From the time John the Baptist showed up there were people zealous for the kingdom of God.
Rev 3:15-16 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
The celebration people have at a football game is different from the celebration and worship people have at church. Why?
Either these crazy people are messed up in the head, or the stuff in the Bible and the God that they worship is REAL!
There is a right way to approach the kingdom of God and a wrong way. There’re more people doing it the wrong way. The reason why we swim upstream culturally is we aren’t stuck in the form with no power.
Luke 17:20 “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:”
Mat 12:28 “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.”
Luke 16:16 “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”
The kingdom allows that kind of force. God’s kingdom is here for the taking. Sometimes, we want it to just drop in our laps. Jesus stands at the door and knocks, but we have to open it!
Sometimes, we need to get some TNT and blow away the stuff that stands between us and Jesus!
Go through those obstacles. It takes actions, not just sitting and watching. The kingdom of God doesn’t come by observation.
Acts 14:22 “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.”
Much tribulation. How much do you want to change? How much are you willing to give up? You hold onto stuff that kills you. Let it go. Then you can get into the kingdom of God.
Peter was given the keys of the kingdom and gave those to others. Peter was responsible to bring salvation to different groups of people.
The kingdom of God is salvation, redemption, and a trip back to the garden of Eden. He is the king and we are His subjects walking with Him. It has nothing to do with wealth and health. It has everything to do with the relationship Adam and Eve had with God in the garden.
Rom 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
Miracles have a way of bringing people into the kingdom. It is just a matter of faith. We have needs. What we need is to lift up our faith to that level where it is normal to have miracles. We need to be converted to the kingdom.
Luke 12:32 “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
God wants you to be in His kingdom. God is like a father who wants to bless His child. A baby cries and travails and gets Daddy’s attention. We can do the same thing.
Mark 6:48 “And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.”
Jesus came to them, walking on the storm. He saw the need, but he ‘would have passed by them’. It was about 4am. Jesus came to see the situation they were in, but He would’ve gone on by. The need was there. He could meet that need. How many times has there been a need, but we didn’t seek the One who could fulfill it?
Mark 6:49 “But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:”
Who did they cry out to? They cried out to God!
Mark 6:50 “For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.”
How many times have we needed something, but didn’t ask for it? ‘I’ve got this.’ If you need Jesus, He will come to you, but you must cry out, you must come, you’ve got to reach out and take action.
Jesus was so interested in reaching and saving Jerusalem.
Luke 19:41-44 “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”
Jesus wasn’t saying, ‘I lost the battle to the devil.’ He wanted to help them, but they DIDN’T WANT IT. They rejected Him.
Moses came to a burning bush and God said, ‘I have seen, I have heard their cry, I know their need.’
Mat 26:40 “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?”
Don’t let your flesh get weak.
Acts 20:9 “And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.”
I know your schedule is busy, but would you allow the Lord to come into your life and make some changes? If you fall asleep, you could end up dead.
Jonah 1:6 “So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.”
Jonah was running from God and fell asleep. That’s where everybody who’s running from God is. They’re asleep. God sees the need, knows the situation, but if you’re asleep, nothing will change until you call upon the One who can change things. The kingdom is for the zealous. Jesus is worthy.
Your opportunity has come. It’s here for the taking.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full audio of this sermon (and other great sermons!) click here.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.