15th October 2023

The Three Amigos

Passage: Matthew 24:14, 4:23- 5:12, 9:35
Service Type:

Automatically Generated Transcript

We have a continuation today of the topic that we're working through about the move from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. And the Bible reading reflected all the Beatitudes plus going on to what in the bulletin I've called the Three Amigos. And that idea of calling their bee to be Three Amigos has a little bit of taking the nomenclature, the names given in some of the films, where the idea of three people being called to help the politics has happened in the film world. And the actual film of the Three Amigos was a film set down in Mexico where three persons acted out the part of these Americans who had no intention of helping out the politics, but they got caught up in it. But the idea of there being three actually comes from further back in Europe where we have, of course, more films which reflect a little bit, slightly reflect the history that actually happened of the Three Musketeers.

And the Three Musketeers, though, had a fourth friend who was in high places, Darth Tanyan. And so there are a number of different films. You may have seen the one with DiCaprio in it where there is a king who has a twin brother and he's usurping the king, the brother, and having him put away behind an iron mask. So the Man in the Iron Mask is the film I'm talking about. We actually don't know whether there was a twin brother that King Louis, whatever he was, the fourth or whatever, had or whether that was the fate that had happened to one of his servants who then later betrayed the king, turned against him and got put away in an iron mask. I don't know the actual truth. But there was an element of history in the fact that a personage like Darth Tanyan had three friends who recognised in their political system that it only really worked if you got a good king. If you had a bad king, it mucked everything up. And so they're wishing to God that he would provide a good king. And the twin brothers, one's good and one's bad, and that's what the film ends up being about. But we're looking at a passage in the scriptures where there is a need for three things.

And I've called them the three amigos or the three companions. And they exist in Jesus' design for the new covenant happening as we move away from the covenant that was set with Moses and the law into the covenant that Jesus led in. And in the passage of the Bible, I have up there now, which is just beginning in the previous chapter and then moving to chapter five. But in that verse there, you'll see something very interesting. He went throughout all of Galilee, this is Jesus, teaching in their synagogue and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. Now underline in your mind those words, the gospel of the kingdom. The people who read the scriptures and talk about them and write their commentaries, there is a bit of difference of opinion as to whether or not that's just a synonym for the gospel of grace. But the gospel of the kingdom, as a matter of fact, the gospel of Matthew that we are exegeting, expositing through, mentions three times the gospel of the kingdom. And my intention is to go through those three verses, this being the first. But we noticed in a description of what Jesus does, that he's proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, healing every disease and every affliction amongst the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, the general area, not just amongst Jewish people. And they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons.

Notice the Bible distinguishes between diseases and demon possession, though sometimes people can have both, but they're not the same thing necessarily. So his fame spread throughout all Syria and they brought him these ones. And those oppressed by demons, those having seizures. So mental illness or brain problems is not necessarily caused by demons. And we make a big mistake always to lump it all in one basket. There are subtle differences and you can have combinations. And I've been watching on the TV the story of the carpenters. They're terrific singers from my era. But Karen Carpenter got that disease that was called the disease of people trying to diet and get skinnier. And anorexia nervosa. And the issue is very unclear even still as to whether or not that is something that is physically started or is it something started from psychiatry. So it started from the mental ill health. Or are the two one causes the other or are they two coincidental? There's an awful lot still not known, but she was probably one of the most excellent singers of her generation. And even though the carpenters sang with a tone that was not fitting in with all the rock styles around them, yet they captured some of the year of Britain and America, let alone here in Australia.

And there is this issue that's going on. But the Bible addresses that these things can be understood as not necessarily all the same. But what I want you to notice here that in the kingdom that Jesus is involved with leading in this first of the three verses through Matthew, I'm taking you through is one which speaks to everything and everybody. And great crowds, verse 25, followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis. That's the ten cities area. They weren't necessarily Jewish people. And from Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan, you can see it was a universal thing. Everybody Jesus is addressing. That's the end of chapter four. And the next part is the beginning of chapter five, where we have what is the beginning of the Beatitudes. Jesus goes up a mountain. We've talked on this at length of how he sat down up there, which was what the Jewish leaders would do when they're going to be teaching. And his disciples came to him. They knew the rules. They knew what that meant. And he opened his mouth, which is a saying about I'm about to say something serious. And he taught them and he goes through the Beatitudes. And we've done all these now. And we've come through the ones which are about how to come to God. The Beatitudes are about finding a connection with God. But they move on to what to do when you've got connected.

