Taking Back the Kingdom of God | Matthew 6:33

YouTube video sermon

Our job as Christians is to lead as many people to Christ as possible before we go to be with Him!

Introduction

Matthew 6:25-33 ESV “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (26) Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (27) And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (28) And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, (29) yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (31) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ (32) For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (33) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

In 70 AD the Kingdom of Israel was completely wiped out by Titus of Rome. Nearly 2000 years later on May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel, establishing the Jewish state. In an afternoon ceremony at the Tel Aviv Art Museum, Ben-Gurion pronounced the words “We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel,” prompting applause and tears from the crowd gathered at the museum. Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first premier.

In the distance, the rumble of guns could be heard from fighting that broke out between Jews and Arabs immediately following the British army withdrawal earlier that day. Egypt launched an air assault against Israel that evening. Despite a blackout in Tel Aviv–and the expected Arab invasion–Jews joyously celebrated the reclamation of their kingdom, especially after word was received that the United States had recognized the Jewish state. At midnight, the State of Israel officially came into being upon termination of the British mandate in Palestine.

  • The Jews had a Kingdom… the Nation of Israel. Their kingdom was invaded, it was torn apart, it was destroyed, it was taken from them.
    • 2000 years later the Jews took their Kingdom back by force.
  • God had a Kingdom once, it was called the Earth. He was the King, and everything in His kingdom bowed down and worshiped Him.
    • Everything in the earth was His domain. It was His kingdom.
    • His Kingdom had a capital… it was called the Garden of Eden. It was a beautiful capital, the crown of Creation, run by two very high level officials in the Kingdom, their names were Adam and Eve.
  • God’s Kingdom was powerful, wealthy, and beautiful…
  • But then, like Israel, God’s kingdom was invaded, it was torn apart, it was destroyed, God even allowed His Kingdom to be taken from Him… who was this mighty invader, who could overthrow the Kingdom of God, who could cause Adam and Eve to be exiled, who could cause Eden to be hidden away.
  • The invader was none other than sin. And the general of Sin’s army was none other than Satan.
    • Sin invaded God’s kingdom, it invaded the hearts of Adam and Eve, it corrupted, it destroyed, it killed, it took over.
  • But like Israel, God does not plan on letting His kingdom remain invaded and conquered forever, no, He is going to take it back! Amen‽
    • And God has an army to do it with, doesn’t He? An army equipped with helmets, and breastplates, and shields, and swords… and specialized footwear that carries them into battle and results in God’s peace.
    • God is GOING to take back His Kingdom.
  • *Show Title Slide*

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Point One: The Kingdom of God is not about just You and Me

Matthew 6:33 ESV But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

  • What does this verse mean to you? What does it mean to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?
    • Have you thought about it? Maybe you have even heard sermons about it, or read commentaries about it.
  • I know that for much of my Christian life I thought this verse meant that if I wanted God to take care of me then I needed to focus on being the best Christian I could be…
    • Hey! That works on two levels… get it… the best Christian I can be… haha…
  • But really, I thought the key to God taking care of ME was for ME to focus on ME…
  • And I am not the only one who interprets this verse this way, in fact many people do. Here’s what one commentary says about this verse…
    • The Lord, therefore, makes a covenant with His followers. He says, in effect, ”If you will put God’s interests first in your life, I will guarantee your future needs. If you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then I will see that you never lack the necessities of life.”
      • And this is not entirely wrong… it’s just so weak… it’s so ME focused.
    • The very first line of the very first Chapter of the New York Times Best selling Christian devotional A Purpose Driven Life says it best….
      • The very first line of the very first chapter says mater of factly, and I quote “It’s not about you”!
    • It’s not about you! “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God” That’s not about YOU! That’s not about me!
      • We are part of God’s kingdom, yes, but we are only a small part! We are citizens of the King, we are soldiers in the army, but we are not by ourselves the entirety of the Kingdom.
    • WE ARE TO SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD! The whole Kingdom in it’s entirety! ALL off it!
    • God’s Kingdom was invaded and conquered… but we are MORE than conquerors in Christ! And we are called to seek it first! To bring it back! To cast out the invaders and restore the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

