Luke 10:1-12 ESV After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. (2) And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (3) Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. (4) Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. (5) Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ (6) And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. (7) And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. (8) Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. (9) Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ (10) But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, (11) ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ (12) I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
- You know there seems to be a lot of confusion
over what this phrase “the Kingdom of God” means.
- Not confusion amongst scholars, they all seem to agree.
- But confusion in the church.
- Many in the church think that the Kingdom of God is only established when Jesus returns.
- That somehow these verses are talking about the second coming of Jesus.
- That somehow Jesus is sending out these 72 to
preach the second coming of Jesus…
- But church, it never makes sense to preach the second coming of Jesus to those who have never even heard of the first coming of Jesus.
- The second coming only makes sense in context of the first…
- So Jesus takes these 72 believers… and He sends them
out with this powerful mission…
- This faith filled mission… telling them to go out into the harvest, saying it is RIPE… meaning there are MANY PEOPLE ready to be born again after receiving the good news.
- Telling them that they are going as lambs in the midst of wolves… but that they should go none the less…
- Telling them not even to bring basic necessities with them, but to have the faith that it will be provided.
- And telling them to preach this important message “THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS COME NEAR”.
- Go into a house and if they receive you tell the whole town “The kingdom of God is near!”
- And if a village doesn’t revceive you, don’t waist your time there move on, find someone who will listen, and tell them “The kingdom of God is near!” “THE KINDGOM OF GOD HAS DRAWN NEAR TO YOU!”
- Let everybody know, everywhere you go “THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS DRAWN NEAR”
- It’s such an important message “The kingdom of God has drawn near!”… such an important message, but what does it mean?
- We are going to talk about that on this Easter Sunday
BRING UP TITLE SLIDE
- Say to Them “The Kingdom of God has Come Near to You”
PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY
Point One – The Kingdom of God – God with Us
Genesis 2:7-8 ESV then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (8) And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
- Here we see the Kingdom of God for the first
- And God creates man to populate His Kingdom
- And God creates a garden, a place in his Kingdom on earth for man to live…
- A place for God to walk with and talk with us. For us to enjoy Him and for Him to enjoy us.
- The Garden of Eden, God’s Kingdom, literally heaven on earth. Where God and mankind live together, walk together, talk together, fellowship together. No separation between man and God. THIS IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
- You see the Kingdom of God was never meant to be some future event… the Kingdom of God was designed by Him from the very beginning, that we would be with Him forever in His Kingdom.
- WE, MANKIND, WERE DESIGNED FROM THE VERY BEGINNING TO BE WITH HIM IN HIS KINGDOM.
- The Kingdom of God, put simply, is God with us
and us with Him.
- But every Kingdom has laws… and we messed it up, didn’t we.
- God gave us one rule, one law, don’t eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil… but we did… the first sin
- And our sin separated us from God, and kicked us out of His kingdom.
Genesis 3:23 ESV therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.
- For the first time man was on earth, but not in
the Kingdom of God.
- What then? Did God abandon His plan for His kingdom? Did He abandon mankind, waiting for the second coming to be near mankind again?
- NO! Ever since the fall God has been working on restoring mankind to a relationship with Him… working to draw mankind back to Him. To redeem mankind. To reestablish His Kingdom.
- He decided to do this through a single family, the family of Abraham.
Genesis 12:1-3 ESV Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. (2) And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. (3) I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 17:1 ESV When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless,
- You see that? WALK BEFORE ME. Finally, after the flood, after the fall of the tower of Babel… finally man was walking with God once more, the kingdom of God was coming back to earth.
- And this continued, from Abraham to Isaac, from
Isaac to Jacob (who became Israel)…
- Then Egypt enslaves the family, and God raises up Moses to free His people…
- So through the help of God and many plagues, including the miracle of the Passover and the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea, God frees His people…
- And then
something crazy happens. GOD HAS HIS PEOPLE… He has freed them… He has prepared
them since Abraham.
- Finally He has His people and He is ready to re-establish His Kingdom on earth, the way it was meant to be, God with man and man with God.
- So His people, who are free, and gathered, and being led by Moses… He says “I WANT TO BE WITH YOU! Come and meet me on this mountain, come and be with Me!”
- AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENS…
Exodus 19:16-19 ESV On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. (17) Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. (18) Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. (19) And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.
- Did you catch what happened? Look at verse 17 again…
Exodus 19:17 ESV Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.
- The people took their stand at the foot of the
mountain… they took one look at that mountain that God was inhabiting, with the
smoke and the fire and the thunder… and they were like “NOPE!!!!!! We are not
going up there! Moses why don’t you go ahead on our behalf… you go and be near
God for us… we will stay here where it is safe”
- The isrealites had been so condcitioned by the world… by the culture… by the masters they were slaves to… by their own sin… that they couldn’t dare consider being near God…
- So they sent someone to go be near God on their
- And so started something that would last thousands of years…
- One man be near God on behalf of all of God’s people.
