“Unleashing the Kingdom of God”
• Slides of New Orleans
• Which is harder – to build a new housing development on some farm land in Iowa – or to
restore hurricane- and flood-ravaged New Orleans into a beautiful city?
• Think of what it will take to make New Orleans livable again – and then think: What
would it take to transform the city of New Orleans into something resembling the
Garden of Eden or the New Jerusalem?
• Clean-up & reconstruction // political reform // economic revitalization // environmental
• Change of human nature & culture // demolishing spiritual strongholds of evil
• In other words -- it would take nothing less than the coming of the Kingdom of God
• There is no power on earth that could transform New Orleans into a Garden of Eden or
the New Jerusalem
• It would take nothing less than the power of the Kingdom of God to raise an entire city
from death to life
• TURN OFF SLIDES OF NEW ORLEANS
• When the Kingdom of God comes to earth in all its fullness at the Second Coming of
Christ -- all areas of human existence will be transformed – physically // spiritually //
socially // economically // politically // morally // environmentally // internationally //
• When the Kingdom of God comes in its fullness – there will be no more poverty // no
more war // no more terrorism // no more suffering // no more hunger // no more sickness
or disease // no more death // no more pain // no more political oppression // no more
pollution // no more addictions // no more evil of any kind
• All of the things that make life on earth so full of sorrow and grief and misery can
be reduced to the work of these three enemies of mankind: sin // death // Satan
• Because of the dominion of sin – there is man’s inhumanity to man // there is death //
there is the curse // there is all the suffering that goes with life in this fallen world
• Because of the dominion of death – there is sickness and disease and aging and accidents
and cancer and Alzheimer’s and AIDS
• Because of the dominion of Satan – there is falsehood and deception and temptation and
evil and spiritual oppression
• New Orleans is Exhibit A of a city that is under the dominion of sin, death and
Satan – and is helpless to free itself from such bondage by its own efforts
• New Orleans will not be rebuilt without lots of outside help from Christians and
churches and people of good will
• But even if the city is eventually rebuilt physically in terms of housing and businesses and
schools – unless the Kingdom of God comes in power to New Orleans – the oppression by
sin, death and Satan will continue – as in all major cities
• Indeed, the dominion of sin, death and Satan is evident even in places like Eldridge
• All the technological advances of the past century have not changed the reality that this
fallen world is just as much under the dominion of sin, death and Satan as ever before
• The Good News of the Kingdom of God is the reign of God through Christ defeating
and destroying these enemies of sin, death and Satan – and the Kingdom’s
triumphant activity has already begun
• One of the most profound differences in worldviews is this one: many people have a
worldview that says that this world always was and always will be as it is now – a
mixture of life and death // good and evil // beauty and ugliness // happiness and misery //
blessing and suffering // justice and injustice // righteousness and wickedness // love and
hate // peace and war -- always was and always will be
• In contrast, the Bible teaches that the world was created good – then became
corrupted through the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden – but will one day be
recreated and renewed at the Second Coming of Christ
• The world was not always as it is now
• The world will not always be as it is now
• Once it was good – now it is fallen – but one day it will be new and perfect again
• The hope of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is that our King is coming again to
make all things new
• New Orleans – and all other cities of the world – will one day be made new when the
reign of God comes in power to destroy sin, death and Satan
• Imagine a city without sin // without death // without poverty // without crime //
without disease // without any kind of suffering or evil
• Imagine the power it would take to eradicate and abolish and cleanse and destroy all
the power of sin and death and evil
• That is the power of the Kingdom of God – the power to make all things new – the
power to raise the dead and give new life – the power to defeat all enemy powers
• And the Good News of the Kingdom of God is that the redemptive power of the
Reign of God through Christ is already at work in the world
The Kingdom which will one day change the entire external order has entered into This Age in
advance to bring the blessings of God’s Kingdom to men and women without transforming the
The old age is going on, but men may already enjoy the powers of the Age to Come.
The kingdom of Satan still stands, but the Kingdom of God has invaded the kingdom of Satan.