And there are three things that are indeed the Beatitudes to do with. That's why I'm calling them the three amigos. There are three things that you do when you've changed from being someone on the receiving end of the gospel to someone who's joined the group who are giving the gospel. And in history, in England and in the continent where this idea of their political system of work, if there was a good king, what the three, not amigos, they're the ones who went to Mexico. But the three musketeers did was joining with d'Artagnan, trying to uphold the good king. But the very hopes that they had, that which was their Christian religion would work its way through to blessing the nation. That's actually behind, politically behind, what all those stories are about, even though our screens and our films add in all sorts of extras that you'd hardly remember. The actual reason is based on the idea of a good king. Where did they get such an idea from? If it was a good king, there's only ever been one truly good. Excuse me, King Charles. But there's only ever been one truly good, and it's Jesus. And he is the kingdom that God has provided. And the Christian religion is about how Jesus comes to be the king and how there is a future. There's going to come a time when he will infect his kinship. But the three amigos that help him, all right, are those behaviours that we as Christians take on board.

And so they'll be at the end there, and I'll pick it up if my eye can see it. We're in verse, let me see if I can get the first one. Verse seven, blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Then the next one is, blessed are the peacemakers. And that's actually what we're up to, because we haven't talked on that yet, and I'm now doing. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Now what exactly does it mean for Jesus to be the king of the kingdom that has come, and that there to be this activity of the kingdom of God? And that when we take on board not just being those blessed by how Jesus came and died for us on the cross and rose again and offered Christianity and the chance for the forgiveness of sins, but we join on to be a part of the people who are on side with him as the king. Well, there are the three things that we need to learn to do, and they are to be merciful, as we've already talked about. It is to be a peacemaker, for they shall be called sons of God. You'll remember John's gospel, starting as many as received him. To these ones he gives the right to become the sons of God. And what triggers you to be the son of God is making peace with God through Christ and then being the recipient of the Holy Spirit coming into your life, which announcement of the availability of the Spirit to permanently indwell your life as you respond to Jesus as the one who died for you on the cross and rose again. That was the message of the Day of Pentecost Peter delivered when that first sermon on the Day of Pentecost was a gospel message.

Repent, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins is the cry of the new covenant, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. And that gift is permanent. So it's not like the Old Testament where you certainly have access to the Spirit working in you if you're in the right place with God, but it is that permanent receiving of the Spirit to live within your person and to bring God to you and to cause you to be on his team. So my first question about our three amigos is that they present to us a call to check up on ourselves. Check up on yourself that you've actually switched from being someone on the receiving end of the gospel, appropriating that way to come and be right with God, which is a way through faith, arranged by God by his grace as an opportunity that you can come to him. Have you been on the receiving end of what the Beatitudes are offering to be right with God and now find yourself on the team? And what you then have to do, one book, I've got a whole lot of text books and things that talk about these Beatitudes, and one book was really interesting. It was written in German originally and translated just around the time of World War II. I wondered how Christians could write the things they did given the circumstances of history in World War II in Germany. This book, they titled its headings, and each Beatitude had a heading, The Struggle to Find Truth, or The Struggle to Be Merciful, or The Struggle to Be a Peacemaker. And I thought, goodness me, I never noticed, I never realised people would call these Beatitudes something you've got to struggle with. But then I thought about it, there's an element of truth.

Once we've become a Christian, it is something that you've got to work hard at and you've got to struggle to think through how it's to happen, but you've got to join the team, and you've got to be ones who can have mercy. You've got to be ones who are aiming at pure in heart, that means you're wholehearted. Pure in heart means that you're someone who's not just half committed, but you're going to go all the way with, not LBJ, but all the way with Jesus, who's the King. And to be pure in heart means to be wholehearted, so you're not a little bit in and a little bit out. And one of the things the Bible does is calls on people, if you don't believe me, just read the book of Romans, which is all about coming to God by faith in Jesus, but then you get to chapter 12, nearer the end, and in chapter 12 he says, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable worship, your spiritual response. And so the Beatitudes call us to join the team that are giving, that are with the King, and you have to learn to be a peacemaker. And so that book, the one I told you of, created from German, in a time very difficult, because I don't know whether it was printed after World War II or before, but the two young authors were writing it before, printed afterwards I guess, but anyway, these ones call each of these a struggle. And you do have to struggle to learn how to be a peacemaker, because sometimes the circumstances, sometimes the pressures, sometimes our own makeup, we're not necessarily peacemakers. They shall be called the sons of God.

