go forward, that they constantly call people back the Kingdom of God. And yet, how many times do we want to just reduce it to a faith decision, instead of a lifetime discipleship where we're calling people into God's Kingdom. So the kingdom is pretty important isn't it?

Tim Lundy: 08:52 Again, I'll go back to my original question. What is the Kingdom of God? If somebody asked you, okay, what does it mean? What did Jesus mean when he taught it? If you look at it, there's a simple definition there in your notes, and it's not original to me. I got it from Jeremy Treat and it says, "The Kingdom is God's reign, through God's people, over God's place." Notice that there are three parts of it, "It's God's reign, through God's, people over God's place." I want to walk through all three parts because I think as we understand that, that again broadens our understanding of both the gospel, but also this big story that God's called us to.

Tim Lundy: 09:34 Look at the first part, the kingdom is God's reign. When you have a kingdom, you always have a ling. And so the Kingdom of God is declaring God's reign. Now you might look that and you go, yeah, but Tim, hasn't got always reigned? Isn't everything under the Kingdom of God? And in a general sense, it is. Under his sovereignty and his authority, everything is under the Kingdom of God. But when Jesus arrived, notice he was noting that there was a new thing that was happening, there was a particular thing. He says, the kingdom of heaven is here, repent, change your life, something new is unfolding. And really, as you look at it, and as we looked at it in that big cosmic story, it's an unfolding as the King and our King specifically reigns in two ways. What are the two ways that he reigns? One, he reigns by redeeming as Messiah. He redeems as Messiah. As the people of God, we've always needed someone to redeem us, we needed someone to come and rescue us, we needed somebody to come and pay our ransom, all the things Jesus said he did.

Tim Lundy: 10:43 And it goes all the way back, and let me call you back to the big story again, all the way back to the garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve failed to live out the Kingdom of God there, when they usurped God's authority, when they listened to Satan, and God makes a promise, he said, I'm going to send a Redeemer. A Redeemer that will come through the woman, a Redeemer that will crush the head of Satan, the enemy. He redeems the nation of Israel. And if you think about the redemption of Israel, it's not as different from ours as we think. You know, there's a lot of you, and I hope through this series, I'll awaken in you a desire to want to read the Old Testament, to want to read the redemption story there.

Tim Lundy: 11:23 I'm excited, our high school ministry is about to start teaching through Exodus. And I think it's so important, because they can see how God redeemed Israel. That Israel was slaves, they were slaves in Egypt. And God sent a leader, God sent one who came. God miraculously provided for them, God miraculously protected them. When the blood of the lamb at Passover was slain and it was put over the door post, the wooden door post. And when the spirit of God went by, anyone was saved. When the people were released from their bondage, when they were baptized through the red sea, when they were led by God, until they came to the promised land, when he promised to be their King. And we talked about it last week, instead of embracing him as king, again, they usurped, they wanted a human king. Again, they failed to live out the covenant he called them to. And so even in that context, God said, you failed to live this out, and so you need a Messiah, you need a true king to come.

Tim Lundy: 12:22 And when Jesus came as the Messiah, he not only came to rescue them, but he also came to rescue us. Because remember we're slaves, we're slaves to sin, remember we were dead in our trespasses. And so as the blood of the lamb was shed over the wooden cross, as he paid for our sins there, as he was buried, as he rose again, that wonderful climax, that most important part of human history. Hear me, I don't ever want to diminish that, that important part of the story. But as he did that, he did it as our redeemer, and so Jesus Christ was declared. That's why Romans 3:23, look at the words there, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." The word Christ, do you know what that word is? It's a Messiah. Through the redemption that came through our Messiah, he wasn't just Israel's Messiah, he's our Messiah.

Tim Lundy: 13:22 But you know, there's a second part of being King. He didn't just come so that he could redeem us so that we could have entrance into the kingdom, but it was also to live in the kingdom. So the second part is he rules as Lord. He rules as Lord over the kingdom. And so when he ascended to his throne, he not only rose from the grave, he ascended and he sits on his throne. He is not only Jesus Christ the Messiah, he's also Jesus Christ, who is Lord, that's why you'll often see those two together in scripture. That's often the declaration of salvation, is that you declare that Jesus is the Christ, he's the Messiah, he's the one that redeemed me. But he's also the Lord, he's the King, he's on the throne.

