1. In John 18:36-37 Jesus acknowledged to Pilate that Jesus was a King, but His Kingdom is “not of this world” (NIV), “doesn’t originate from this world” (CEB). Where did Christ’s Kingdom come from? Answer Synopsis: The Kingdom of God was the idea of God and originated with Him in Heaven. Earthly kingdoms have earthly origins and earthly leaders (Kings). God’s heavenly kingdom has heavenly origins and a heavenly leader (King). This difference of origin and leadership is only two of many difference in the Kingdom of God and any earthly kingdom or government.
2. Jesus said this his Kingdom was not of this world but he did not say His Kingdom was not in this world. What is the difference? Answer Synopsis: While the Kingdom of Heaven is ruled by God, its subjects are currently living on earth. Like the US army did not originate in Germany but in the ww2 it fought in Germany. Were ever an army is it fights for the interest of if place of origin.
3. Robert said that “the Kingdom of God” describes the one who rules my life and that the “kingdom of Heaven” describes where the authority to rule my life originated. He also asserted that they are interchangeable phrases/concepts in most ways. Read the following passages (out loud) together to see if this assertion is biblical: Mark 1:14-15 then Matthew 14:17 Matthew 11:11 then Luke 7:28 Matthew 19:23-24 (in one passage the terms are interchanged)
4. Were you/are you surprised by this? How did you view the two before. Answer Synopsis: Many have no understanding of the “Kingdom of God.” Most have a mis understanding about the “Kingdom of Heaven” viewing it as a place the saved go to after they die someday. In reality, it is a place every saved person is a part of and will be when they die and go to the heavenly location.
5. With this in mind what you think Robert meant when he said: “Christians do not escape this world to embrace the reign of God’ we embrace the reign of God to escape this world? Read the 1 Peter 2:3,4. What does this verse have to do with this idea? Answer Synopsis: We do not have to wait to be in heaven to be obedient to our King. Our goal, as the lord’s prayer says is to make sure “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
6. It was stated that the “Kingdom is, above all else, about my King.” Which attribute listed from Revelation 1:5-6 is most amazing to you and share the reason?
7. Luke 17:21 in the ASV says “neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you” and the RSV says “neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you.” Jesus was talking to the Pharisees (and us) so what might be the significance of understanding the God’s kingdom to be an inside (heart and mind) thing? Read the following verses and then answer. Matthew 15:8-9 Jeremiah 31:32-34 Romans 12;1-2 Proverbs 4:23 Answer Synopsis: God has always longed to have a people who obeyed from the heart and mind (Jer. 31) knowing that If something is a part of our mind it will transform who we are (Romans 12:1-2) and if it is from the heart it will motivate and control us. External motivation is always temporal motivation; it doesn’t last
8. “Repent the Kingdom of God is near” is a common phrase in the gospels. What is repentance and what connection does repentance have with what we discussed in question 7? Answer Synopsis: Repentance come from a Greek word that means to “have a change of mind and heart.” The truth is that you cannot get into the Kingdom by doing externals (praying, bible reading, being baptized, confessing) alone. You and only get in the Kingdom with a commitment from the heart. Do you feel like you have a heart/mind commitment or a ritual/rule commitment to God?
9. One of the points in yesterday message was that “King Jesus reigns in my heart through my faith. What is the correlation between Jesus residing in my heart and his reigning in my life? Reference the following verses in your discussion of this matter: …that the king may make his home in your hearts, through faith… Ephesians 3:17 (New Testament for Everyone) so that the Messiah may live in your hearts through your trusting. Ephesians 3:17 (Complete Jewish Bible)
10. List an area or two where the Kingdom reigning in your heart shows up in your life? List an area or two where your life does not reflect your submission to King Jesus? What can the people in this group do to help you become more compliant to the King in your areas of weakness or rebellion?