And when you learn to be like Jesus, then you know your mission is to make peace, and in his case, at great cost. And if you read the rest of what the Beatitudes talk about, you see that there's mention about the persecutions and things that you might face. The Bible tells us that not only are we called to believe in his name, but also to suffer for his sake. And there is a role of being a peacemaker that sometimes the world around you won't let you have. And so I guess because you're a peacemaker, a peacemaker doesn't mean that you're a pushover to give in to every other pressure, but it means that you may get persecuted, not because of what you've done, but because of the anti-nature of the people of this world. Blessed are those, look verse 10, who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Now what I notice immediately there, it talks about the kingdom of heaven. Now don't get it wrong, kingdom of heaven is not just talking about when you get to heaven. Kingdom of heaven is the kingdom that's resourced from heaven. Jesus spoke to Pilate and talked about the fact that if his kingdom was from the resources of earth, then all his servants would fight, not let them crucify him. But it's the kingdom of heaven, with heaven's will and heaven's deciding, believe me, the kingdom of heaven is to happen on earth, and the prediction of the Messiah was that he would arrive and be that king on earth, though his power would come from heaven, his resources from heaven. Blessed, verse 11, are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely for my account.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you all through the old covenant time. The prophets received the same treatment. And Jesus is predicting that God's people, trying to stick up for God's kingdom on earth, are going to have the same reaction. Now I said that there were three or four verses where the Gospel of Matthew uses the phrase that it does here about Jesus proclaiming the kingdom of God. And so we'll go to those verses just so that we cover them. And the first of those is the one we've just been looking at in Matthew 4. But now we go from there to Matthew 9.35. And what we notice about these occasions of mentioning Jesus and the kingdom, the gospel of the kingdom is the phrase that's caught my attention for today. Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming. This is very much similar to the one we just looked at in Matthew 4. Proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. He had a special role. We today are not able as Christians to heal everything. If someone's got you convinced that we should be able to heal every sickness, they're not being accurate to the Scriptures. Jesus can heal every sickness, but Jesus didn't heal every sickness. There's one verse, I won't bring it up just now, but it says, the power of the Lord was with him to heal on one occasion. God has his purposes, but the purpose sometimes, as the apostle Paul explained, is sometimes not to heal every sickness.

And as Jesus communicated to Paul, when he wouldn't take away his affliction he had, which we don't know what it was, Paul, whether it was a health thing, going blind, or whether it was a mental thing, but God didn't heal it, and simply said to Paul, my grace is sufficient for you. And grace is about God helping you despite your problems. Grace is about you not deserving the help that you get. Grace is the whole underpinning of the nature of God to offer the gospel of forgiveness though you don't deserve it. And Jesus here is healing every disease and every affliction because that's what the promised kingdom will have happen. And there is a future moment when Jesus will continue that ministry that he had here on earth when he went around, demonstrating the nature of the kingdom that had been promised, of healing everything. But we in the new covenant don't necessarily have the ability always so to do. And the apostle Paul's example is one proof of that. But nonetheless God does heal. As a Christian church we have to try and hold to the truths of the scriptures, that there is healing in the new covenant times amongst us as Christians. So don't have one of those attitudes where God miracles don't happen, or don't have the attitude that you're being too much of a charismatic if you believe in healing. No, we are all charismatics. In fact the word charisma used in the scriptures is used of that which we are as Christians. The pleasures of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. Through Christ Jesus our Lord. The charisma of God is eternal life. Through Christ Jesus our Lord. And the nature of being a Christian is to be a charismatic, a biblical charismatic. It doesn't mean that you swing from the rafters. It doesn't mean about your culture that you go around proclaiming and trying commanding God to do things.

