OceanSide church of Christ

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WHAT WEíVE BECOME:

Citizens of Christís Kingdom

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.             When the Jews brought Jesus to Pilate, the accusation they made against Him was that He claimed to be a king (Luke 23:2).

 

And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a king.

 

1.                Such an accusation would have troubled Pilate as an agent of Rome.  He would see Jesus as a threat to the Empire.

2.                Pilate, therefore, questioned Jesus about this matter (John 18:33).

 

Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou king of the Jews?

 

B.              Jesus did not deny that He was a king.  He did, however, reveal the nature of His kingdom to the governor (John 18:36).

 

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world:  if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews:  but now is my kingdom not from hence.

 

1.                The Jews did not understand the nature of the kingdom.  They thought that it was a physical kingdom, not a spiritual kingdom.

2.                Sadly, many still misunderstand Christís kingdom.  The premillennialists are still looking for an earthly kingdom.

3.                Such a kingdom will never come.  Jesus said:  My kingdom is not of this world.

 

C.              Dear listeners, the kingdom of Christ is already in existence.

1.                It was prophesied by Daniel that it would be established in the days of the Roman kings (Dan. 2:44).

2.                Jesus said that it would come with power during the lives of those who lived in the first century (Mark 9:1).

3.                The power came on Pentecost day following our Lordís resurrection (Acts 2:1-4).  That day, the church, the kingdom of Christ, was established (Acts 2:47). 

4.                The Father has been adding the saved to it ever since that day (Col. 1:13).

 

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.

 

 

 

D.             Every child of God is, therefore, a citizen of Christís kingdom.

1.                As citizens, we have obligations and responsibilities.

2.                In this lesson, we want to examine what these duties involve.

 

I.        HONOR THE KING

 

A.             I Peter 2:17

 

Honor all men.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the king.

 

1.                Definition.

a.         Strong:  to prize, to revere, to value.

b.         Thayer:  to value, to revere, venerate.

2.         Honor, therefore, begins with a disposition of heart.  It involves oneís regard and love for that which is honored (EX:  George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher).

3.         Honor is then manifested in both words and deeds toward the one honored.

 

B.              In our kingdom, Jesus Christ the Son of God is the King (I Tim. 6:15).

 

Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate the King of kings, and Lord of lords

 

C.              Among His people, His citizens, the King is to be honored, adored, venerated, esteemed, and highly prized.

1.                Question:  How do you ďfeelĒ about the Christ?

2.                Many times in Paulís writings, he could not mention the name of Jesus without going into a lengthy description of Him (i.e., Col. 1:14-20 lists at least 10 things about Jesus after Paul mentions His name).

3.                Our honoring the Christ will then be expressed in our words and actions toward Him.

a.         Do you talk about the King?  Do others hear the respect you have for Him in your voice?

b.         Do your actions show that you prize him dearly?  Would the King be pleased by the honor you show Him?

 

II.      OBEY THE LAWS

 

A.             I Peter 2:13-14

 

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lordís sake:  whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well.

 

 

 

 

B.              Just as each physical nation has laws, likewise the kingdom of Christ has a law.

1.                The law of faith (Rom. 3:27).

2.                The law of the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2).

3.                The law to Christ (I Cor. 9:21).

4.                The law of liberty (James 2:12).

 

C.              This law of Christ is to be obeyed by the citizens of the kingdom (James 1:25).

 

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

 

D.             We should remember that these laws are not evil, but are for our good.

1.                They provide order.

2.                They promote the welfare of the kingdom.

3.                They protect the innocent.

4.                They render assistance to the needy and downtrodden.

 

E.              It is amazing how many citizens of the Lordís kingdom take His laws for granted.

1.                Two types of violations.

a.         Transgressions (I John 3:4).

b.         Omissions (James 4:17).

                        2.         Our sin seems to be rooted in pride, doubt, fear, and self-centeredness.

3.         This is very troublesome because judgment will have as its standard, the law of Christ (John 12:48).

 

He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him:  the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

 

III.     EAGERLY AWAIT OUR KINGíS RETURN

 

A.             At this present time, our King has taken a journey into a far country (Matt. 25:14).

 

B.              He has left us to do His work while He is away.

 

C.              He has promised to return (John 14:3).  When He does, He will reckon with His servants (Matt. 25:19).

 

D.             We do not know when He is going to return (Matt. 24:36).  Our responsibility is to be prepared for His return (Matt. 25:1-30).

1.                We are to watch (Matt. 24:42).

2.                We are to always be doing (Matt. 24:46).

3.                We are to use our talents in the Lordís service (Matt. 25:14-30).

4.                We are to seek out others and serve them (Matt. 25:31-46).

 

 

 

 

E.              How sad it would be if we were not ready when the King returns (Matt. 25:10-12).

 

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage:  and the door was shut.  Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, lord, open to us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.             The Lordís kingdom is presently on earth as the church.  However, this is not it ultimate resting spot.

 

B.              The Lord will come for the church (Eph. 5:27), and He will ultimately deliver it unto the Father (I Cor. 15:24).  There, it will eternally abide in heaven.

 

C.              It is for this reason that Paul wrote as he did in Philippians 3:20.

 

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.