And when we said the word Jesus is really interesting to hear the responses. They said things like Christmas christ. Two people said always the Son of God, they no idea what it meant. But other people said it's not true. He's just a fake. He's just a magician. He's just a prophet who taught good moral lessons. Are there only said the word Christian they're like all they're nice people there people of faith and live their life according to some sort of a set of rules, but they're watching me very judgmental towards homosexuals and it's very anti-abortion. They're just part of a cult. Let me set the church like although they there's a big cool big buildings are so same big golden to show the corruption in the church because all the church cares about is their money. I had one person tell me the Church of the biggest capitalistic scheme in history.
If you're anything like me, you're probably thinking those words are harsh. I went argue with that. Those are harsh and realities to deal with. Biz Christians, we need to move past by what we think and realize the reality of the culture we live in Cuz this is a sad reality that you faced here today in Scotland in the UK. They think of Jesus as a fake. The church is a cult and they think of Christians as just nice people or homophobic.
In the sad reality. Is this also matches? the stats here today cuz it says by 20 25% only 5% of the UK people living here will be a part of a church and will be bible-believing Christians and we Face these realities we face the truth and we Face the statistics and we're at with the question what hope do we have what hope do we have here today is the church
So I'd like to walk him up something who's reading the scriptures.
This morning. We're reading from The Book of Luke if you're going to charge my volt its own page 1046. We're starting from Chapter 13 Verse 18.
Then Jesus asked. What is the kingdom of God like? What's showing compared to? It is like a mustard seed which a man to can planted in his garden it grew and became a tree in the birds hatched and its branches. again, he asked what shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast as a woman took a mixed into about 30 kilograms of flour until it worked all through the door.
Thank you, Joe.
Try not to read this passage to believe the one thing will most likely stood out to you guys as the one thing. It's repeated in both stores in the one thing that you just go to the compare these two and I was just phrase the kingdom of God God is what he uses these stores to compare it to show this is the two is this the phrase is common in both stories. I believe we need to ask ourselves to questions. Number one. What is the kingdom of God? And why is it important?
So what is the kingdom of God simply put the kingdom of God is the reign of God in refers primarily to God's kingly power exercise over all people in creation. And why is it important is important because the entire Bible summarizes with the kingdom of God is all about Stephen of these exact words the kingdom of God cannot be found in the Old Testament. You can see it weaved all throughout the Old Testament. In Psalms, 47 7 and says as it says god reigns over the nation's in exit 1518 said the Lord will reign forever and ever even after the northern kingdom fell even after the Israelites were conquered. They still had a future hope in the kingdom of God. It says not to have 35. It says Be Strong do not fear. Your God will come he will come with vengeance and divine retribution people come to save you and those the Lord has rescued were returned. They were entered Zion with Everlasting Joy. With crowning their heads gladness and joy will overtake them sorrow and sighing will flee away. Israel picture of the kingdom of God is God reestablishing Zion re-establishing the city of Jerusalem. I saw him which he would come in and Conquer their enemies and Concord and Val them to have peace in their land and this is where the Jesus comes into the story because God's plan for the kingdom of God was abundantly different Sheeran Loop. We are able to see how God intend for the kingdom of God to start. Jesus doesn't promise a conquering King but a servant King, he says he promised to the Cayman of God will start small and grow big is it is going to be the size of a mustard seed in a mustard seed as you can see is very small, but it says it's going to grow into a tree and was the birds can rest see the kingdom of God is not going to start with a conquering King of the Jews expected was going to start with a servant King. It was going to start with one man. And that man was Jesus and what he did and this one man. He took 12 disciples and what he did with his 12 disciples his show them how to live their life. You show them what it would look like to serve God and what you said, he done went and died on the cross been just died on a cross heroes in the Dead 3 days later and after he rose from the dead he went to his 12 disciples and said they gave him a mission. He said go baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit Go Make Disciples of all Nations and what these twelve men did they live their life? So radically that they LED 3000 Believers to Christ. They continued those 3000 believe his nose 12 men continually the live their lives in such a way that by the end of the book of Acts and by the end of the first century round 180. There's to bleed 10,000 Believers in Christ to the point that even though the church face persecution, even though the church was ostracized they can still continue to grow that by the time that 372 400 there is believed to be 9 million Christians within the church and it actually became the national religion of Rome. It went from being that they roam crucified their savior to not believe in it and it's being the national religion and here we are today. Where there is a round estimated 2.3 billion Believers here in the world today? If you look at this graph, this is what the growth of Christianity the green graph is. The graph of people in the in the blue line is the growth of Christians. And here we are today. We've been constantly on an upward trend. So when we look at this Parabola, we look at the parable of the Mustard Seed it just meant to show us the outward growth of the kingdom of God and it should encourage us here is Chris's because today we don't face good odds. Even though the odds are not in our favor we can hold onto the promises the kingdom of God in the words of Jesus are just as true today as they were when he said it that he said the kingdom of God will start small and it will continue to grow even though right now in the UK small. But not only did she encourage each other to Quinto Grado will grow throughout the world. But he also encourages us because of the Keys of the Kingdom of God will grow into the inside of the believer in here. We have the parable of the yeast. It says there's this woman and she has a yeast and she begins to work it throughout the flowers. She begins to work it through out the dough and it's about 30 kilos of dough and what it does it begin to transform against been multiplied by itself within the dough is very unique. Yeast is actually a living organism. And when it gets inserted inside the dough what it does, is it it what it does is it caused the bread to rise? It causes you to be able to see a difference? Have you look at this? This is when uses initially entered into it. And this is what happened to the dough after about it takes about an hour for this to rise to this is the transforming reality of a yeast on our lives. It begins to permit itself to the dough and it has a mass of transformational power. In the same is true when it when it comes to God and man comes into the heart of a Believer. He getting some permeate Our Lives begin to transform every area of our life. What are believers to miss himself for the life of the Gospel unto the kingdom of God the yeast desires or causes desire for the believer to work in all areas of their lives? All the sudden the believer has his desire to pray before they go to eat, but honestly saying God, I need you to guide every single one of my steps today today is going to be stressful. I need you today. It's going to cause you to desire to read your Bible to take I want to be transformed by this Living Word on all your old habits what she wants desired only causes just taste in your mouth cuz you've been able to taste the goodness of God.