Tim Lundy: 14:06 Peter, in the very first message that he preached at Pentecost, right after the Holy Spirit had come. Look what he says in Acts chapter 2, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him, Jesus, both Lord and Christ. This Jesus whom you crucified." Notice what he's emphasizing there, he's the Lord, he's the King, he's ruling, but he's also the Christ, he's the Redeemer. Look how Paul puts it in Romans 10, one of the greatest, most simple affirmations of salvation. In Romans 10:9-10, he says, "If you confess with your mouth..." What do you confess first? "...that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you'll be saved." Notice what he's doing there, he's putting the two together. You confess that he's the Lord who rules and reigns, you believe he's the savior who rose from the dead. He paid for my sins, he conquered in that, you'll be saved. For with the heart a person believes resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation." See Christ is not only the Redeemer who purchased, who redeemed, who provided the way for us to be a part of his kingdom. He's also the Lord, he's the King on the throne of his kingdom.

Tim Lundy: 15:27 And one day, everyone will recognize that one day, when everyone stands before him, this will be undebatable. That's why Philippians 2 says, "So that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. He will, one day when he's revealed in all his glory, nobody will debate this. But guys, he's on the throne today. And for those of us who were in the kingdom, for those of us that follow him, you need to recognize a king always has a standard, he always has a law, he always has an ethic to his kingdom. That's why it's important to study, when we look in the Old Testament, how he redeemed Israel. We see the law that he gave them. He showed them, how do you live out the core command of God? And when Jesus was asked, what is a core command? What if you were going to summarize all the law, how do you summarize it? You love God, and you love others. You love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and you love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus says all of the law that he gave Israel could be summarized into that.

Tim Lundy: 16:35 Now to them, he gave specific laws for how that people were to live that out in that time period. And we don't live by those specific laws, but because they were conditioned to that time, it was that way of expressing it through that kingdom. And so we're not under that law today, Jesus fully fulfilled it. But it's interesting to me, we're in the Kingdom of God, and we act like there is no law to this kingdom. Guys, in the New Testament, we're called to live under the law of Christ. We're called to live under the law of love. Dou know what the law of Christ, the law of love is? Love God with all your heart, and love others. Love your neighbor as yourself. We're still called to those core commands.

Tim Lundy: 17:18 Now in the New Testament though, the scripture tells us how to we live out those commands in these times, and it's not the same as Israel. We don't have a sacrificial system, we don't have the specific laws they had in that, but we still have the same kingdom ethic. And so, as you read through the New Testament, if you read through the books, Paul makes it very simple. In the first half of a book like Romans, Romans 1 through 11, he talks about Christ is Redeemer. Romans 12 and following, he tells us, Christ is ruler. How do you live out this law of love? In fact, as you read through the New Testament, it's telling us how do we live out the very law, the character of the kingdom that we're called to.

Tim Lundy: 17:58 And I call you to this, because I've got to be honest, I think a lot of people in the Kingdom of God today, we treat it as it's kind of an optional thing that we can choose. We treat it like I'm in the kingdom, I've got my ticket, I'm going to go there one day. Here's how a lot of people treat it. I believe that Christ died on the cross, that gives me my ticket to heaven one day. And so until then, I'm kind of in the waiting room and I kind of pick and choose which parts I'm going to do. Maybe I'll do good, maybe I won't do good, it's okay, I've got my ticket, I'm going to get in one day. That's not how scripture presents it. Jesus said, when you believe, when he's your Messiah, when he's the Christ for you, in that moment, he's also your Lord and you're in his kingdom today. And I'm called to live according to the standard of his kingdom, and I don't get to pick and choose. I mean, think about it, what government works that way? If you went to the U S government and you said you don't want to pick and choose which laws I'm going to follow. So I don't really like the tax code, or I don't like what it says about money. So I'm not going to pay taxes, I just don't like that. It's a little onerous, how dare they talk about my money? I hate traffic laws, I'm going to drive the way I want to. Nobody gets to live that way, you are expected, this is the law of this kingdom, this is the law of the land, and you're called to it. In the same way, King Jesus has declared he's the ruler of all of our lives. And guys, he has specific things that he calls us to. He calls us to specific things when it comes to our money, he's the King of our money, he's the King of our sex lives. He's the King over our marriages, he's the King over our homes, he's the King over our parenting, he's the King over our jobs. He's actually the King of life, and he's called us to how we're called to live that out. And I don't get the option of just kind of picking and choosing which parts I think apply, he's the King. That's what it means to declare Jesus as Lord.

