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The Kingdom of God

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NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM

Mark 12:28-34

1. Summarize the conversation between Christ and the unnamed scribe.

2. Accountable people may be divided into three groups:

A. Those in the kingdom (most of us are here) Rev.1:9.

B. Those far from the kingdom (not many here), though we would like it otherwise.

C. Those not far from the kingdom (some here).

3. In order to understand our subject it will be necessary to ask and answer several

questions relating to the kingdom.

I. WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?

A. There are basically two approaches taken to the kingdom:

1. God's future government among men to be ushered in at the second

coming of Christ.

2. God's present government among men ushered in at His ascension to

the father.

B. There are four terms that mean the same thing--you cannot be in one without

being in the other.

1. To be in Christ.

2. To be in the body of Christ.

3. To be in the church of Christ.

4. To be in the kingdom of God.

C. Let us examine the scriptures which prove these terms are used interchangeably

and to be in one equals being in the others: Eph. 1:22,23; Col. 1:18; Matt. 16:18,

19; Luke 22:30.

II. WHAT BLESSINGS ARE IN THE KINGDOM?

A. What advantages would there be to being in the kingdom if the same blessings

could be enjoyed outside the kingdom?

B. There are two types of blessings:

1. Natural blessings we obtain through the world of nature. James 1:17;

Mt. 5:45.

2. Spiritual blessings we obtain through being in Christ. Eph. 1:3.

C. Some examples of spiritual blessings:

1. Forgiveness - Eph. 1:7.

2. The blood of Jesus - Col. 1:14.

3. Jesus as high priest - Heb. 4:14, 15.

4. Prayer - Matt. 6:1-12.

5. The Lord's Supper - I Cor. 11.

6. Heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ - Rom. 8:17.

7. Promise of eternal life - Rev. 14:13.

8. Fellowship with the Godhead - Eph. 2:12-14.

9. Everything new - II Cor. 5:7.

III. HOW AND WHEN DOES ONE ENTER THE KINGDOM?

A. Only through the new birth (two parents). Jno. 3:3-5; I Cor. 4:15; Lk. 8:11.

B. Baptism is connected with the four interchangeable words:

1. Baptism puts one in the kingdom - Jno. 3:5.

2. Baptism puts one into Christ - Gal. 3:27.

3. Baptism puts one into the body - I Cor. 12:13.

4. Baptism puts one into the church - Acts 2:38-47.

C. It is not baptism alone that saves--it must be preceded by faith and repentance.

IV. WHO ARE THOSE NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM?

A. Those who have honest hearts. Mt. 4:5; Jno. 7:17; II Thess. 2:10; Acts 10:33;

Acts 8:26-37; I Sam. 3:9.

B. The good moral man who isn't trusting his morality to save him. Rom. 3:23.

C. The humble man who is not self-satisfied but realizes he is lost. Lk. 8:9-14;

Lk. 15:17, 21.

D. The man who learns his duty (not the cases of conversion).

1. What if a man gets close but never enters?

2. It grieves us that anybody would be lost!

3. Two scriptures shed light on this question. Mk. 10:17-22; Jas. 2:10.

4. No doubt--if I know and don't obey--what will happen.

5. We cannot presume.

V. WHY DO PEOPLE COME HEAR AND NEVER ENTER THE KINGDOM?

A. They were never taught that they had to do more.

1. Preachers deceive by saying "just believe" or "baptism is not essential."

2. Woe to them for preaching and us for not correcting the error.

3. We must die in the kingdom, not near the kingdom.

B. Some fear what others are going to say.

1. Christians will not be popular in some social, family and business circles.

2. If you please the Lord there is a great possibility you will displease a close

friend or member of the family. I Pet. 4:16; Lk. 9:26; Mt. 10:36,37.

3. How much courage did it take Jesus to suffer and die for you?

4. I would be ashamed to be afraid and afraid to be ashamed to be a

Christian.

C. Some are afraid they cannot live the Christian life.

1. We admire their desire not to be hypocritical.

2. Help is offered by the Lord. Jude 24; Phil. 4:13; I Jno. 2:1.

3. You have everything to gain and nothing to loose by being a Christian--

you couldn't become anymore lost than you are right now.

4. Our Lord will have no mercy on the fearful. Mt. 25:14-30; Rev. 21:8.

D. Some have something they will not give up.

1. Usually some form of a work of the flesh that brings them amusement.

2. We must repent or we are not ready. Lk. 13:3.

3. Dearest objects that hinder be forsaken and abandoned. Mt. 5:29,30.

4. A few moments of pleasure or an eternity of remorse?

VI. CONCLUSION.

A. Men either get in or go far away. Do not think your case is an exception.

B. The gospel appeals to the better part of man--don't waste your life on sin.

C. To answer "no" hardens the conscience (Felix and Agrippa).

D. You are nearer now than you have ever been before. "Lord, I'm Coming

Home."

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