What if I walked across the street to the local school and walked into the office, saw myself back into the principal’s office and sat down in the chair? What if I got on the intercom and said, “Your attention please, everyone has a 15 minute recess, starting now.” What do you think would happen to me? Do you think the staff would listen to me or do you think the school would call security? Probably call security. Why? Because I do not have any authority over there. Corpus Christi School District did not hire me to be a principal. Now, what if I announced here in chapel that I had decided that there would be no recess today. Could I do that? Yes. Why? Because I am the principal at Annapolis. I do have the authority.
We will be looking at a famous sermon that Jesus preached while He was on earth called the sermon on the mount. Part of the sermon is the beatitudes, which we will spend most of our time looking at. One of the big ideas that Jesus talked about in the sermon on the mount is something called the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven. It is the same thing. Last week we talked about how in order to be a part of the kingdom of God, you must have faith. And God’s Word, through the work of the Holy Spirit, is how we get faith. And God’s Word also teaches us to live by faith.
Today we are going to talk about what is the kingdom of God? We pray almost every chapel, “thy kingdom come…” What are we praying for? We sing “seek ye first the kingdom of God”, what are we singing about? So, what is this kingdom of God?
Here is the first big idea. The kingdom of God is where God reigns as king. A kingdom has a king and the kingdom of God means God is its king. Here is the second big idea. God reigns as king where He has authority. I do not have authority as a principal in any school, just here at Annapolis. My authority is limited. So where does God have authority? Is it in small places? A church here? A school there? A few families? If God is the creator of all things and if God is all-powerful, then He reigns, where? Everywhere. So where He reigns, there is the kingdom of God. It is hard to see that sometimes because there is the kingdom of darkness that fights against God’s kingdom. We sometimes don’t see God’s kingdom because of the darkness so let’s talk a little bit more about what the kingdom of God is.
- God’s kingdom is real. It is a physical place. The garden of Eden was its beginning and it will be re-established again physically at the end of time with a new heaven and a new earth. All the events of time and history are marching forward. Christ will return to earth. God will judge every thought, word, and deed. Today is not some random day situated among a bunch of other random days. It is one step closer to eternity. Today matters. This moment matters. What you think, what you say, and what you do, matters for the advancement of the kingdom of God.
- God’s kingdom is now. When Christ came to earth, He crushed the head of the serpent and defeated the power of sin and death. We do not have to wait until we get to heaven to experience the blessings of the presence of God. Heaven is a place that we should long for and will ultimately be the place that we will no longer struggle with sin but God reigns now. He rules here. It may look like God is dead sometimes. God is absent but everything is under His control and done according to His will whether we see it or not.
- God’s kingdom is also spiritual. It exists in the hearts of God’s people. First in His church but also in places where God’s people, true Christians, come together, in a community, like here. God’s kingdom is here at ACA because God’s people are gathered here. So if God’s people are here, then we should be living as God’s people live, as servants of God our king. It should be very obvious that God’s kingdom is here, in the hearts of His children.
When God’s people gather together and work together, it is a chance to see and feel what heaven is going to be like. Isn’t it neat to think that we get to start to practice what heaven is going to be like here at school?
What this would look like at Annapolis is that we would first of all love God. That means we would love and cherish the Bible and what it says. Next, we would love one another. The boys would gladly hold the doors for the girls. The girls would graciously say thank you. We would immediately be obedient to our teachers. Play with each other at recess. Rush to help out a classmate. Smile to one another.
God’s kingdom means bowing to the authority of Jesus. Knowing that God is the king. He is the one to be feared, worshipped, and obeyed.
So who reigns in your heart? Who is king over your life? What kingdom is the one you are living for? We all know the right answer, but the real answer to those questions can be seen in how you obey your teachers. Right away, all the way, with a happy heart. How you obey your parents. Is that right away, all the way, with a happy heart? Yes, that rule applies to you at home as well. How you treat your classmates. How you do your homework. How you spend your free time. Would you rather stay home and play video games than go to church? All these tell you what is most important to you. If we are not willing to obey the authority of the ones we can see, our teachers, our parents, then you can be sure that you will not submit to God, whom you cannot see. If I don’t like submitting to the authority on earth, then I will definitely not like submitting to the authority in heaven.
God is our king. He has the authority to sit on His throne, over us and over our lives. He created us. He has given us his law and He has made a way through His Son to change our hearts so that we can now follow that law and live a life of faith. When we do that, when we let God reign over our lives, we are establishing His kingdom. We want to do that each day here at Annapolis.
My challenge to each of us, myself included, is let’s make Annapolis better today than it was yesterday. That the kingdom of God shines brighter today because of our good deeds than it did on Tuesday. Let’s live today, right here, serving our king. Bowing to His authority. Obeying those people whom God has put in our life to teach us how to submit. Who teach us how to obey. Who show us how to serve our king. God has not left us alone to do this by ourselves or in our own strength. He has given us his word, the Bible, and the holy spirit to give us what we need to allow God to rule in our life, in our house, in our classroom, and in this school.