Topic: Kingdom. The Battle Between Good and Evil. Category: Kingdom> Truth>
Bible Scripture: 1 John 1:5-7, Colossians 3:12-17, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Galatians 3:28, Isaiah 1:17-18, John 16:33, Ephesians 4:1-6, John 8:31-36 and Philippians 2:13-16.
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Throughout the history of humanity stories have been an integral part of cultural expression. Everyone loves a good story. One of the most common themes for a good story is the battle between good and evil. So today we will explore the reality of the battle of the kingdoms. The kingdom of darkness and brokenness and the kingdom of light and love.
the world around is
Let us look at the world around us. In this century of expanding knowledge there is a great darkness that lies under the sway of the evil one.
Ever since the first man and woman gave their authority to both good and evil. Humanity’s eyes have been blinded with unbelief. Living in darkness. Therefore God in His great love in Jesus shines His light into humanity’s darkness. The first aspect of kingdom of darkness and hurt: Broken relationships with the Creator God and others.
It is humanity that chose to become one with good and evil. The consequences were a physical, emotional and spiritual death. Their brokenness flowed over into their relationships with each other. Man dominated and woman manipulated. Both striving for power and control.
They alienated themselves from God. God did not walk away from a rebellious humanity. He didn’t even take away the gift of free choice, even when they chose to reject Him. Instead He continually pursued in His unconditional unending pure love, to reveal Himself to them. So that He could shine His great light into their darkness.
The first aspect of the kingdom of light and love is: Restored relationships with the Creator God and others.
1 John 1:5-7 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Jesus came to heal the brokenness. To put back all the pieces of our heart. To restore broken relationships of intimacy with God and each other.
Through the revelation of His eternal state of forgiveness we are turned from the darkness to live in His glorious light. Through His forgiveness in us, we can forgive others as we give His peace a place of authority in our hearts and minds.
Colossians 3:12-17 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
powerless verses powerful
The second aspect of the kingdom of darkness and hurt: The rich become powerful and the poor become powerless.
In this world the economically rich have the power. The poor become powerless. In a world driven by wealth, as money is power, the poor have no voice, no place of honour and no value.
The second aspect of the kingdom of light and love is: The rich and the poor become powerful.
In the kingdom of God He empowers the powerless and equips both the rich and the poor to be agents of transformation carrying His presence into every situation. Out of a revelation of His truth and justice comes a revelation that all power and authority belongs to God. He heals poverty relationships, confronts the abuse of power by the rich and the injustice of disempowerment to the poor. He restores honour to each individual with His economy of never ending unconditional love.
The King of the kingdom because of His great love gave up His riches and became poor for our sakes. This is unending love and amazing grace. So that through His poverty we might become rich. All who receive Jesus receive His kingdom.
2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
inequality verses equality
The third aspect of the kingdom of darkness and hurt: Community of unequals oppressing each other.
This world we see the inequality everywhere. Humanity striving for power and control. Putting others down to raise themselves up. Inequality through discrimination of caste, tribe, religion, gender, economic status, wealth and health.
The third aspect of the kingdom of light and love: Community of equals building each other up.
God’s kingdom is a community of equality. Where each one by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit surrenders or let’s go of their selfish desire for power and control over another. This is what the Apostle Paul terms submitting to one another.
When we surrender self and receive from Jesus more of Him, our selfish desires or flesh no longer has power to control us. Jesus breaks the power of the flesh and by His Spirit we see each other through His eyes of love and equality.
exclusion verses inclusion
The fourth aspect of the kingdom of darkness and hurt: Exclusion of people who become outcastes.
This world is full of exclusive groups. Many people are outcastes. Totally alone and lonely. Social isolation, depression and suicide are prevelant. Mental and emotional health has become one the major issues of this age.
The fourth aspect of the kingdom of light and love: Inclusion of all people who believe and live for Jesus.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Regardless of tribe we are born into, no matter what position we hold in this unjust world and no matter what gender we are born, we are all one in Christ Jesus. Equal in the kingdom of God.
God’s kingdom smashes through all hierarchal structures and social divides.
Jesus revealed all who are willing to receive Him enter into His kingdom.
injustice verses justice
The fifth aspect of the kingdom of darkness and hurt: Collapse of community and no sense of justice.
This is an unjust world. Evidenced by abuse of power, war and destruction, racism and discrimination, greed and selfishness, poverty and excess, hurt and pain.
The fifth aspect of the kingdom of light and love: Building of community with justice and peace.
God’s justice is complete shalom, holistic peace, where each one is equal. Throughout His love story the Bible, He continually defends the poor, the weak and the oppressed.
To a rebellious people who were chosen to be a light to the nations God invites them to the pathway of salvation. He will wash them clean if only they were willing to turn to Him. In turning to Him, He will change their ways.
Isaiah 1:17-18 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
In turning to Him and receiving from Him, seeking and receiving His justice, His perfect peace dwells in the hearts and minds of every believer. It is a daily journey of surrendering self will and receiving more of His peace, so that His peace will rule and reign over our hearts and mind, pouring out into our relationships. This peace is compete wholeness as a result of a covenant relationship with God.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
His peace is a work and fruit of His Spirit. His peace is a complete peace that overflows to others in word and deed.
Ephesians 4:1-6 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
captivity verses freedom
The sixth aspect of the kingdom of darkness and hurt: Captives caught in a web of lies and fear.
The world is trapped in a web of lies. Lies about God and self. Chaos and confusion reigns. Fake news, false identities and calling evil good and good evil. The search for truth is a matter of life and death. Jesus is the only pathway to truth and freedom.
The sixth aspect of the kingdom of light and love: Captives set free with the truth and love.
The truth about God and self sets the captive free.
John 8:31-36 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
dishonesty verses honesty
The seventh aspect of the kingdom of darkness and hurt: Corruption and dishonest practices become the culture. The heart of humanity is both good and evil. In bondage to self driven by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and pride of life. As a consequence humanity has corrupted God’s once perfect world. Corruption has become the culture, whether hidden or open corruption is everywhere.
The seventh aspect of the kingdom of light and love: Honest practices become the culture.
The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Philippi to let go of selfish ambition and receive more of Him. As a result His light shines through us in the darkness.
Philippians 2:13-16 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Living in reality of His kingdom in this world of darkness, starts with every believer and is a work of God. We simply surrender self and receive more of Him.
kingdom of God on earth
God the Father sent Jesus into enemy territory to heal the broken hearted, restore relationships, give equal power, purpose and place, Creating a community of equals raising each other up and including all who are willing to live in His kingdom of light and love, justice and peace, truth and freedom.
Those who believe and call upon the name of Jesus will be saved. Saved from the kingdom of death and hurt, bought back into the kingdom of light and love.
Jesus trained others and set them loose behind enemy lines with the mission to take back the territory that man and woman gave to the evil one.
Jesus has given us the authority to take back what we gave to the evil one. We do this by bringing the good news of the kingdom of God in words and deeds. Breaking the web of lies with the truth of the gospel in Jesus.
For such is the kingdom of God in this world damaged by evil.
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