Tim Lundy: 20:01 And I know some of you right now some of you are going, hey Tim, what about grace though? This is starting to sound like legalism. No, it would be legalism If I told you, you have to obey these laws to get into the kingdom. It would be legalism if I told you, you had to be good enough to impact your standing with God. It would be legalism if I told you that you have to live up to a standard that frankly you and I can't live up to, only Christ could, that would be legalism. No, it is by grace that I have been saved and have entrance into the kingdom, it's by grace that I live in the kingdom. Guys, I fail over and over, and he forgives over and over. But that does not mean because he is gracious, and because he's forgiving, he looks me and says, we can't just pick and choose the parts that you really like. No, he looks at me as King and he says, here are the standards of my kingdom. And here's what I can trust, when I obey Jesus' commandments, when I obey his standard, when I live it out, it is never life stealing. His commands are always life-giving, i's always for the fullness of life. But you will never experience that, if you don't embrace he is King, a King who redeems, but he's also a King who reigns.

Tim Lundy: 21:28 Now the second part of that definition, as you look at it, it's God's reign, but it's also God's people. It's God's people, and it's always been God's people. And so it goes all the way back to the garden of Eden, when it was Adam and Eve, they were God's people. They were the image bearers who were expected to reign and to rule and to live out this character, but instead of doing that, they, you usurped. Then it was Israel, the nation of Israel, and they were expected not just for themselves, they are expected to impact the whole planet so that all people could know God through them. And then now it's the church. And I know there's a lot of debate on these. Some people say, that God completely done with Israel, and the church has replaced Israel. And so they would say, you know, God has nothing to do with Israel again. Others would debate at the other extreme and say, these two are totally separate, separate parts of God's plan. I don't want to get caught up in that debate right now. For my part, I don't think God's finished with Israel, I think the promises to Israel, he's still going to fulfill to Israel. But as the church, I don't think it's a separate program either. Of course, we're the spiritual heirs of Israel, of course, this is this unfolding of the people of God. And so what he was doing with Adam and Eve, and then the story unfolds in a nation, and then it becomes to the church as the spiritual heirs of Israel. And it will culminate one day when Christ returns, it's, God's reign it's God's people.

Tim Lundy: 22:57 And then the third part of that kingdom is God's place. And this is important because sometimes we so spiritualize the term, we forget he has a real place in human history, there's a real place to the kingdom. And so that first place started in the garden with Adam and Eve. And then it became the place, the promised land, for Israel. And now it's the place, the church, the people of the church, the body of Christ, the people who have the spirit of God in them, so that we're the temple of God, so that everywhere we go, we're taking the Kingdom of God. And ultimately that place will be the new heavens and the new earth, when the city, the new city of Jerusalem comes down. Again, do you feel the progression of what he's doing in it? What started in a garden, and then it goes to a land, and then it spreads worldwide through his church.

Tim Lundy: 23:51 And then ultimately, it's going to be a new universe, a new heaven, and a new earth. And the hear me guys, it's a tangible place. Heaven is not a bunch of clouds, we're not going to sit on a bunch of clouds playing harps all day. I don't know who came up with this, I can't think of a worse future. Heaven is not going to be one constant worship service, where all we do is sit around and sing, that is not what heaven is about. It's a new heaven and a new earth. It's no wonder to me, I mean, when people hear stuff like that, when they hear it's clouds, when they hear all you can do is sing. I mean, that sounds so stinking, boring, no wonder all the rock songs are about wanting to go to hell. No wonder they always say, hell is this big party, and they talk about wanting to go there. Now you need to hear me, that's a lie, that's a damnable lie because it comes straight from the pit of hell. Because Satan wants to delude you, because that's his future and that's his eternity .