It's not only does a yeast work itself all through the door, but it completely transforms the dough. It's orange forms that Dylan to a New Creation in the same as to when Jesus touches Our Lives reaches down into the deepest parts of who we are in the basket begins transform the very heart in The Believer. Today is what state uses entering into the dough. There's no taking it back out. There's no gain that he's back in the same is true of us. It says in 2nd Corinthians 5:17. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come the old is gone. The new is here. Is transforming us the gospel of the kingdom of God has been transforming us. If you are in crisis that you are a new creation. The old has gone. The new has come see we want to walk in the shame and guilt of our past. But in Christ were able to walk in the newness of life. We want start in our darkness in their shame or guilt, but now we can enter into the light of the Christ has to offer for us. We were once alien different God far from God, but now we've been able to enter into this love relationship with him. We were once identified but what we did but now we are identified through what Jesus did for us on the cross.
She was the king of God Reigns and rules in the heart of the believe. There's no going back. There's no way to turn back to your old self.
See the parable of the Mustard Seed has cemented show the kingdom of God the growth of the kingdom of God within the world in the yeast is meant to show the growth of the kingdom of God within the individual believer. So why is it important?
It's important because the kingdom of God must cause transformational growth in your life and within the life of your church. I believe a life of transformational growth is the one of the biggest examples we have to the non-christians.
Yep, sadly. This isn't reality.
So I did the survey. And I feel Dimension the first or the last two questions. We'd in the survey shows the last two questions. We ask people we ask him.
Do you have any friends in your life as a Christian? Do you have any family members? You know anyone that's a Christian and by far the large majority was yes. I know I have a friend that's a Christian house if that's encouraging. Going to be a second follow-up question. We asked them. Do you see any difference in the life of this give your Christian friend or whatever it is in the life of a non-believer the Christian friend live their life any differently than the life of the non-Christian.
And the sad reality? was no
at first this can't be true because what is it the same as fast as his Judas has the seed will be planted and it will grow he said the yeast will be entered into the dough. He said it will begin to transform it. He didn't say maybe he said it will grow. So when it's a person after person asking them hoping like this is going to be the one this is going to be the one that I asked the person you see a difference in your Christian friends live. This is the one that's going to say. Yes. This is going to be the one that I called. Yeah, dude. I had this Christian friend man. They live their life different. They live their life in such a way that it showed me what it looks like to show love what it looks like to be patient. Will it take to show Grace? They constantly put in the desires of others first.
They're constantly talking about the life transformational power that God has had on their lives.
But over and over and over again. I was just appointed.
And this result was by far the most heart-wrenching for me to hear and then honestly, it scares me half to death. for two main reasons number one They're talking about you and me they're talking about the body of Christ. We are called to live our lives in such a way that I just talking about some building that they can see that there was built a long time ago. They're not just talking about Jesus. The person never saw never actually heard of their talking about things. They actually seen experience.
the number to if they're not seen the life changed my life transformational growth of the kingdom of God in the gospel and our lives. Then why in the world would a non-believer one except the things of Jesus? Why in the world? Will they want to accept repentance and turn from their sin the current way of living if they're not seen the body of Christ radically transformed?
This is the hard reality we face. I was thinking to myself. How can this be true? Because he's Jesus as Jesus said he said it will grow the yeast will transform the dough. I came up with only two possible explanations. 1 the East was never our the yeast was still beginning to rise Z. It takes a while and this is the life of a believer that we're constantly being transformed by the renewing of our minds are constantly doing that and it's a possibility.
