Kingdom Focus

Future Events The Lord Foretold In Matthew 24:

-Deceptions (v.4-5)

-War & Aggression (v.6-7a)

-Global Catastrophes (v.7b)

-Persecution Of Believers (v.9)

-People Abandon The Faith (v.10)

-The Abomination (v.11)

-Great Tribulation (v.21)

-False Christs/Prophets (v.23-24)

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.” (Matthew 24:14, ESV)

The good news of God’s family will be heralded wherever people live as a testimony to all people groups, and then new heavens and a new earth will come. (v.14, paraphrased)

And then at the end our Lord said

Therefore, stay awake (alert), for you do not know what day your Lord is coming. (v.42)

Summary Points

-More than informing and protecting us, prophecy contains promises that build our faith

-Be alert! Be ready to celebrate the glory of God!

-Develop an action plan to fulfill prophecy

-Don’t waste time or resources on ministries that don’t reproduce


We are here today to declare the absolute reality of Jesus The Christ’s Resurrection. I know my redeemer lives! Christ’s resurrection is crucial, if you do not believe it,why would you surrender your life to Christ? If you are here today with any doubts about Jesus of Nazareth’s permanent, bodily resurrection, I want to encourage you to pray for God’s Holy Spirit to enable to to fully believe.The Resurrection of Jesus Christ takes a minute to absorb, it was meant to be a process…but most importantly it takes God’s Spirit.

Jesus Died! Why?

God choose to demonstrate without a doubt His massive love for you and me. God did this as one of us! Virgin birth, sinless life then the most brutal of deaths. He payed a price only the all powerful God of the universe could pay… But then on top of all that HE demonstrated His control over ALL things! He rose from the dead to point us to the hope of OUR resurrection! This is a day to place all of our hope, all of our faith and all of our joy into.

I want to encourage you, if you have surrendered your life to Christ you have surrendered to a living savior who rose from the dead. If you are not all the way there, there is no better day than TODAY to place all of you trust and faith and hope in the living Christ.

In this text we see how Christ gives His followers what they need to believe. He will do the same for you!

John 20:1-10

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

  • Peter & John were someplace by themselves
  • They assume someone has robbed the grave

3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.

  • It’s a race to the tomb, John is faster, but when he gets there he hesitates…

6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

  • Peter does not hesitate
  • It looked like if someone had undressed a dead man
  • If Jesus was taken up to heaven, the ‘grave-clothes’ would look different
  • It says John saw and believed… but what did he believe?
  • He didn’t understand what the scriptures meant by ‘rise from the dead’

Perhaps they thought Jesus was treated by God like Moses or Elijah…He was taken up to heaven…

He had told them:

From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.~ Matthew 16:21

There was something missing from their understanding… they didn’t have the ‘Illumination’ of the Holy Spirit yet.

John 20:11-18

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”

  • She had returned with Peter & John, after they looked, they left.
  • But not Mary… we should all be like her, determined to find Jesus
  • She talks to Angles, yet she think ‘people’ have taken Jesus

14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

  • She doesn’t understand what is going on
  • She can’t comprehend Jesus is not dead… but she know what Jesus said too
  • She only wants to care for Christ, do what is humanly possible
  • But God wants us to see beyond what is humanly possible to what HE can do!

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

  • Jesus needs only to say Her name and it reveals Him to her (In Person God)
  • But she calls Him ‘Teacher’, not God, not Lord…
  • Jesus tells her He is ascending to His God and Her God
  • By the time Mary gets to the group of the Disciples she calls him: ‘The Lord’

John 20:19-22

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

  • The 1st thing HE brings is Peace! This is the peace to experience HIM
  • They embrace the reality of HIM; fully understanding Christ’s Resurrection
  • They now recognize Him as Lord!

21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

  • This time the gift of peace flows from understanding to purpose
  • As believers in Christ’ resurrection they were commissioned to join His mission
  • And because of their faith they are given the Holy Spirit
  • Not the permanent indwelling of God’s Spirit
  • This was a spiritual enlightenment particular to this situation, like with Prophets

John was given the info by the HS that this book was dictated by HIM / God / Jesus

and so He knows that the Spirit Has been given to Christ’s disciples (US) so they will understand Christ’s resurrection by God’s Spirit !! (illumination)

After this a week later Jesus appears so ‘Doubting Thomas’ can see Him as well. Why did Thomas still doubt? He didn’t get the Spiritual illumination until God gave it.

The last verse gives the purpose of John’s Gospel: So we can believe in Christ’s birth, life death & resurrection

John 20:30-31

But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

  • God’s Word, Scripture, is given to us for the express purpose of creating belief
  • Belief in Christ’s Resurrection, as well as His virgin birth and sinless life
  • For us to believe all of this we need God’s Spirit to connect the dots for us
  • Ask God to put it all together for you

To fully believe in Jesus’ Resurrection takes a little time, the Word of God and His Spirit’s illumination.


Mary finds the opened tomb, she gets Peter and John and they examine the empty tomb. They can understand that Jesus is gone, but not that He has been bodily resurrected. Part of salvation is full belief in Christ’s resurrection!

Mary in her confusion cannot fully comprehend Christ’s resurrection until He personally illuminates it all for her. God wants to personally illuminate it for you!

The Disciples are brought to full belief in Christ’s resurrection through His Word and the Holy Spirit. Their belief in Christ’s resurrection commissions them to be witnesses’ to it, just as you and I are!

The Resurrected Christ given pure Shalom to HIS disciples, then and now. He shows them what the truth is and through an outpouring of HIS Spirit brings them to full belief in exactly who HE is, and in that they have eternal life!