1 Chronicles 29:11 ESV Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.

  • Do you see what David exclaims here? YOURS IS THE KINGDOM LORD! The Heavens, the Earth… EVERYTHING is your kingdom!
    • Now the Heaven’s haven’t been invaded and taken over. Sin tried to take over heaven and God cast it out… but for whatever reason, God allowed sin to take it’s stand In earth…
      • But He’s not going to leave it that way, amen‽

Matthew 6:33 ESV But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

  • So again, this does not mean “Be better at being a Christian and God will take care of you”.
    • No it means this, it means GO AND TAKE BACK THE LAND THE ENEMY HAS TAKEN! LEAD PEOPLE TO CHRIST, LEAD HOUSEHOLDS TO CHRIST, LEAD VILLIAGES AND TOWNS AND CITIES AND NATIONS TO CHRIST!
      • It means that we ought to live our life seeking to restore God to the throne over the earth.
        • Not that God is not in control, not that God has left the throne… but that God want’s His creation known as MAN to return to him, to leave the dominion of Satan and sin and self and to return to the Kingdom of heaven where they belong, return to serving Him, to being made righteous by the blood of Christ.
      • This is what it means to be seeking the kingdom of God. It means casting out darkness, it means spreading light, it means leading people to repentance and making disciples of all nations, amen?
    • The most basic definition of the Kingdom of God is this. This is what you can remember, if someone asks you “what is the Kingdom of God” you can say this:
      • “The kingdom of God is the place where God is King”
      • The kingdom of God is the place where God is King, and God want’s to be King over all the earth and all who live within it again, amen‽

Point Two: We Ought to Be Seeking the Kingdom of God

  • So point two naturally flows from point one, we ought to be seeking the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 6:9-10 ESV Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. (10) Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

  • Jesus’ disciples asked Him how they should pray. Jesus answered to pray like this:
    • God, let your name be made Holy, and let your Kingdom come and will be done on earth, just like it is in heaven already.
  • You see God’s Kingdom is already established in heaven, and because He is King His will is done instantly and fully in heaven.
    • But on earth sin has invaded. God is not King over all the earth right now, ultimately He is, but He has allowed Satan to rule.
      • And as such God’s will is not done on earth, because it’s not His kingdom, so the people don’t obey Him… instead they obey sin. They think they are free but truly they are slaves to their master and king… they are slaves to king sin.
      • That’s what Romans chapter six says, don’t take my word for it, look it up… Roman’s six says that there are two masters whom we can serve… we can be a slave to sin, or we can be a servant of God and his righteousness.
    • So Jesus says, when you pray to God ask for His kingdom to Come.
      • And praise God, His kingdom has come, hasn’t it. It has come in my heart, I am a part of the Kingdom of God, it has come in my household… as for me and my house we will serve the Lord, It has come to parts of Cedar Rapids in the form of CLC and Veritas and River of Life and The Sanctuary and Springs of Life and New Covenant Bible Church and The First Church of the Open Bible and New City Church and all the other Bible centered Christ Focused houses of worship in our city!
        • But our prayer is not that the Kingdom of God should come in part… but that is should come as it is in heaven… and there is not a corner of heaven that is not a part of God’s kingdom… there is not even so much of a thought of rebellion in heaven, there is not a speck of darkness… THAT’S WHAT WE NEED TO BE SEEKING ON EARTH.
      • Our job as Christians is NOT to simply be the best Christians we can be… how self centered… no, our Job as Christians is to lead as many people to Christ as possible before we go to be with Him.
        • Part of that is being righteous and holy ourselves, yes, but it doesn’t end at us, we are NEVER called to stay at home. We are never called to sit and do nothing. We are never called to focus only on our selves.
        • NEWS FLASH if you are born again you are already saved! You are already a part of the Kingdom! Now go and help other people find the Kingdom, help other people find salvation.
          • Hear me now, I don’t say all of this to demean seeking righteousness in your own walk. You must seek righteousness, you must live for Him… but that’s just a small battle in a LARGE war.
          • We ought to be righteous for many reasons, one is to please and honor God, but another is to be prepared for the battle ahead of us…
            • Seeking righteousness, repenting from sin, growing in God is a part of a training regiment that prepares us as we go into the world seeking the kingdom of God… That’s what Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians chapter 9:

1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

  • We must be seeking our own righteousness and holiness through the power and the grace of the Holy Spirit, but it is a means to an end… the end is that we are going into the world preaching the Gospel so that some might be saved!
  • And that brings us cleanly to our third point: Missions is about the Kingdom of God

Point Three: Missions is about the Kingdom of God

Psalms 24:1-10 ESV A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, (2) for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. (3) Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? (4) He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. (5) He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. (6) Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah. (7) Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. (8) Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! (9) Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. (10) Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah.