As some more charismatic type people do, which is not what we're taught so to do. But nonetheless it is to believe that God can and still does miracles. It's incredible to me there are some people who believe the Bible and go to great lengths to tell you how they believe every word of the Bible but they don't believe that God heals. How do you believe the Bible and keep reading about the healings then don't believe it's for today. What a contradiction. So we always must be open that in the things to do with the kingdom God can choose and when Christ eventually sets this kingdom going he will deal with every sickness in the kingdom being talked about. There will be no sicknesses left untouched. I'm so grateful for the fact that all of us when we go through getting to glory will not be left with a half-baked salvation offering in our bodies. We're all going to be changed and changed to be like Christ. And so there are some things that God leaves with people and you have the illustrations of the testimonies of people like the girl who dove into the water and broke her neck. I've forgotten her name now. I used to listen to her. Sorry. Yes, Joanie Erickson. One of the great joys I had going to Wheaton College in the grad school was the big chapels every day and they'd have top-line speakers come along and to get, you know, four or five times a week a top-line speaker like Joanie Erickson. She used to paint with a brush in her mouth and she'd talk about how she knew the Lord and knew to trust him. And God blessed her with a tremendous ministry despite being, I don't know whether you call it a quadrilateral or not, but that's a fantastic thing.

And you couldn't help sense the Lord with her. And there are other speakers that came likewise in these chapels where they spoke of God being at work. And it's a fantastic thing to realise that God does do miracles today and he does heal. Don't rule out healing because it's a part of the kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed. And he went throughout all the cities and villages teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom healing every disease and every affliction. It's very similar wording to what we read before in chapter 4. That's chapter 9. I'll move now to the next one which is chapter 24 verse 14 and it was actually this verse that most caught my attention. Now you might be aware of chapters 24 and 25 of the book of Matthew is a part of what is often called the little apocalypse. The book of Revelation is often the big apocalypse. And apocalypse is about end times and all sorts of frenetic things occurring and all sorts of terrible things occurring and antichrists and angels busy with people and you know it's an enormous thing the book of Revelation. But they sometimes call what we find in Matthew 24 and 25 like a little version of the book of Revelation. And some of it is repeated in Mark and Luke. So you can put together the various parts and some people, some scholars, that doesn't mean they're right, but some scholars have a guess and they think maybe there was another document that existed and all three of our Matthew, Mark and Luke have had a gecko and that's where they get the information from.

I have a simpler explanation. The one that's in the Bible. They follow Jesus outside Jerusalem and went up to the Man of Olives and they sat down and they talked to him. They asked him questions. It was a bit of a journey up to the top of the Man of Olives. They wouldn't have gone up there and just had a ten minute talk. It wasn't just a little chat. They would have had a fair dinkum time of learning from Jesus. And if you put together all the things you've got in Matthew, Mark and Luke, it would all be over pretty quick. So obviously only snippets of it have been recorded. The three Gospels record three slightly different questions. I won't go into the detail of this. I've done that in the past and no doubt we'll do so again later. But as the questions differently are asked, so those Gospels have differing emphases as to how they answer the multiple questions that are being asked. And in Matthew's case, he's very interested in the future of the Gospel of the Kingdom. And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come. Disciples are very keen to know when the final end was going to happen and whether what Jesus was talking about, which was the destruction of Jerusalem, was going to signal the end coming then. And he basically said no. He basically said when you see things like all sorts of bad events occurring, but it's not yet. And he went on to explain, and he gets down to verse 14, about this verse, that the Gospel of the Kingdom is going to be proclaimed throughout the whole world, testimony to all nations and then the end will come.

Now because Matthew's Gospel is written with this particular emphasis on the Gospel of the Kingdom and we've been seeing three verses where it's particular. And by the way, what's interesting is the Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed, and there's different words that are used in the Greek for preaching and for heralding. And this is the herald world. So what is being happened is that there are people going around heralding it's going to happen, the end is near. Repent now! And that happened with Jesus and it happened with his disciples sent out to do a bit of journeying around Israel. They didn't get very far before they came back to Jesus and they didn't manage to complete that. But I believe there will be a time when Jewish people having been converted to Christ and become Christians, in the new covenant for them, they're not in it yet, but they get converted as a nation and then they are given by Christ this opportunity to complete what they started in Matthew of going around to the towns of Jerusalem, of Judea and Israel and tell people that they are to come into the Kingdom. And they're not going to get everywhere because there's going to be persecutions many of them are going to be hunted down by the forces of the Antichrist.