- But that is not God’s design for His kingdom, God’s desire is to be with mankind… His kingdom is God with US… not God with Moses… not God with Elijah… Not God with pastor Christian on our behalf… no His Kingdom is supposed to be GOD WITH US!
- But God is patient, and He humors us sometimes… so He says to His people following Isreal, fine, if that’s what you want, then you can have it… only one man alive can be near me.
- Then Solomon builds this temple, and in this
temple there is a place for kind of holy people to get sort of near God…
- And there is a place for pretty holy people to get a little closer.
- But the only place for someone to walk with and talk with God, to actually be with God… for God to actually be with them, is inside this room called the Holy of Holies…
- And the Holy of Holies is separated by this incredibly thick curtain… the veil, so thick that they said even if you used the strongest horses in the land pulling from both directions you couldn’t tear it.
- THAT CURTAIN SEPERATED GOD FROM HIS PEOPLE. Only one person was allowed to go past that curtain, the High Priest… only one person could actually be with God.
- And so it was for hundreds of years… only one person could be near God.
- But that’s not what God desired, because God’s kingdom is God with us, not God with Him.
- So God sends His son in the flesh, to be born in a lowly manger, the first Christmas…
Matthew 1:23 ESV “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
- And Jesus, Emanuel, God with Us, grows up and teaches, and preaches, and heals, and cast out demons…
- it’s all leading up to the cross…
- And on His way to Jerusalem, on His way to the cross, He sends out the 72 and He tells them to…
Luke 10:9 ESV Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
- The Kingdom of God has come near to you! What is this message they are to preach? That the Kingdom of God, God with us, has come near to them. THE ABILITY TO BE WITH GOD HAS COME TO THEM!
- Then Jesus goes to Jerusalem, and He accomplishes what He set out to do… He restores the Kingdom of God to mankind…
- Jesus was nailed to the cross, killed by the ones He came to save… but look what happens as He breaths His final breath…
Matthew 27:50-51a ESV And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. (51) And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
- THE VEIL THAT WAS THERE TO SEPARATE MAN FROM GOD WAS TORN! NO LONGER WAS THERE SEPERATION! THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS COME! GOD WITH US!
Point Two – We Are The Priesthood Of the Kingdom
- You see the whole point of Easter…
- It’s the same point as Christmas
- The same point as the Holy of Holies
- The Same point of the Ark of the Covenant
- The same point as Moses meeting God on the mountain
- The same point as the garden of Eden…
- EASTER IS ALL ABOUT GOD WITH US
- BECAUSE GOD NEVER ENTENDED FOR IT TO BE ANY OTHER WAY! It was always meant to be God With US!
- JESUS IS GOD WITH US!
PASTOR? WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
- BECAUSE IF GOD IS WITH US THEN WE ARE ALREADY IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
- The beauty of the empty tomb is that we do not have to wait until we die until we can be a part of the Kingdom of God.
- The beauty of the veil being torn is that no
longer is there ONE PREIST who can be with God while alive… NOW WE ARE ALL
- Catch this, this is my final pint this morning…. WE ARE THE PRESTHOOD OF THE KINGDOM.
- Not “We, Pastor Amanda and I” no… WE, all of us, all who are born again, we are the priesthood of the kingdom.
- That’s what happened when the veil was torn, NO MORE SEPERATION BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. No longer one priest, but a priesthood!
1 Peter 2:9 ESV But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Revelation 1:6 ESV and [Christ] made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 5:10 ESV and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
- Do you see what Easter means?
- Easter doesn’t just mean life after death, Easter means LIFE NOW! GOD WITH US NOW!
- Therefore when we read in Luke that He is sending us out two by two, and tells us this:
Luke 10:9 ESV Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
- He is now literally sending us a priests, each
and everyone of us, to tell people that they too can BE WITH GOD and GOD WITH
- We are proclaiming God is with us and can be with you too!
- In a few weeks we will be helping as a church with Saturate Iowa, where we will go out two by two and give a film about Jesus to every single house in this zip-code… when we do that, we will be going out as the priesthood, you don’t have to have pastor in front of your name! We will be going out as priests to proclaim the kingdom of God.
- You have to catch this church, if you want to be
effective as a Christian you have to catch that your pastor is not your doorway
to Christ, that YOU are a doorway to Christ for others who don’t know Him.
- Before God was separated from men by a thick veil! BUT THAT VEIL IS NO MORE! GOD IS WITH US!
Altar Call / Gospel Call