  • The Lord’s rightful Kingdom is the earth. But only the righteous, those who are pure of heart shall enter.
    • And the only way to be made righteous is through the blood of Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ there is no salvation.
  • So the heart of Missions, church, is simply to preach the gospel. Simply to preach the Gospel to all nations, all tribes all tongues… everywhere there is life let the Gospel be preached.
  • In Matthew 28:19, the great commission, Jesus gives us our mission… the very heart of Missions is to obey the great commission:

Matthew 28:19 ESV Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

  • Missions is not about digging wells, it is not about fighting aids, it is not about building houses, it is not even about freeing girls from human trafficking… those are all good things, but they are only good if it leads to people being born again.
    • Missions is about people being born again and being discipled in Christ Jesus.
    • If the Bible is real, the hell is real… and if hell is real then just out of basic human compassion we should want ALL people to be saved, we should not desire anyone to perish in hell for eternity.
      • So while it is great to save girls from human trafficking, have we really helped them if they just die and go to hell anyway?
      • Instead, we fight human trafficking because it is evil, and because in the midst of the fight, after saving girls physically, we can lead them to complete and eternal salvation.
    • Digging wells and offering clean water is great, but what’s even better is the water that will make you never thirst again!
    • Fighting aids is a good cause, but only if it leads to more people in heaven and less people in hell.
  • So I just want to be very clear, when we talk missions in church we are talking about seeking the kingdom of God… everything we do with missions is to lead people to Christ… that some might be saved.
  • I believe everybody deserves to hear the Gospel, and we are going to be a church that help makes that happen, amen‽

Conclusion: MFP and Church Vision

  • Let’s bring out the kids as we talk about Mission Faith Pledges…
  • *Bring out Kids*
  • Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray
  • Now before I talk about MFP, I want to talk about the vision of Christian Life Church.
    • I am going to hijack Missions Sunday for a minute and turn it into Vision Sunday.

Proverbs 29:18 KJV  Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 ESV And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (3) For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end–it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