But there's also the second possibility. The East was never answered in the first place. Do you say was actually never taken in the Kingdom of God in the power of the Gospel was not actually inserted into our lives. And what does also sadly means have a church has never fully experienced a transformational power of the Gospel in the kingdom of God.
So the question is what do we do with this information? What do we show them a life has been radically transformed by the kingdom of God probably show them the growth in our lives. If you're anything like me, I began to ask myself. What do I need to do to make sure I live my life transformed. What do I need to do to make sure that I am experienced a life transformation of growth of the Gospel in my life. Okay, make sure the kingdom of God and go from being small to big. How can I make sure the kingdom of God will grow?
however When was asking this question? I found myself a kid in the power of God. I found myself thinking of the kingdom of God in my life and it's the growth in my life and in the world was depending on me. What was the exact opposite?
Should we need to remember the kingdom of God is Not based on what we can do. the kingdom of God is not dependent does not dependent on the growth because of what we can do it only grows because of who God is Tahari of life from a transformational growth Let's remember what this passage is all about. And when she just uses a story to compare it to is the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God is the rain and God over all creation and people what do we need to do as Christians? Weather for Nina's in the rain is king of our hearts in of Our Lives. see I believe the transformation of growth comes through submitting to the king. It's the same lord. I can't do this on my Lord Lord. I need you. I need the power of Christ to work upon me and leave me into your promises. I submit to you as a king of my life and allow you to rain in my heart and my mind or allow your word to penetrate me. Allow your word to change for me.
And all the sudden, I believe that you find yourself sacrificially giving up of yourself. So the power of Christ may be known. But not for yourself. but for his glory I want a non-believer begins to look at your life. ECG finding peace when finances in a come not coming in when they when they see that they have you have rest in the mist of stress and the worries of losing your job when they say you respecting your boss, even though they show you every form of lack of respect. They will begin to notice the transformational growth of the Kingdom. God has had on your life. Then one day it might come to you and you say hey. You're living your life different. You're living your guys changed. How are you living your life like this. That's when you have the opportunity to go invite them to lunch going by to the coffee going to come experience life with me do life with me. And then imagine you take that same person you invite them to church and now I'm not there. Just seeing one person radically transformed, but they're seeing a body of Believers radically transform in growing in the kingdom of God. That I believe is the mission of Christ.
Imagine a church, which every single person was submitting themselves fully to Allowing God Transforming Our Lives. I believe that there would be no doubt the trance that would be transformational growth. Is no doubt that lead to transformational growth because it's not dependent on what we can do. But only dependent on what God does through us.
so you're not interested in you you're saying this is your first time here and you might have been taking I just came here to see what this whole Christian thing was about anything special to you. And to you I'd like to say welcome. Welcome to Hope City. We have to live our lives are different. We have to live our lives are radically different and transformed by The Growing Power of the Gospel. But also maybe you came here you not expecting anything. But right now like just so you feel this beat in your heart you like there's something going on and you just you just can't explain it. Well, guess what? That's God working upon your life. Remember you came in here and you've been holding on to the regrets of your past and holding on to the things that once defined you.
Well, I got good news for you. Today is the day that you can experience a lifetime transformational growth of the kingdom of God in your life.
Baby, you're the you're the person who's been going to church. This is Benson calling themselves a Christian their entire life, but you also not looking like I haven't actually experienced this lecture transformational growth of you're talking about Are you? I also give you good news today can be the day that you can be able to experience the kingdom of God. Is the Christians that sitting in here today then says I have experience election transformational go through the gospel. I have seen the East change me. To you. I say be encouraged to be encouraged in the words of Jesus said the kingdom of God will start small and over continue to grow big. But to you, I also say be challenged. Bee challenge which was with what's going on in this world right now. They're not seen a difference in our lives. We should do should challenge us two more submit to the kingdom of God as a lord. I make you the Lord of my life of every are you allowed to cause you to further submit to the goodness in the graciousness of God?
So would you please bow your heads and pray with me?
So maybe you are that non-Christian and that person is in here in the room today.
And you do for that work in the Holy Spirit upon you right now today is the day that you can experience is freedom. Today's the day did you experience the last transformational goes to the gospel if you just sit in your seat right now, what did you just whisper is just in your head just pray this prayer with me, dear Lord. Thank you for being the creator of Heaven and Earth. Lord I am a sinner. I am in desperate need of saving. I have sinned against you. But here I am today repenting of my sins repenting of my password pending about my past mistakes. I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to experience this transformational growth. I admit that your one and only son came to die on the cross for my sins to allow me to walk in Freedom. Allow me to leave today forever changed by the power of your gospel.
Enjoy everyone else in the room. Toward my prayers that you would work on their hearts and Minds. Continue to transform them and allow them to live a life of transformational growth through the power of the kingdom of God. In your precious name. Amen.
Thank you Stephen. And we are going to take a few minutes now to go through some discussion questions, but you're going to appear on the screen. So just wait a couple of people around you and will spend two or three minutes come through it on Stevens.