THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
1. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
2. “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” – and the Sermon on the Mount may be thought of as the charter of that kingdom.
1. Kingdom: three senses in the New Testament.
a. In its earthly expression, it is the same people as the church.
i. Acts 2:47; 5:11
ii. Colossians 1:13
iii. Matthew 16:18-19
b. In its eternal state, it is equivalent going to heaven.
i. 2 Peter 1:11
ii. 2 Timothy 4:18
iii. Matthew 25:34
c. In its spiritual reality, it is the reign of God in the heart of a person.
i. Luke 17:20-21
ii. Romans 14:17
iii. Matthew 13:33
2. Kingdom: five characteristics in the Sermon on the Mount.
a. As to its worth, it is valuable enough to make the poor rich and the suffering glad.
i. Matthew 5:3, 10
ii. Matthew 11:5; 4:17
iii. Matthew 13:44-46
b. As to its way of life, it involves a quality of righteousness that exceeds any other.
i. Matthew 5:20
ii. Matthew 5:18; 24:35
iii. Galatians 5:19-21
c. As to its nature, it means doing the will of God as gladly and faithfully as it is among the angels of heaven.
i. Matthew 6:9-10
ii. Ephesians 5:17; Romans 12:2
iii. John 3:5
d. As to its priority, it is to be sought in such a way that anxiety over other things begins to fade.
i. Matthew 6:33
ii. Matthew 6:31-32
iii. Colossians 3:15
e. As to its significance, whether it has really been present will be the determining factor in judgement.
i. Matthew 7:21
ii. Matthew 7:22-23
iii. Matthew 25:41
1. “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
2. “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”