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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Entering The Kingdom Of God Today

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Entering The Kingdom Of God Today -  Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D.


Jesus used many ways to bring his word to people's hearts and minds. In Luke's Gospel we meet a surprising word; "forces" as he explains how the climax of the ages has arrived with himself, and the breaking into history of the royal reign of God; "The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.' Hang on, this sounds a bit frenzied! Why so much eagerness to enter the kingdom of God? What's going on?
1. A whole new day has dawned
A decisive turning point has come. God's clock has struck 'Now is the time to come into the spiritual kingdom of God's Son to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life. This is God's final message for mankind - a message so great and good you will never be able to sit on the fence about it!'
With Jesus' coming into the world, God has kept his promise that he would send the Saviour, the very Son of God himself, who would deal with sin - the awful revolt against heaven's authority - and deal with it finally. He would even die paying the ransom price for others so that an untold number of rebels might be freed, and reconciled to God.
Jesus' words would have startled his first hearers. Even his disciples were hoping that Rome's Imperial rule would be thrown off by Jesus becoming a warrior-king Messiah, who would rule in Jerusalem like David and Solomon of old. They had a nationalistic dream for an earthly 'kingdom of God' but Jesus' kingdom was not of this world - that was not what they wanted at all.
Then after Jesus' crucifixion, his rising, his ascension and the outpoured Spirit of God - these mighty acts of God, usher in the beginning of the End Time. Later, many came to see that Jesus had fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies and how God's purpose was so different from their own earthly kingdom dream. Peter even quotes Joel's prophecy how the 'last days' have arrived with God pouring out his Spirit. Now the good news of God's salvation would be offered freely to Jew and Gentile alike, to all the nations of the world. A wonderful purpose, so much larger than their own earlier little ideas!
2. The Good news is so good - suddenly there is a huge opportunity
Did you ever see people camping out and queuing outside celebrity high street stores for fantastic sale items? Many will nearly go to any lengths to get that one designer label 'thing' - whatever they have dreamed about until they are possessed with this 'must have' determination. Well, translate that sort of determination into the scene described in Luke's Gospel, except here we are dealing with more vital issues, and you get an idea of these words, "and everyone forces his way into it."
When the Spirit of God begins to open people's eyes to see what is on offer, they make strenuous efforts to enter by the narrow door. Jesus is talking about a great return, back to God himself. Just because his first hearers were direct descendents of Abraham, did not qualify them for the Kingdom of God. This came as quite shock. They thought once they had thrown off imperial Rome and had their own messianic king, they would all be in the kingdom of God! But now people must face the royal proclamation of a crucified and risen Saviour! They must enter God's kingdom on his terms, or not at all. They must be born again.
This is why, when people see what is at stake - the issue of receiving the gift of eternal life, of peace with God, of a home in glory with the risen Lord himself - they seek God and desire above all else to be found by him. They become focused on receiving what the good news of God's grace and love is offering freely to all. Now they must have it for themselves. And they become gripped - almost overwhelmed by this great quest.
So this little word 'force' or 'pressing', is talking about the manner in which large numbers of people suddenly see this extraordinary offer of free salvation and eagerly desire it for themselves. They see this as the greatest of all offers of a great salvation fully secured by Jesus' death, when he shed his blood and paid the price in full for sin - and they ask to receive God's forgiveness and eternal life.
This word from the lips of the Son of God is about the great change that his coming would make. It emphasises the great necessity to turn from the darkness of empty religion to the light and love of Christ. We also see this word 'forcing' in the wider context of Jesus' ministry and how, for instance, on the Day of Pentecost, thousands of people surged into the kingdom of God.
3. This same message is for today
How does this relate to you? This great quest is not a reward for your determination, or salvation would be your due - but it's not your due - you don't deserve it - salvation is a free gift!God's gift of eternal life is wholly undeserved, and the good news is so good, suddenly there is a huge opportunity - like an open door! You let nothing stand in your way as you turn with strong resolve and trust the Lord Jesus as your own Saviour. You trust in him alone and know he has accepted you, as God's grace enables you to press into the Kingdom of God. Enter in today.

Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D. has authored several books and many articles that offer answers for many of life's big questions - Is biblical Christianity finished, or does it still speak to the 21st century?'  Take a look at my ebook or paperback, 'DAWKINS' DILEMMAS' to see how Richard Dawkins' atheistic belief cannot support itself, either as philosphy or science. Use the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Dawkins-Dilemmas-Deluded-question-ebook/dp/B007RFLYI8/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_t_2 My title, 'Darwin's Puzzle - Unravelling the Riddle of Reason' discusses how the evolutionary beliefs of Charles Darwin destroy human reason. He admits this when he says he inherited his thinking from monkeys. And try this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ZE34GG Use my books and articles to help you find faith in Christ, or to strengthen your faith.Also find titles on other websites - Thank you! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_J._S._Austin,_Ph.D. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7290681 


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1 comment :

  1. BORN OF WATER JOHN 3:5

    There are some who deny water baptism is essential to the forgiveness of sins, by debating the clear meaning of "born of water" found in John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.


    The primary debating point is that born of water refers to natural child birth. Was Jesus telling Nicodemus that one of requirements to enter the kingdom of God, was that he had to exist? That makes no sense. It is obvious if you were never born you could not enter the kingdom of God.


    To suggest that "water" in (John 3:5) means embryonic fluid, is at best an unreasonable conclusion.


    Jesus said you have to born again to enter the kingdom of God. Being born of flesh the first time is not being born again. Again never means the first time!


    When the apostles were preaching the gospel, did they say, in order to enter the kingdom of God, you have to physically exist; that is, you must have been born of embryonic fluid (water)? No they did not.


    Jesus said "unless one is born of water he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:5) Jesus said "has been baptized shall be saved."(Mark 16:16)


    THERE IS A WATER AND SPIRIT CONNECTION IN SALVATION.


    Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,(The AND cannot be ignored)


    WATER BAPTISM: washing of regeneration.
    SPIRIT: renewing by the Holy Spirit.
    NOTE: It is God our Savior that saves us.(Titus 3:4)


    Acts 2:38 ....be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


    WATER BAPTISM: for forgiveness of sins.
    SPIRIT: receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


    BORN AGAIN OF WATER AND SPIRIT!


    The only way to not understand that Jesus meant water baptism in John 3:5, is by using extra-Biblical sources.


    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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