Tim Lundy: 24:52 I'm going to tell you, you know how scripture describes heaven? It's the party. It's the feast. It's the new universe. It's the new city. It's the new development. You've never seen technology like heaven's going to have. You've never had adventures like you're going to have in heaven. You've never had an experience on earth, your best experience here, does not compare to any experience you're going to have there. It's the new heaven and new earth that's a part of God's Kingdom. And if you want to experience that, you have to embrace him now as savior and as Lord. You have to embrace the fact that Christ died on a cross for me, and he's reigning now, and he invites me into his kingdom. Guys, the gospel is not this ticket that I punch and I wait one day so that I can go to the kingdom. The gospel is the invitation, just like Jesus said the moment he arrived on this planet he said, the Kingdom of God, it's here. Join it now, be a part of it.

Tim Lundy: 26:09 So how do we live that out? How do we live as people in the kingdom? And I want to close with this, and I'm speaking specifically of those you that would say, man, I have embraced Jesus as my savior, and I've embraced him as my Lord. You know, there's three descriptions when we think about this kingdom.

Tim Lundy: 26:26 The first thing, living in the kingdom means we're citizens, we're citizens of the kingdom. That's where
your citizenship is. That's why Philippians 3:20 says, "Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it, we await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." You are citizens first and foremost of the Kingdom of God, more than being a citizen of America, more than being a citizen of China, or any other country that you may have been born in, you may have a passport in, you may have a legal citizenship in. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, do you know what our first citizenship is, it's heaven, it's the Kingdom of God, it's this unveiling of what he's doing there and here. How would that change our thinking if we really embraced that?

Tim Lundy: 27:11 You know, I lived in Bangkok for a couple of years. And while we were there, I love the Thai people, I love the country of Thailand, I wanted well for that country. Sometimes there would be unrest, there was talks of a coup, they had a King, there was a transition, they were waiting for that transition of power. And I would watch that, but frankly, I never really got too worried about it. Frankly, it was not one of those things that it just impacted me as deeply, because even though I lived there, I wasn't a citizen there. Guy's, I wonder if it would change how we approach some of the unrest we feel and the fear we have, if instead of making our citizenship about our citizenship in America first, we made it about the kingdom of heaven. If we embraced what it really means, if we embrace the civics of the Kingdom of God.

Tim Lundy: 28:00 You know, when I was a kid, you had to take civics, it was a class you took in school. Because you had to understand what was the history of America, you had to know about the constitution, and the government, and all the different forms in it. And I was thinking about the other day, if we had a civics class for the Kingdom of God, if I gave you a test on it, how would you do? Do you know the history of your kingdom? Have you ever read the Bible all the way through? Do you know the history of this great story that I told you about, of this is how the kingdom started, and this is how it started in the garden, and this is what he did to the nation of Israel? Do you know the history of your kingdom? Do you know the economy of your kingdom? Do you know the economic system there, the reward structure of what God says things are valuable, and what they're worth? Do you know the ruling structure of the kingdom? I mean, think about it, we spend our whole lives preparing for retirement. I mean, people spend all of their life and their energy and their money to prepare for that 10 to 20 year window, hopefully, at the end of your life so that you can retire comfortably. We always talk about it, and I'm not against that. But isn't it crazy that we spent all that time, we spent all that energy, we spent all that money to prepare for that one short window of life. When we are going to spend eternity in the Kingdom of God, and how many people know so little about the citizenship of the kingdom you're going to live in for all eternity. Are you living like it, and preparing for it?

Tim Lundy: 29:34 The second thing it describes is, we're soldiers. Were soldiers, because remember this is a kingdom at war, this is a kingdom at battle. When Jesus came, he was coming to take enemy territory. When he sent his church out, he says, you're going out as my church, as an offensive force up against the very gates of hell. And if you look at this battle, look how Second Corinthians puts it. He says, "For the weapons of our warfare are not of flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds." Ephesians 6:12 says, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against cosmic powers over the present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Do you hear what Paul saying there? He says you are in battle, but you're not battling people, you're not making people your enemy. You're battling the demonic forces that are out there, you're battling the same enemy that showed up in the garden, you're battling the same enemy that destroyed the nation of Israel and was constantly tempting them. You're battling the same enemy that came to tempt Jesus Christ, and he stood against that enemy.

