Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
DLBC Gbagada HQ
8th July 2019
Study 18 – ASCERTAINING OUR CITIZENSHIP IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Text – Mark 4:26-34; Acts 1:1-3; Mark 4:11; 1:14
“And he said, So is the Kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the Kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?” (Mark 4:26,30). From those two verses of Scriptures, you will see that Jesus Christ spoke about the Kingdom. He came, preached, raised up disciples, suffered, was crucified, buried and resurrected, all for one solitary purpose – to call us into the Kingdom of God. After His Resurrection and before His Ascension, His messages to the disciples were still centered on the Kingdom of God, “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). We hear, repent and turn to Christ, believe on Him and seek Him to become citizens of the Kingdom. We remain and abide in the word that He is teaching us so we can retain our citizenship in the Kingdom until He comes again. Without entering the Kingdom, all we know, do, possess, or attain to in life is vain. “And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables” (Mark 4:11). There are many that read the Bible and attend church regularly, yet the Bible is a mystery to them. That is why we cannot gloss over this passage on the Kingdom, which is very important. The concern of Jesus Christ and His purpose of teaching is that we enter into the Kingdom of God, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15). Believe the gospel, that is how to enter the Kingdom. The Scribe (Mark 12:32-34) knew Jesus as Master, recognized the greatest commandment, the existence, uniqueness and high position of God, and yet had not entered, though Jesus said he was not far from the Kingdom. This is because you don’t enter the Kingdom with your head knowledge but with a transformation in the heart.
Point 1. THE PRIORITY OF ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Mark 4:26,30; Matthew 6:33; John 3:1-5; Mark 9:43-47; Luke 16:15
The Kingdom is established, proclaimed, revealed to us on the passages of the New Testament, and Jesus Christ has opened the door into that Kingdom, and now the priority in every life is that we enter into the Kingdom of God. “And he said, So is the Kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground” (Mark 4:26). The Kingdom of God is a reality, it has an existence, ‘so is the Kingdom of God’. As the farmer, the seed, the ground, sowing and reaping are reality so is the Kingdom of God. “And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the Kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?” (Mark 4:30). If you are comparing one to the other, if number one is real that you are comparing to number two that is real, so likewise the reality of the Kingdom of God. As farmers give priority to their sowing to feed their nations so we need to give priority to the Kingdom of God and make it number one in our life. “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Look at the things you do in life: sleep, eat, work, attend college, obtain certificate, get married, have children; all those things are not as important – individually or collectively, as the Kingdom of God. You can have those things and miss Heaven. The most important thing you should seek and pursue is the Kingdom of God. “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews” (John 3:1). Here was a ruler of the Jews, a religious Israelite who knew the Old Testament, had a position among the rulers in the land, but all that was not enough. There are many who believe that Jesus was a Great Teacher, the Founder of the Greatest Religion on earth, a Great Prophet, a Miracle Worker, yet though good it is not enough. The priority is entering into the Kingdom of God (John 3:2). “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Nicodemus was totally ignorant of the number one thing that would make him experience the Kingdom of God: being born again (John 3:4-5). The Kingdom of God is the government and dominion of God, the reign of God. When Christ enters a life, reigns and controls that life; that is the Kingdom. There are the present and eternal phases of the Kingdom of God. The present phase, God reigns and has dominion over man. The second is the eternal and universal phase. See how important the Kingdom of God is, “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire” (Mark 9:47). Eyes are very important to man, and yet Jesus said that if your eyes offend you, that is if somebody that is like your sight that can lead you to your desired destination, causes you to offend, cut away and separate from him. Same with your hand that will help you achieve success, give you prosperity, make you have everything that you desire on earth; if that hand causes you to offend, cut it off, separate from it. Anybody so important in your life like an eye, a hand or a foot that takes you to the place you want to be, and yet he is an offence, and would make you to despise the Kingdom, then you need to do away with such a person. Any giver, that gives you livelihood, and provides for your needs, but demands a payback in the form of being a sin partner, separate from him or her. It is better to go hungry and to heaven than continue with such a giver. This is how important the Kingdom of God is. “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). There are so-called Christians that worked so hard to be appreciated by their church, but they do not take care of their inward righteousness and private life. They justify themselves before men, but God knows their hearts. “…. since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Luke 16:16). Every man cuts the cords and separates from anything that will hold him back, and press into the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is so important, that is why you must give it a priority in your life. Three lessons here:
(i) The Priority of Entering the Kingdom – John 6:26. “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:27). Why do you serve God, read the Bible, come to Church, pray, seeking God, is it because of the mundane things of this world? Jesus said that is not wise rather we should seek for salvation, righteousness and the Kingdom that only Christ can give.
(ii) The Point of Entry into the Kingdom – John 3:3. At what point did we enter the Kingdom? When we were born into the world, bought and started reading the Bible or when we turned a new leaf and started being our best? Or is it when we chose and started attending a Bible-believing Church and surrendered ourselves as workers? The answer is NO. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The point of entry is the point of being born again. That’s the day you turn away from sin and to the Saviour; from darkness to the Light; made Jesus Christ your Saviour and Redeemer. And because you believed on what He did on the Cross of Calvary, He forgives your sins and sets you free to go and sin no more.
(iii) The Purpose of Enduring in the Kingdom – Acts 14:22; Luke 22:28-30; 2 Timothy 4:18. We don’t come in and go out or crawl in and out of the Kingdom; we come in and stay, abide and continue in the Kingdom. “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). We enter the Kingdom, and continue to the end. The Kingdom must remain the priority of our lives at every moment. The Lord will preserve and keep us unto the eternal Kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18).