Men and women may now be delivered from this bondage, delivered from the mastery of sin and
• When Mr. Beaver announced to the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve: Aslan is
on the move – in fact, he may already have landed – that was the equivalent of John
the Baptist and Jesus announcing: Repent, for the kingdom of God is near
• That new creation // that life of the age to come // that life -giving & life-renewing
power of the coming Kingdom – has already invaded this fallen world in the Person
of Jesus the Messiah
• The miracles of Jesus – the healings // the exorcisms // the resurrections // the nature
miracles – all demonstrated the power of Jesus the Messiah over disease and demons
and nature and death – all were a foreshadowing and foretaste of the coming Kingdom
– the new creation – when all things are made new
The power of the Kingdom of God has invaded the realm of Satan – the present evil age.
The activity of this power to deliver men from satanic rule was evidenced in the exorcism of
Satan has been bound – his power defeated.
Matthew 12:28-29 28But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom
of God has come upon you.
“Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions
unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.
The Kingdom of God is here – but instead of destroying Roman sovereignty, it has attacked the
sovereignty of Satan.
The Kingdom of God is here – but instead of making changes in the external, political order of
things – it is making changes in the spiritual order and in the lives of men and women.
• Already the power of the coming Kingdom to make all things new is at work in the
world – beginning with the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth – and now continuing in
the deeds of the risen and ascended Lord Jesus through his body, the church –
empowered by the Holy Spirit
• The Kingdom of God has already been inaugurated – and sin & death & Satan have
already been defeated by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – but evil and
disease and death and demonic forces are still around
• The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan exist side by side in a world that is at
• The Kingdom of God has already been inaugurated – but it has not yet been
consummated – and evil and death have not yet been destroyed
The Kingdom of God has entered into this present evil age here and now in the person and work
We may therefore now experience its power and salvation – we may know here and now the Life
of the Kingdom – which is the Life of the Age to Come
• How? By being born again
John 3: 3 3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of
God unless he is born again.”
• When we are born again through personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior and
Lord -- we enter the kingdom of God and experience something of the life-transforming
power of the reign of God within us – that is a foreshadowing – a foretaste – of the life of
the Age to Come
• Just as the complete DNA of the grown man or woman is present in the tiniest human
embryo – so also the spiritual DNA of Jesus Christ is present within us when we are born
of the Spirit into the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ
• The Bible says that we participate in the divine nature and God’s divine power has
given us everything we need to become like Jesus Christ
• The power to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ is in your spiritual DNA
as a child of God
• Eternal life is not merely life that lasts forever in heaven after we die – Eternal life is
the Life of the Risen Christ present within us here and now
• Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life – and when we invite Jesus Christ to come
and reign within us – then we receive His Life – Eternal Life – the Life of the Kingdom of
1 John 5: 11-12 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his
Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Eternal life belongs to the future Kingdom of glory and the Age to Come – yet this eternal life has
become available to us in the present evil age.
The life of the Age to Come has come to us here and now while we are still in our mortal
bodies living in the evil age.
The Age to Come belongs to the future, and yet the powers of the Age to Come have entered into
the present evil age.
The Kingdom of God belongs to the future, and yet the saving power of the Kingdom of God has
entered into the present age to deliver us from bondage to Satan and sin.
Eternal life belongs to the Kingdom of God and the Age to Come, yet it has entered into the
present evil age that men may experience eternal life in the midst of death and decay.
We enter into this experience of life by the new birth, by being born again
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord – the Holy Spirit comes to live within us –
imparting to us spiritual life – the life of Jesus Christ – and we experience a foretaste of
heavenly life here on earth
The future has already begun.
The Age to Come has entered into this age.
The eternal life which belongs to the future is here today.
The transforming life of the Spirit of God which will one day transform our bodies has come to
indwell us and to transform our characters and personalities.
This is what it means to be saved.
To be saved means living the life of the kingdom of heaven every day in this present evil age.
Has the realization gripped you that the very life of the kingdom of heaven dwells within you
here and now if you are a Christian?
• This weekend – The power of God to raise up men from spiritual death and give
them new and eternal life was unleashed at PK in Des Moines
• “Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead”
• Do you remember when you experienced that salvation and new life – when you
were raised from spiritual death to become alive in Christ?
• That new spiritual life is the Life of the Kingdom – the Life of the Age to Come –
that begins here and now with the new birth
• Bishop Joseph Garlington: “God is bigger than the whole universe – yet He lives in us.
God made us bigger on the inside than on the outside.”