  • A few weeks ago Sister Pam suggested that we have a bit of a meeting to talk about the vision and the direction of CLC.
    • Pam I thank you for that suggestion, it has really convicted me… Pam’s really good at convicting suggestions! And we are better as a church because of it!
    • But ever since she said that the Lord has been putting these two verses on my heart.
      • And I felt like I needed to talk about the vision of CLC today on Missions Sunday.
        • Amanda confirmed that through a separate word this week as well.
      • So I quickly wrote up a vision statement… we already have a mission statement, that is really easy to remember. Our mission statement as legally filed with the state of Iowa is this “CLC exists to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow and obey Christ and all that He has commanded.”
        • It’s pretty easy to remember our mission statement because it ought to be the mission of all Christians!
      • But God has been putting this vision word on my heart. So I wrote a vision statement, like so many corporations in America…
        • Christian Life Church will… yada yada yada…
        • I wrote this vision statement, and it was professional, and sounded good… but it felt icky to me… it felt wrong.
      • Then God showed me what was wrong… He doesn’t want me to share with you some corporate vision statement that sounds like every other vision statement of any corporation in America… He wanted me to share with you the vision He gave me for this church… The prophetic Vision.
      • And I can’t believe I have never really done that, but I am going to do it today. Because God gave me a vision for CLC and I need to make it plain and clear for all of us to see…
        • God gave me this vision before we ever even went to Singapore, he showed me a church… and this church was big and it was active and it was thriving… and what He showed me about this church was not what Sunday service looked like, or what the preaching sounded like, or what the worship sounded like… that was not the vision He showed me…
        • Instead the vision He showed me was presentations being given by different leaders in the church.
        • The first person came up and pulled up a powerpoint… and on it it showed the Crime rates for the City. And this minister demonstrated how OUR CHURCH had a direct impact on Crime rates in the city.
        • The next person came up and pulled up a chart showing hospitalization rates, and they showed how our church had a direct impact on people getting better!
        • The next person came up and shared about the different nations being reached by our church…
        • The next person illustrated our impact on the homeless rates of the city and the employment rates of the city…
      • The vision that I was given by God was a church that had a real TANGAIBLE measurable impact on our city our nation and our world.
        • Because when I look at the good of the Bible I don’t see some spiritual fair tail that made people feel better, but that’s it.
          • I see a God who heals the sick, raises the dead, convicts the sinner, converts the criminals… a God who has real, physical, tangible impacts on nations… that’s the God we serve, AMEN‽
        • So, at CLC we are a church that focuses on Three Areas, and if you have been at CLC for a long time you have probably seen us EB and Flow through these three areas, as we would change focus from one to the other… but the vision is to have constant and direct impact over all three of these areas… These areas are:
        • Outreach, Missions, and Discipleship
      • *Show Vision Slide*
        • Explain each area
      • Now my goal is to one day have a full time minister to oversee each of these. To have an outreach Pastor, a Discipleship Pastor, and a Mission’s pastor.
        • Right now we have Pastor Teresa as our Mission’s pastor. She volunteered as much of her time as possible… but the vision God gave me is for so much more.
      • Church I want you to see this vision, I want you to grasp it, because we are still growing, and we need to grow towards this vision, toward this goal…
        • There are lot’s of birthing pains, and groanings, and whatever… but we will not always be in this stage… We will get to were God is taking us, Amen!
      • And I want us all to be a part of this…
        • Man if you are looking for a church where you can sit back and do nothing, this just isn’t that church… we are going to be a church that by the power and grace of God we CHANGE things! We help usher in the Kingdom of God, here and there, and all around the world. We are going to bring the battle to the enemy! We are going to plunder hell and populate heaven! AMEN‽ That’s the church I want CLC to be! That’s the church God showed me.

*Pass out MFP Slips*

Invite Amanda up to play

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  • Today is Mission’s Sunday. And if we are going to be the church that God has called us to be we must seek first the Kingdom of God.
    • That’s why we instill missions giving, we have since day one of the church nearly 5 years ago. Because it’s not about us, amen.
  • I want to tell you what this missions giving goes to.
    • It goes to sending missionaries to Guatemala.
      • Your MFP’s helped pay for Teresa and other CLC members to go to Guatemala to serve the people there… one of the most beautiful pictures from that trip is this one of a young man being baptized in Lake Antigua
      • Because of that Mission trip we are now working with Pastor Louis on the ground in Guatemala to help find pastors for churches in the outer villages full of people hungry for Christ.
    • Our MFP’s go to supporting Kingdom Life and Prayer Ministries International, the church that Pastor Moses pastors and left to be with us here.
      • His bother Pastor Henry Kargbo, as well as pastor Patrick are serving there now, we send a small amount of financial support to them monthly, I wish I could send more, but we are helping as we can.
      • One day we would like to send missionaries to support them there in Sierra Leone, MFP’s will be central to that mission.
    • And Our MFP’s go to Sergey and Irena in Armenia. In fact, by the grace of God, we are able to pay for HALF of their salary each month, so they can pursue the Gospel full time.
      • Sergey has a home church in Armenia, where it is illegal to be a Christian, and he also serves YWAM there facilitating missions trip, pastoring the missionaries and youth, and driving them around Armenia. YWAM is unable to pay him, so he get’s all his living from us and from International Christian Center in Seattle.
      • Sergey and Irena send their greetings to you, one day I hope to bring them here to greet us all in person!
    • One of the biggest reasons, though, that we do MFP’s is because it was MFP’s that started this church. Thousands of Singaporeans in Victory Family Center Singapore give MFP’s every month, and those MFP’s paid for our salary and our church planting here, it paid for our training, our plan tickets, our move, our house, our food, everything. Thousands of Singaporians believe so much in missions that they all gave MFP’s to send us, and many other teams, to lead people to Christ all over the world.
      • Not only that but the MFP’s of FVC and ICC both continue to support or church.
    • I want to bless others the way we have been blessed, amen‽ That’s why we do MFP.

*Go over MFPs

*Pray

*Collect MFPs

*Pray over Missions Food Potluck