Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 25, 2018

“The kingdom of heaven is at hand”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 10:1-15.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+10&version=NASB

I quote only the following Scripture.

“These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them:  “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans;  but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.  Freely you received, freely give.  Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff;  for the worker is worthy of his support.  And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city.  As you enter the house, give it your greeting.  If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace.  But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.  Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.  Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.”  Matthew 10:5-15.

—————-

What do the following Scriptures teach us about the kingdom of heaven?

Understanding and receiving the kingdom of heaven is a gift of God.  As the Canons of Dordt state, “… election is the fountain of every saving good …”  Article 9 of FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.

“Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.”  Matthew 13:11.

“But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.  Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:31.

“Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.  And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.  Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner;  my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready;  come to the wedding feast.”’  But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.  But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.  Then he *said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.  Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’  Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good;  and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.

“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he *said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’  And the man was speechless.  Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness;  in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:1-14.

Seeking the kingdom of heaven deserves everything we have.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again;  and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”  Matthew 13:44.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  Matthew 13:45-46.

The kingdom of heaven will fully grow to perfection.

“He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field;  and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”  Matthew 13:31.

“He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”  Matthew 13:33.

The good and the bad will be together in this world, but God will have no trouble in separating them and in destroying the bad and in preserving the good and bringing the good safely to heaven.  

“Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.  But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.  The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field?  How then does it have tares?’  And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’  The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’  But he *said, ‘No;  for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.  Allow both to grow together until the harvest;  and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up;  but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”  Matthew 13:24-30.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind;  and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach;  and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.  So it will be at the end of the age;  the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire;  in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Matthew 13:47-50.

As stated by the Canons of Dordt, “By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength.  But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.”  Article 3 of FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints.

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom;  to Him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.”  2 Timothy 4:18.


Categories

%d bloggers like this: