Kingdom of God
The Gospel of the Kingdom
What is the gospel is? A great tragedy today (even among professing Christians) is not knowing what the gospel of Jesus Christ is. In this Christmas sermon on Matthew 4:23 titled “The Gospel of the Kingdom,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the message that frames the beginning and end of the Lord Jesus’s ministry. By looking at both Matthew 4:23 and 24:14, he explores the message of the gospel from the perspective of the kingdom of God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that the greatness of the gospel is the good news of God’s kingdom (or His rule and reign). People are often guilty of reducing the gospel to subjective terms such as personal happiness or peace. They often start with themselves and end with themselves. But as Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches, the gospel of the kingdom reminds that the whole world is involved in God’s redemption. The good news of the kingdom reminds that the Son of God came to this earth not to simply make people respectable, but to make them obedient to God. This obedience to the King brings Him glory. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones answers the most important question of all: why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to come into the world?
The Kingdom of God
In this sermon in a series on Matthew 24:14 titled “The Kingdom of God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches on what the gospel is, not just what it is not. What is the way of escape that is offered to followers of Jesus and what is the kingdom of God found so often in the gospels? First, the gospel is good news. This good news is about God’s action, not humanity’s, and it is directly related to the kingdom of God. This is the realm in which God rules and reigns in the hearts of people. This kingdom is related to the good news of the gospel because it is a demonstration that God has not given up on humankind, thus becoming a beacon of hope for a lost world. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes with addressing God’s relationship to history. First, He is in control of all things. Second, God has acted, and is still acting, throughout history. From the very first pages of Scripture, God’s hand in the movement of history is clear: from the fall of humanity, to His promise to Abraham of a coming ruler, to the cross of Christ. All can trust His control over history because He has faithfully acted in history, keeping His promises, and staying faithful to His character.
The Kingdom of God is at Hand
In this sermon on Mark 1:14–15 titled “The Kingdom of God is at Hand,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones presents God’s message that calls all to listen to the truth. Humanity’s notion of Christianity is wrong. The depth of the knowledge of God’s truth is far from known. The modern position finds humanity without God and without a proper guide. Humanity is always ready to worship itself, but this must not be. Learn that all questions have already been answered, and the problems have already been solved. Listeners are encouraged to receive the revelation of God; His gospel announces a plan and a purpose and all that is needed has already been given. The problem of humanity today is the same problem that has always been. Christianity is the plan of God acting out in history. Salvation depends on what God has done in Christ, not on what a person can understand. Humanity is a slave of sin, but Christ has broken the chains to set them free for His kingdom and stand blameless before God in Christ.
Not Far from the Kingdom
In this sermon on Mark 12:34 titled “Not Far From the Kingdom,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones discusses the matter of the kingdom of God. No one suffered in this world like the Son of God. Biblical Christianity is not vague or indefinite. Either one is in the kingdom of God or they are not. Everyone will have to come to stand before God alone — it is a very straight gate by which one can enter. Learn how far one can travel and yet not be in the kingdom. Though there are various positions occupied by those outside the kingdom, they have no advantage over one another. Many people think that Christians are merely ignorant and unintelligent, but this is not true. Learn the true mark of intelligence. God cannot be bought by good deeds or sacrifices; the mere external acts of religion do not please God. Learn of the essential demand of God’s law. One cannot simply be intellectually interested in religion – religion must move from theoretical to practical, or else there is great danger. The law of God is not here to be applauded, but to be applied. “Believe and be ye saved.”
Entering the Kingdom
Why is the kingdom of God so divisive? It may seem strange to say that Jesus and His message are a source of controversy and division, but in this sermon on Luke 9:57–62 titled “Entering the Kingdom,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that it is just that. Jesus’s call is to follow Him and to become a member of His kingdom. It is a call to put Him above all things and Jesus takes precedence of all earthly comforts, even one’s own family. This is the radical message of the gospel: it tells that Jesus is everything and that His kingdom is now the most important thing in life. All conceptions of the kingdom of God that do not challenge the sinful human conception of power and the meaning of life are not the message that Christ brings. This sermon tells that Jesus has come to save and that nothing one does can bring about the kingdom of God. No amount of good works can bring heaven on earth, for the gospel is the only power of salvation. Only the gospel confronts with the need for salvation and God’s Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Signs of the Kingdom
From the time Jesus Christ went around Palestine preaching until the present century, there is a misunderstanding of the arrival the kingdom of God. There is a common fallacy shared by the Pharisees, Pilate, and the disciples long ago that also is shared today by the Roman Catholic church and liberal Protestant advocates of the social gospel. In this sermon on Luke 17:20–21 titled “The Signs of the Kingdom,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones states that they all believe the kingdom of God comes visibly and through social participation. In this passage, Jesus issues a strong warning to the contemporary church concerning the danger of believing the kingdom is brought about through legislation, social reform, or military conquest. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that the forms of the kingdom of God are quite clear from Scripture. In the past, the kingdom of God came in the power and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Presently, the kingdom of God is manifested in the body of Christ—the church—as He reigns in their hearts. In the future, the kingdom of God will be fully visible when Christ returns at His second advent. Listen to Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s teaching on the kingdom, avoid errors common to the modern church, embrace the truths given here, and learn how to belong to the realm in which Christ reigns.
The People of the Kingdom
Many people believe that through education and government the world will become progressively better. War will cease, and poverty will have ended according to these optimists. However, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues from Philippians 3:20-21 that this misplaced confidence in human goodness and progress is misguided and contradicted by God’s Word. For in Scripture we see that men are perpetually sinful. This is because all men are in the flesh and under sin and the judgment of God. Sadly, many Christians have fallen into a similar error when they say that the goal of Christianity is to make the world a better place by moralism and social programs. They say that by working to make society a better place we will bring the Kingdom of God to earth. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that this is a distortion of the purpose of the church, for the church is not just another institution of social reform, but it has been entrusted to take the Gospel to all the nations. This Gospel is the only means of true transformations because it alone has the power to renew the hearts of men and give them new natures. It alone has the power to overcome sin, the flesh, and the devil.
A Kingdom Which Cannot Be Removed
In this sermon on Hebrews 12:28–29 titled “A Kingdom Which Cannot Be Removed,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains the importance of heeding the call to repentance by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, should not be refused. While the misconceptions and vain philosophies of this age will soon fade, Jesus’s gospel and kingdom is eternal and unshakeable throughout all ages. More importantly, all people will pass, along with this world, and they will have to give account to every thought and deed. The judgement of God will be inescapable, but those who believe in God’s way of salvation through God’s Son will join Him in His everlasting kingdom. Since Jesus sits on the throne and rules His Kingdom forever, Christians will be in His kingdom forever. Christians will be considered as heirs and firstborns in His family. In contrast, those who refuse He who speaks, and instead trusts in their own abilities, will be judged eternally. They will be cast away with the worldly kingdoms and its ruler, the devil. All should consider which kingdom they would like to be in for eternity.