Sunday, April 27, 2008

Forcefully Advancing The Kingdom


Both heaven and earth choose aggressive, decisive and determined individuals to lead the defining battles of life.

Key Scripture: Matthew 11:12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. (NKJV)

The New Living Translation says that the Kingdom of Heaven is ‘Forcefully Advancing’ … but that it is under violent attack.

When Jesus spoke His last New Testament words to His disciples from the Mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem’s Eastern Gate, He was giving them instructions on how to advance His Kingdom on planet earth. We know these instructions as they are now called, “The Great Commission”. You can read them in Matthew 28:18-20.

The Great commission demands we:

1. Go into all the world

2. Make disciples of all peoples

3. Extract a covenant commitment from each convert through water baptism

4. Teach observance of the commandments of Christ

5. Remember God is always working with us in all we do till we die.

You see when we serve God’s purposes on planet earth, we are either on coming from our greatest day, at our greatest day or headed to our greatest day and the truth is … its our choice!

Just take one character from the bible, it could be almost any character; Abraham; Joseph; Moses; David; Esther; Ruth; Jael; Daniel; Peter; Paul; Mary or Stephen … the example would be the same. Well for the sake of choosing one, let’s take King David as an example. In Psalms 27:13 David said:

Psalms 27:13 I would have lost heart, (fainted), unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. (NKJV)

But David was a King and God’s favored boy … what did he know about forcefully advancing the Kingdom … He had a charmed life … He could not possibly understand what it was to face a bad day, a wrong decision or a costly mistake. What did he mean he almost fainted?

Well review a little of David’s charmed life:

David was: (Not in chronological order)

* Victim of child abuse and neglect (left out with the sheep at night and attacked by bears and lions)

* His adopted/foster parent threw a spear at him

* Was forced to endure demeaning and divisive sibling rivalry

* His motives were continually investigated and questioned

* Recruited to fight Goliath & join the military as a minor without parental consent

* He was conspired against to be killed in battle by his own superior

* His Father-In-Law tried to kill him

* His wife was taken from him & granted a divorce without his knowledge

* His wife remarried one of his war buddy subordinates

* David lost his high paying job & credibility

* He became an unemployed homeless bum

* He was wrongly convicted of treason

* His life choices caused his parents to loose everything

* He began an outcast gang and became a gang leader

* Was a fugitive from justice

* Worked as a secret double agent in a foreign country

* Captured and jailed: offered a plea of insanity & was acquitted but expelled from the kingdom

* David’s best friend died young

* His wife, children & friends were kidnapped and taken hostage

* He ran a political campaign and was not elected

* He remarried his first wife

* His wife was barren

* He was a polygamist

* His daughter was raped

* He became a peeping Tom

* He committed adultery

* There was incest in his family

* He betrayed and murdered a friend and supporter

* One of his sons murdered another one of his sons

* David’s newborn child died

* He had to judge & banish his first born son from the kingdom

* David’s friends betrayed him

* His father-in-law betrayed

* His children betrayed him

* He lost his kingdom, his throne … his job late in life

* He was publicly ridiculed

* He was pelted with rocks

* His wife was raped

* David was old and homeless

* His son slept with 10 of David’s wives in public

* David battled an employee takeover

* His firstborn died in a senseless war

* David’s troops rebelled against his leadership

* God passed over David to build His church house

* David lost the circulation in his body

* He aged and became feeble

* He went through a second attempted take over by a son

* David was forced to choose between his children

* David gave up his throne

* David died


If God was with David certainly He will be with you and take you to your greatest day if only you will give your life to Him and let Him plan your steps. He is bigger than your last or worst problem or mistake.

Both heaven and earth choose aggressive, decisive and determined individuals to lead the defining battles of life.

The Kingdom of Heaven is still under attack but through it all we are still forcefully advancing. We must advance when under attack. Every man must press himself toward God’s goal of Kingdom Expansion.

Every generation has its particular battles. For the first church it was persecution under Emperors like Nero who cut off Paul’s head and crucified Peter upside down, and Kings such as Herod who beheaded James and cast many believers into prison.

In today’s world the church faces the enemies of secular humanism and atheistic ideologies which are set to govern thought and word making it a hate crime for people even to speak out about such acts as homosexuality or abortion on demand as sins against both God and humanity. Don’t get me wrong, we can and should love and have mercy on every person without respect to their past positions or decisions of life, but we can ill afford to promote alternate lifestyles and ongoing sinful choices as acceptable to God, the church or society.

While the 10 commandments can no longer hang in the court rooms of this great nation pornography is allowed to pervade the internet finding its way into the homes and daily lives of underage children left to themselves to surf the would wide web unsupervised.

And yet God has hope. His hope is in us, the church, the called out congregation of Believers in Jesus. Colossians 1:27 says it is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The church is the Army of God, the Bride of Christ and the Family of God in the Earth. And as such we are called to advance the Kingdom of God under the umbrella of the Great Commission.

It may not be easy, it may not be without costs, even great costs, just as it cost David. However, if the Kingdom of God is going to advance it must do so by forceful measures, powerful demonstrations and awesome signs and wonders.

What powerful forces will it take to advance the Kingdom of God?

This morning I want to give you Seven Powerful Forces it will take to advance the Kingdom of God in your life, your family, your community and communities like yours all over the world. Are you ready? Here they are:

1. Unfeigned Love (2 Corinthians 6:6 – Passion & Compassion)

2. Unwarranted Forgiveness (Matthew 18:22 – 70 x 7)

3. Unrewarded Sacrifice (Luke 6:35 – nothing in return)

4. Unyielding Faith (Romans 4:20 – Abraham staggered not)

5. Unquenchable Anointing (1 Thessalonians 5:19 – Spirit)

6. Undivided People (John 17:22 – Make them one)

7. Unfolding Plan (Revelation 22:13 Beginning & End)

If these things be evident in your life you will not fail to forcefully advance the Kingdom of God even under the most violent of attacks from the enemies of the cross. (2 Peter 1:8)

In conclusion I testify to you that the it will cost you to advance the kingdom of God and the price you will pay will be to act and react more like Jesus in the face of every adversity.

Both heaven and earth choose aggressive, decisive and determined individuals to lead the defining battles of life. So, put on the whole armor of God and resist the devil’s attempts to make you more like him.

God has a plan, He will succeed and You have a chance to participate.