Many will die and some of them are going to be in heaven as Revelation speaks about of the souls of those who are martyred and they're underneath the altar and they're just souls. They haven't got their resurrection bodies yet but they cry out, oh Lord how long until you avenge our blood on those on the earth and they're told to keep quite a bit longer. They're told to wait until the time comes when the Lord will answer their prayers. But it is because this Gospel of the Kingdom is to have a second opportunity of being proclaimed throughout the whole world and the end comes immediately afterwards. Now once you add that in to your expectation about the end times you immediately have a number of theological questions as to exactly what events there are going to be. Especially of all the information in the books of Daniel and the book of Revelation about the second coming you'll end up with a complicated system. But there's no doubt that this verse is talking about the Gospel of the Kingdom will be heralded throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations who are going to do this heralding. They're going to be Christians for a start but they're also going to be converted Jews and then the end will come. Now not everybody who's scholars or whatever interpret the Gospel of the Kingdom to be like I'm saying and there are some who would teach it's just the same old Gospel we all have and there's an element of that of course that's true there's only one Gospel. It's centred on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ as being the Saviour and how He died on the cross for our sins and how He rose from the dead, how He's gone back to Heaven and He's been crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

That's true the Gospel always. But this mention of it as the Gospel of the Kingdom is particularly noticeable through Matthew and just to let you know that there's other ways to call the Gospel So let's look at what I'm talking about. Let's go from here to, let me get it right, Acts 20 verse 24. I hope I've hit the right one. Let's see what happens. Acts 20, did I give you that one? Yeah good. Acts 20 verse 24 and in the book of Acts just what we want you to notice is in Acts 20 24. Now this is the apostle Paul and he's facing getting killed and he's talking about what he would prefer to get martyred and go to Heaven to be with Jesus or not be martyred and have a bit more time to help out down here on earth. And he says, That's a pretty good description of the Gospel that Paul has and preaches and what was read to us in the worship time from Ephesians 2. The Gospel of the Grace of God. Now I don't think that there's only one Gospel but there are differing circumstances when the Gospel will be proclaimed. Paul was testifying to the Gospel of the Grace of God as the chief thing he was called to do. He didn't though expect it necessarily would finish with the end of everything. He probably thought it would finish with him getting killed. And that's what he's talking about here. If he were to get killed he'd go to be with Jesus and he'd be happy. But he wants to help the Philippians and the others that he's been helping. So he says no I'd rather be on earth too and help you.

Because he has a ministry to testify he received it from the Lord. He testified to the Gospel of the Grace of God. What's the Gospel of the Grace of God? It's simply the Gospel but without putting on the warning about the end that's about to happen. But the one we read about in Matthew 24 and verse 14. Let's go back there. Matthew 24 and verse 14. And this Gospel of the Kingdom. Studying about this Gospel of the Kingdom when I did my studies over in Wheaton's grad school. It was this word this. And this Gospel of the Kingdom. And what exactly is the difference between the Gospel of Grace that Paul was telling everybody and this Gospel of the Kingdom. Proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations. Now you know the Great Commission was going to make disciples of all nations. So it's not a different thing than the Gospel that we make disciples with. But it's got this this Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations. It's the warning note. The end is upon us. Turn now. That's the Gospel of the Kingdom. Proclaimed by the converted Jews I believe. Let me ring to you and I'm not going to try and go into all the different ways people try and put together all these things. We'd be here till next week if I did. I've got lots of commentaries to look at and if I tried to quote them all you'd be bored. But I'll just read one.

This fellow here is W. H. Griffith Thomas. He was a famous theologian and he's writing about and as he's writing here he's saying The passage does not refer to the coming of Christ for his people which is never described as the end his end coming for his people. For there are several events to follow that coming of Christ for his people. Reference is rather to the subsequent period connected with Israel and it has still to be fulfilled. When our Lord reveals himself once more to that nation there's to be a moment of Jesus converting the Jewish people its future to now. Now we've been listening to the news about what's going on. I've been trying to put it together with a statement about blessed are the peacemakers. I'm thinking to myself much of what I've seen about the Jewish nation doesn't demonstrate them being much of a peacemaker at all. I don't know what you think about the news you're listening to and about the Jewish people. What I did come to though a conclusion about is that if you look across history of what has happened with the Jewish people in their land of Israel ever since they were allowed to go back there that there's been skirmishes, six day war is that the prophecies about them keep coming true. And that God is behind them the Jewish people being in Israel. I'm so glad of our nation's leaders recognising all the malignity of the other nations that start these squabbles. It's happened all the way along ever since the League of Nations and other groups back in time 1940's example decided to have that declaration of them having their own land. They've been attacked. They've been criticised. They've been pressed against and there's all these forces to say they don't have the right to own it and if you measure by human terms who was there first the whole world has got people living in it where they've come at times and you can't establish any people to necessarily own a whole lot of land because they were there before others because the whole world has got people coming and moving and going all over the place.

