I want you to be prepared to turn to a whole bunch of scripture. I’ve been looking at this subject of the kingdom of heaven. I want to look at a whole bunch of verses that have to do with the kingdom of heaven. The title of my message this morning is “the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.
In Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
This is a very interesting verse to me because it really it is the beginning of the New Testament. And many of you know that the OT the last prophet was the prophet Malachi. He brought a message to the backslidden nation of Israel. He was calling for repentance for things that were creeping into the nation of Israel. After the Prophet Malachi spoke the windows of heaven were shut. The prophetic voice of God was silenced for a period of 400 years.
For you that don’t understand how long 400 years is, it is longer than America has been a nation. That’s how long God didn’t speak through the prophetic voice to the nation of Israel.
you get to the book of Matthew and all of a sudden a prophet rises up by the name of John the Baptist. The anointing of a prophet was upon him. The first words he had to say to the nation of Israel in verse 2:
KJV Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
What did John the Baptist mean by this? What did he mean by “the kingdom of heaven is at hand”? And, what does repentance have to do with the Kingdom of Heaven?
Well, if you have your Bibles, go with me over to chapter 4. In this chapter Jesus is led into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil. As He comes out of that temptation victorious the Bible tells us that the power of the Spirit was upon Him (in Luke) and this was the official start of Jesus’ ministry.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
What does it mean by this statement that the kingdom of heaven is at hand?
Why do we have to repent? What’s that have to do with it? Where is this kingdom of heaven?
There are also references to the kingdom of God.
KJV Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
What is He teaching? Preaching the gospel of the kingdom. What are the results of the gospel of the kingdom?
Healing of the sick, all manners of diseases being healed. They are bringing sick people to him in verse 24 that were taken with diverse diseases, that were tormented, possessed of the devil. Those who were lunatics and those that palsy and those that needed healing. And He healed them. Brothers and sisters, you need to know something this morning. Healing is a part of the New Covenant message. It’s a part of the gospel of the kingdom. If you’ve got churches claiming to proclaim the Gospel and healing is not manifesting itself there, they are preaching another gospel. It’s that simple. Part of the Gospel of the Kingdom is the healing power of God. If that’s not in your gospel, you don’t have the Gospel of the Kingdom. It’s that serious.
Now Brothers and sisters the only way into this kingdom is the way John the Baptist spoke about, the way of repentance. The only way into this Kingdom is the way Jesus spoke about. It’s the way of repentance.
Now, this kingdom of heaven manifesting itself in Jesus life is this way. Let’s see what He says about it in the next chapter. Matthew 5:3. He began to talk about the qualifications of the Kingdom and he said:
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