In this weeks’ message, we are remembering the “big picture”, or the Bible calls: the Kingdom of God. Our hope is not – nor it has ever been – in this building. It can help or hurt, but it will neither break us nor will it make us. We are more than a building; the cornerstone of our church is not the foundation of a building, it’s Jesus. And nothing is going to change that!
Matthew 6:33: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Mark 1:15: and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Luke 17:21: “nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
The Kingdom of God is where God fully reigns. It includes the defeats of evil, sin, darkness, and even death. And, it includes the enjoyment of the reign of our Lord! The Kingdom of God is already but not yet, and we live exactly in that tension: the realization of God’s glory, but the longing for His fullness.
Matthew 24:14: And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Matthew 18:18-20: And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The message of Matthew is this: the announcement of what God has done and what He will do. It’s the gospel.
Our mission, therefore, is to go and fulfill this command that Jesus spoke to His disciples.
Luke 8:1-3: Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.
Luke 9:1-2: And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
Luke 10:1-2: 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. 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.”
Why do we go? It’s the way to fulfillment; it’s the way to the end, to be with Jesus for the rest of eternity. We are motivated to fulfill our calling, to partake in the grand story of the salvation of God for all of us. Our motivation is to be with Jesus. In building this house, it’s our goal to be part of this big picture, to be active citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom.
Biblical references: Matthew 6:33, Mark 1:15, Luke 17:21, Matthew 24:14, Matthew 18:18-20, Luke 8:1-3, Luke 9:1-2, Luke 10:1-2
- What is your part to play in carrying out the great commission? Will you go? Will you give? Will you pray?
- Search your own heart and ask God, where are the places that I am dumb to the power of the gospel? Where does the Holy Spirit need to come in and awaken your soul to the revelation that when you share what God has done, you invite others into life instead of death?
- How can you be part of God building the church in Seattle this week with the big picture of hope? What does that look like? What will it take for you to step out and obey?