“THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM …” Part 1 of 4
THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH of the book of Matthew
comes to set up a kingdom ON earth,
called the kingdom OF heaven,
with the rules from the kingdom IN heaven.
What were the rules of the kingdom FROM heaven?
While Christ was on earth he gave Israel the rules needed for entry into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5,6 and 7). Today however, we can be born directly into the kingdom of God as Christians.
How are these two kingdoms different from each other?
Christ says “Look, I am the Messiah you have been waiting for, and I am also God in the flesh (Mat 1:23 ). I have come so that you can have heaven here on earth. We’ll call it the kingdom of heaven.”
Christ says “I am from heaven and I bring you the rules of heaven. You must take those rules from heaven and put them into practice down here on earth.” “Tell us more” the Jewish people reply excitedly.
So Jesus sits them down and gives them The Set of Rules that will be needed to have this kingdom of heaven here on earth. He gives them The Constitution, The Manifesto, of how this thing will operate. He gives them The Sermon on the Mount as contained in Matthew 5,6 and 7. These rules are called the kingdom gospel or the gospel of the kingdom. When he finishes, they are in disbelief!
“Those rules are too strict!” they complained “we’ll never be able to keep them. Are you saying that God won’t forgive us our sins unless we forgive others? Who can be pure in their heart? Pluck out our eyes if they cause us to sin? Who can do that? No, Jesus, maybe you’re not the Messiah we were looking for. Our immediate concern is to rid ourselves from these Romans who are crushing us to death.”
Jesus says “The kingdom of heaven, here on earth, will be works with the right heart attitude as well!”
be pure in heart to see God (Mat 5:8 )
2. Your righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees (Mat 5:20 ).
3. Saying “Thou fool” with no good cause will mean hell fire (Mat 5:22 )
4. Lusting after women is adultery and equal to the act (Mat 5:27-28)
5. Pluck your eye out if necessary if it causes you to sin (Mat 5:30 )
6. There will be no oaths using heaven’s name (Mat 5:33)
7. Limit your agreements to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (Mat 5:37)
8. Don’t pay back evil for evil (Mat 5:38-44) but go the extra mile (Mat 5:41)
9. You have to be perfect like God (Mat 5:48 )
10. Give alms in secret (Mat 6:1-4)
11. Pray in secret (Mat 6:5-8)
12. Forgive others or God won’t forgive you Mat 6:14
13. Fast in secret (Mat 6:16-18)
14. No hoarding up money or goods (Mat 6:19-21,24)
15. No worrying about food and drink (Mat 6:25-33)
16. Take no thought about tomorrow (Mat 6:34)
17. No hypocrisy (Mat 7:1-5)
18. Beware of false prophets (Mat 7:15-23)
Now the Jews were astonished (Mat 7:28)! They couldn’t believe their ears! These were IMPOSSIBLY strict rules. Christ had said “My kingdom here on earth will not tolerate sin!” The disciples said “Who then can be saved?” (Matt 19:25). Jesus answers “No-one”. But then he replies “…with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26), he was saying “I am God, pure and sinless, in the flesh. It is possible with me.”
If you believe that I can do this on your behalf, when you die you will go to a ‘half-way house’ called Abraham’s bosom. It’s simply a place in the earth where Abraham has gone and is waiting for you. People in the fires of hell will be able to see you, but you won’t see them, and it will be impossible for you to visit any friends or relatives that have gone to hell (Luke 16:26). Abraham’s bosom isn’t heaven. You’ll wait there until I am resurrected after the cross, then I’ll come and take you into heaven where God the Father lives.”
Saturday 7th August 2021
Part 2 on Sunday 8th August
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