Mark 4:26-29 26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters
seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and
grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk,
then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the
sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
• That is Unleashing the Kingdom of God
• We do not build the Kingdom or manufacture Kingdom Power or Kingdom Life by our
• The power of life is in the seed – and the seed sprouts and grows all by itself whether
the farmer is working or sleeping – not only does the farmer not cause the seed to grow
– he doesn’t even understand the process – all he can do is sow the seed and harvest the
• The power of Life is in the seed
• The Bible says that you have been born again by the Spirit of God and by the seed
of the Word of God
• The Life of the Kingdom is in that seed
• When you accept Jesus Christ and are born again – the Life of the Kingdom enters
your spirit – the spiritual DNA of Jesus is implanted within your heart – and all the
divine power you need to grow in holiness and righteousness and become like Jesus
Christ is within you
Ephesians 1:19-20 19 I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his
power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead
and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.
Has the realization gripped you that the very Resurrection life of Jesus Christ Himself dwells
within you here and now?
The transforming life of the Spirit of God which will one day resurrect and transform our
bodies has come to indwell us and to transform our characters and personalities. This is what
it means to be saved.
To be saved means living the life of the kingdom of heaven every day in this present evil age.
The spiritual DNA of Jesus Christ has already been implanted within you – the divine
power to live a righteous life – a Christ-like life – is already within you
Growing in righteousness and Christ-likeness is not a matter of trying harder to live a better life
Growing in righteousness and Christ-likeness is a matter of unleashing the Kingdom of God
--The Seed of the Life of the Kingdom is already implanted within you – let it grow!
Growing in righteousness happens as we yield to the reign of God in our lives.
Romans 6:11-14 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ
Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do
not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves
to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to
him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under
law, but under grace.
Unleash the life and Righteousness of the Kingdom of God within you by yielding to the
reign of Jesus Christ over every area of your life
• What did Jesus do to unleash the life & power of God’s Kingdom?
• He surrendered himself to God’s Will – He was obedient unto death
• Then God unleashed the Life and Power of His Kingdom in raising Jesus from the
So it is with us who follow Christ -- We unleash the power and life of the Kingdom through
our brokenness // through our surrender to God’s will // through our self-sacrificing love in
We experience the life -giving power of the Kingdom through acts of obedience and deeds of
Kingdom living is not just about believing right things and not doing wrong things and
being skilled in talking about the Bible
Kingdom living is about obeying God and serving others in love -
Kingdom Life and Power are unleashed through involvement in the mission of Christ
Luke 4: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
• Do you want to experience the unleashing of the Kingdom of God?
• Then get involved in the Kingdom mission of Christ
• Get involved in ministry to the poor
• Get involved in meeting the practical needs of brokenhearted and lonely and hurting
• Get involved in setting free the captives of sin and spiritual bondage
• Get involved in sowing the seed of the Gospel among people who are lost and without
hope apart from Jesus Christ
• Our missions teams to Moldova and New Orleans and Detroit have experienced the
Presence and Power of the Kingdom of God in new and powerful and life-changing ways
through their involvement in the mission of Christ to the poor and the brokenhearted and
the oppressed and the lost and the despairing
• The Life of the Kingdom is glorified in the midst of death
• The Hope of the Kingdom is glorified in the midst of despair
• The Light of the Kingdom is glorified in the midst of darkness
• The Victory of the Kingdom is glorified in the midst of advancing against Satanic
• The Life -giving and Life -transforming Power of the Kingdom of God is unleashed
when we come in brokenness to Jesus to save us – and when we go to othe rs in their
brokenness to extend Jesus’ love to them
• The Dynamic Reign of God through Jesus Christ is the Power to Save // the Power to
Heal // the Power to Set Captives Free // the Power to Reconcile the estranged // the
Power to give new life to the spiritually dead // the power to make sinful people holy and
righteous // the power to transform lives – families – schools – workplaces – cities
• Show slides of New Orleans
• Some of your lives // some of your families // some of your souls look something lik e these
scenes of New Orleans
• Would you like to experience the unleashing of the Life and Power of the Kingdom of
God in and through you today?
• Then admit your powerlessness // Believe that the Reign of God can restore and
renew your life // and Turn your will and your life over to the Lordship of Jesus
Christ – and then let the Life and Power of Jesus Christ work in your life to
transform you and to equip you to be an agent of Kingdom Transformation in the
lives of others
• Prayer of Salvation
• “The Potter’s Hand”