Tim Lundy: 30:47 And I would encourage you today, are you actually in the battle? Are you preparing for the battle? Do you even know the weapons of our warfare? That the Bible is actually the sword of the spirit, this is our weapon. And how often do you prepare for spiritual battle, because you prepared with the weapon. You know, we don't send a soldier into battle today, we would never in our army send a soldier forward of they didn't know how to use their weapon. I mean, they can literally be blindfolded and take a gun apart and put it back together, they know it that well. Jesus shows us that when he was tempted, when he was attacked by Satan, what did he use? He used the weapon of God's word over and over again, and he was so prepared for it, he knew how to use it skillfully. How about you? Do you read the Bible as the sword of the spirit? Do you put on the full armor of God? Do you actually go into battle in prayer? Because that's what prayer is. When you go into battle, you know, there's an old term we used to use about people that prayed a lot, we called them prayer warriors. The reality, that's what they are, because Satan hates prayer. In fact, I'm convinced some of the people we're going to be in awe of in heaven when God reveals them for the battle that they did, some of them, they're going to be elderly grandmothers that come forward and we're going to see how powerful they really were. I think, just my opinion, I think Satan is more scared of elderly grandmothers who pray, then passionate pastors who preach, eloquent pastors. And I don't say that to diminish this, obviously I love preaching. But guys, there's an effectiveness of preaching, but there's a battle in prayer.

Tim Lundy: 32:35 And I would encourage some of you need to stop battling other people out there, and start battling the real enemy. Some of you need to get off of battling people on social media, and actually go battle the real enemy in your prayer closet. And I know as I say that, you go, but Tim, I won't get any likes if I do that. Yeah, you'll get one, you'll get it from the King. He already said, in Matthew 6, every time you go meet him secretly in prayer, he likes it every time because he knows the impact. As a soldier goes into battle with the sword of the spirit, battling the enemy in prayer, as we go to our God and his power is unleashed. You're a citizen, you're a soldier.

Tim Lundy: 33:20 The last thing that we're called, if you're a part of his kingdom, you're an ambassador. I love how Second Corinthians puts it, look at this passage with me. Second Corinthians 5:20, "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." Paul says, we are his ambassadors. You know, when I lived in Bangkok, I loved going to the embassy, the U S embassy. Because there was the ambassador's residence, but also the official function of the embassy is that even though it was in Thailand, when you stepped on that ground, when you stepped on that soil, it was considered American soil in that country. It was like you were under the laws of America again. And so that ambassador was there to bring the culture, to bring the representation of the United States to that country. And so we liked going there on 4th of July, they would have fireworks, it was only place you could buy Dr. Pepper. I mean, it was those places where it was America in a foreign country. Now, the same is true with us, we're called as ambassadors and everything under us, everything associated with us, is kingdom country. So, your home is a kingdom home if you're a follower of Jesus, your job's a kingdom job, everything in your possession, everything you touch, you're to bring the culture and the standards of the Kingdom of God as his representative here. We're his ambassadors. And specifically notice what Paul says, "We are ambassadors bringing the reconciliation, inviting other people into the Kingdom of God." That's our core function as ambassadors.

Tim Lundy: 35:11 Guys, how would it change us if we lived like we were really in the kingdom? How would it change us if we thought of ourselves as citizens, as soldiers, as ambassadors? You know, I'm often asked as a pastor, if Jesus came back, what would he preach today? What would Jesus say today? And I am firmly convinced that if Jesus were to come and preach a message today, I think it would be exactly the same message he preached when he came the first time. I think he would look at everyone and he would say, repent, turn around, stop living the way you are, repent. Why? Because the Kingdom of God is here. May we believe it, may we live it, may we proclaim it to a world that needs to hear it?

Tim Lundy: 36:02 Will you pray with me? Father, I thank you that you invited me into your kingdom. I thank you that you're not only my savior, but you're also my Lord. You're not only my Redeemer, you're also my King. Father, I pray as your church, we would pray and live out as citizens. I pray that we would be soldiers fighting the spiritual battle. I pray that we would be ambassadors of reconciliation, Lord, we thank you that all of this is possible because of our savior and Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600