MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #5359

Not Far from the Kingdom

A Sermon on Mark 12:34


Mark 12:34 ESV KJV
And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. (ESV)

Sermon Description

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.”

Sermon Breakdown

  1. There is no vagueness about our relationship to the kingdom of God. We are either in or out.
  2. While there are varying positions outside the kingdom, ultimately they don’t matter. What matters is whether we are in or out.
  3. It is astonishing how close one can get to the kingdom yet still remain outside of it.
  4. The scribe was praised for his intelligent interest in the kingdom. He appreciated Jesus’ answers and teaching.
  5. The scribe showed his intelligence by not coming to Jesus with the intent to trap him. He came with a genuine question.
  6. The scribe added to Jesus’ answer, showing he understood the spiritual nature of the law and God’s demand for our love.
  7. Jesus said the scribe was “not far from the kingdom” because of his understanding. But he was still outside the kingdom.
  8. The scribe’s interest was merely theoretical and intellectual. He was interested in discussing religion but not actually practicing it.
  9. Despite agreeing with Jesus about the greatest commandment, the scribe never considered whether he had actually kept it.
  10. The scribe never considered what to do about not keeping the law or his need for salvation. He didn’t realize his precarious position.
  11. The scribe didn’t realize who Jesus actually was or why he came. If he did, he would have asked Jesus for help and salvation.
  12. The only way into the kingdom is through belief in Jesus, by repenting of our sins and having faith in him.

Sermons on the Kingdom of God

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.