God’s Kingdom will have a Powerful Effect
Jerry A Collins
Why should the
² What kind of influence can we expect God’s kingdom to have?
It is legitimate for each of us to ask and answer this question honestly: What is the source of your significance, security, and authority in life? In his book the knowledge of the holy A.W. Tozer said something like this; what you think, when you think ‘God’ is the most important thing about you. Your concept of God and His kingdom will do more to shape your thoughts and actions than any other single concept in your life. It is no wonder God gave so much revelation in the Bible emphasizing His attributes. Citizens and subjects of God’s kingdom must derive all of their significance, security and authority only from this Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is a Biblical figure used to designate the true, eternal, heavenly and supernatural domain of God over all those who wish that dominion—those in heaven, angels, and believers today and future. So what is this kingdom like? How does the realm of God’s domain function and operate and develop? The parables of the Kingdom explain that to us. Jesus gives us six pictures—the kingdom of heaven is like—of the nature of this kingdom.
Each of the parables begins with the same phrase highlighting the pictures illustrating the concepts.
Interpretation: GOD’S KINGDOM STARTS OUT SMALL AND RAPIDLY GROWS
Mustard Seed: We observe several things about this seed (1) It is very small—smaller than all seeds. (2) It is sown in
the sower’s field—sown by Christ and His follower’s
in the world. So it may not seem to amount to much especially with all of the
other competing kingdoms—Pharisees, Sadducces,
Scribes, Roman—vying to give you significance, security and authority. (3)
However, in this environment the
Application: (1) We should not attempt to build God’s kingdom for Him—Jesus said He will do that. Just plant disciples—sow them in the world. (2) Expect God’s Kingdom to start small barely noticeable—Jesus and the disciples—but rapidly grow after that—Acts. (3) We should plant the truth of the Kingdom and watch it grow. We have no control over it.
Interpretation: GOD’S KINGDOM IS IMPERCEPTIBLE BUT THEN SPREADS AND PENETRATES THE WORLD Leaven: Like leaven hidden by a woman in the flour, so the kingdom sowed in the field is hidden to the world but grows by it’s own nature to penetrate that field—the world. Notice she hid it inconspicuously and may no attempt to spread it. It spread all by itself. The source of this growth would be secret—most likely the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts of men—and it’s impact and influence would spread all over the place. In fact, only 40 years after Christ spoke these words, the gospel had been taken to the end of the known world.
Application: (1) We have the privilege of participating in the expanding influence of this Kingdom and He invites us to do that in our world—not build our own or think He needs our help. This Kingdom has the ability to penetrate on it’s own. (2) Don’t think that you are indispensable to God’s program.
These two parables explain the value attached to this kingdom—if it is understood, it will be seen as the greatest value of anything.
Interpretation: GOD’S KINGDOM IS OF SUPREME VALUE GREATER THAN ALL OTHER VALUES
Hidden Treasure: Again we have the picture of a field and a type of sower as the previous parables. So God’s kingdom is similar to a man finding hidden treasure—something obviously valuable but unexpected—and then buries it—which is common to protect it from being plundered—sells all he has and buys the same field. A point made is the unexpected discovery of God’s kingdom—almost by chance from his viewpoint. Realizing it’s value he hides it again. The idea is the value is so great he gives up everything he has to get it. It’s so valuable that he gives up everything necessary to have it.
Application: (1) God’s Kingdom may be found by seeking for it or
like one coming on it by chance—in either case, if it’s understood, it will be
seen as the greatest value ever. (2) Salvation is of crucial value because it
is the only way to enter God’s Kingdom. But it is a means not an end—a start
not a finish—a door not the house. The ultimate value is the
Interpretation: GOD’S KINGDOM IS SCATTERED AMONG FALSE KINGDOMS
The Dragnet: Like a large net requiring a team to operate
encircling a large area to trap fish and then be pulled and hauled to shore—is
Application: (1) The gospel is not simply an offer to heaven but warning about hell. As good news it has power to save men from bad eternal destiny. One does not have to choose hell to get there. Only refuse the claims of Christ—or do nothing at all. (2) We must not have any competing kingdom for our significance, security and authority. Our homes, churches, organizations, hobbies or careers may be used of God to advance His Kingdom—but never a place where my significance, security or authority are sought for nor found.