That's true everywhere. So I don't know whether the Israelites have a human right to be in Palestine but they have a divine right. And what God has promised about them does keep coming true. Therefore they're like in fact if you went to Jerusalem tonight you'd probably find the majority of people are not at all God believing. Many of them are just secular types but God has still got his hand there. But that's not how it's going to finish. There is going to come a moment and some of the prophecies of Ezekiel we've been through this where the Israelite people are attacked from some northern country and they have their backs against the wall and they cry out to God and there comes a moment of the spirit coming on them and they get converted. Now it's an interpretation I know but it is what I think is going to happen to the Jewish people when they're oppressed in some of the world nations around them coming against them and maybe in the future time where there's an antichrist to really stir it up very bad when that happens and they've got nothing else and they cry out to God and they come back. The Bible says they'll look on him whom they have pierced. They'll understand that Jesus was the one and that they put him on a cross and they will mourn because of him and they'll turn to God and then will begin the time when they're picked up to be the ones that lead.
Apostle Paul talked about who's in the leadership of taking the gospel, and maybe it is the Gentile nations at the moment, but there shall come a time, and he warned the Gentile nations that just as they've been grafted into a root that really is a Jewish root, so God can take them out again. And God can put back in the original ones—that's what's going to happen. And there will be a time for the conversion of the Jews, and then they will have the gospel of the kingdom. And when they've gotten around, this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations. Then the end will come—that's the final end.

Now, if you want to check up on what I'm saying here, and I'll finish with one more Bible spot—I could go for a long time on this, it's very big—but let's just go to 1 Thessalonians, in chapter 4. And here we have, and what you'll discover is, where Jesus does come for his people. We just read Griffith Thomas, the one in chapter 24, verse 14, is not Jesus having come for his people, it's Jesus. Let me just read you this, verse 13: "But we don't want you to be uninformed, or ignorant, brothers, about those who've fallen asleep, the people who died, and the promises hadn't yet all happened, as you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who've fallen asleep, the people who've died in Christ. They're going to be brought back with Jesus from heaven. They've been in a bodiless condition in heaven. They're going to come back with Jesus."

"For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. The people who've died aren't going to miss out on the kingdom of God that Jesus came to proclaim. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with the cry of command, with the voice of the archangel, with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words."

And there's a difference of Jesus coming for his people, which probably that would fit there, and also Jesus coming with his people, which is maybe more accurate. He's coming with his people to land the kingdom of God and to finish up. And then the end comes.

Now, I'm not going to try and bring it all together, because there's a lot of details in just a simple one morning service, but I need to point out to you that where there is this phraseology of preaching, of heralding the kingdom of God, and then the end comes, that's a future time. It's a truth that applies to the great commission, and we know we have a great commission to fulfil. But there will come an end to the opportunity of the great commission being responded to. And just before that end, it will be the Jewish people leading the charge. We will be joining in, if we are still around, but at that time, then this preaching, or heralding, of the kingdom of God will happen, and then the end will be here.

Now, I know there's a lot of homework we have to do to get it all assimilated and understood, but for the moment, let's notice Matthew with his emphasis on Jesus come to bring the kingdom of God, and preaching the kingdom of God. These four spots where it's talked about, it's not exactly the same. It's just the fact that the gospel comes with its emphasis on grace, the gospel of grace. This is the gospel of the kingdom, and it's in the scriptures.

And when you have these Thessalonians, if you want a bit more homework, go back when you get home, look up the next chapter, just like we did in the Beatitudes, go from chapter 4 to chapter 5. If you do that in Thessalonians, read the first 12 verses of chapter 5 of 1 Thessalonians. It's going on, talking on this theme.

Heavenly Father, we thank You in Jesus' name for the scriptures. We thank You for the fact that our Saviour is the Saviour of the world. We thank You that He's going to enlist the Jewish people, by their being converted and becoming Christians, and letting them lead all of us in proclaiming and heralding the kingdom, the gospel of the kingdom. May this verse of Matthew 24, verse 14, dig deep into our minds: 'This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world.' We thank You for Your word, and we thank You for the thrilling end of the entire tale that's going to happen when Jesus takes charge. We praise You in His name, Amen.

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