Why is it crucial that we understand exactly how God’s word describes Christ’s resurrection and fully believe it?

What are specific decisions you have made that reflect your belief in the resurrected Christ?

God’s Word and God’s Spirit give Christ’s followers the gift of Shalom. If you don’t have it how can you get it? If you have it, how might you live more fully from it?

Why He died. How He Died. How Do we respond?

Jesus Dies.

Why it had to happen,how it happened, and what we are to do in response.

Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. ~ Jer 23:5

The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!”

Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.” His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. ~ John 12:12-15

But how quickly things changed, just days later…

So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. ~ John 18:12

Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face. ~ John 19:1-3

When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” ~ John 19:6

Why did this need to happen?

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~ Gen 1:27

Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! ~ Gen 1:31

When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned… Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. Rom 5:12,18-19

And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” ~ Gen 3:15

I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey. “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. ~ Ezk 34:10b-12

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep… I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. ~ John 10:11,14-15

The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.” ~ John 19:7

How did it happen?

At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!” Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!” ~ Mark 15:33-39

God did not die for man because of some value He perceived in him. The value of each human soul considered simply in itself, out of relation to God, is zero. As St. Paul writes, to have died for valuable men would not have been divine but merely heroic; but God died for sinners. He loved us not because we were lovable, but because He is love. It may be that He loves all equally – He certainly loved us all to death…. If there is equality, it is in His love, not us. ~ C.S. Lewis

What do we do now?

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. ~ Isa 53:4-6

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. ~ Rom 12:1


-When we sacrifice our lives, we don’t do what we want, but what HE wants

-We are to live distinct from, not separate from, the world

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. ~ 1 Cor 6:19


Last week’s passage was a great overview of the posture we are to have towards God as His Body. The two elements of singular devotion and true humility combine to create the standard operating mode for a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Once we have been given our standards of how we interact with God, we then are instructed on some very specific ways our lives are not to be led. A exclusive and lowly response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the opposite of the examples we have in todays passage. God is giving us these examples of relational interactions so each of us can evaluate ourselves against a Biblical standard and see how we are not to be. (Almost all Biblical teaching is done through examples of how not to do it)

Remember our biggest problem as Christ followers is how do we deny our ‘self’ and let God’s Spirit run our lives (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control) God Word is our instruction manual for how we are to believe and act as HIS children. Together with the Spirit He indwells the members of HIS body with we are being transformed int o the image of Christ!

We have three characters who are not to be tolerated in the Body of Christ. This scripture introduces us to Judgy, Braggy and Greedy. Judgy sees everyone’s faults. Braggy is running the show. Greedy is going to have it all. Basically all of them are trying to ‘Play god’ in there own way, Greedy goes all the way making himself his god.

These three examples are attitudes and actions that are narcissistic (self-centered) We will see some self-righteousness, then some self-elevation and ultimately self-worship. This Scripture clearly describes and condemns these actions and attitudes.

James Pt. 8 Ch 4 11-17 & 5:1-6

11 Never pull each other to pieces with words, my brothers and sisters. If you are judging each other and setting yourself up in the place of God’s Law you have become in fact a critic of the Law. If you start to criticize the Law instead of obeying it you are setting yourself up as judge.

  • These are relational & cultural standards for how Jesus Christ’s Body is to act
  • It starts with the right attitude about ‘God’s Law’ … #1 It’s HIS Law…not your’s!
  • Judgy = selective, out of context use of scripture to find fault with someone else
  • Each of our attitudes to God law is to be focused on our own obedience to it

12 There is only one judge, the one who gave the Law, to whom belongs absolute power of life and death. How can you then be so silly as to imagine that you are your neighbor’s judge?

  • Satan wanted to ‘Play God’…
  • Yahweh is Singular, Sovereign & Self Existent
  • We have zero business judging how a fellow believer obeys God’s Law
  • Who is your neighbor? This is the exact same word as in Matt, Mk, Lk & Paul

13 Just a moment now, you who say “We are going to such-and-such a city today or tomorrow. We shall stay there a year doing business and make a profit”! 14 How do you know what will happen even tomorrow? What, after all, is your life? It is like a puff of smoke visible for a little while and then dissolving into thin air.

  • This is another example of ‘Playing God’
  • We desire control of how our worth is viewed. We want to be valued
  • Christ wants to provide our value, HE runs our PR campaign and we chill
  • ‘Cuz we are but a breath out the mouth on a cold day; disappearing mist!
  • ‘puff of smoke’ often translated, mist or vapor
  • Word has a connotation of exhaled breath (like when you can see your breath)

15 Your remarks should be prefaced with, “If it is the Lord’s will, we shall be alive and will do so-and-so.” 16 As it is, you get a certain pride in yourself in planning your future with such confidence. That sort of pride is all wrong. 17 So remember, if a person knows what is right and fails to do it, their failure is real sin.

  • Our speech should express our strongly held conviction about god’s control
  • We are to acknowledge HIS sovereignty when every we talk about the future
  • So we know we are not supposed to act like we are still in charge of our lives
  • It’s not a grey area, it is clearly called sin…it come from pride (illusion of control)
  • We are not able to be Sin-free; but we are able to be Sin-adverse
  • The deep conviction against this sin and every other sin drives our daily action!
  • Intention that yields God honoring choices (Practical Biblical Living)
  • Intentions alone are not enough, we need the intentions right
  • The only intentionality that is worth ANYTHING is the RIGHT intentionality
  • How do we land on the right intentions? God’s Word: knowing the heart & soul

1 And now, you plutocrats, is the time for you to weep and moan because of the miseries in store for you! 2 Your richest goods are ruined, your hoard of clothes is moth-eaten, your gold and silver are tarnished.

  • Plutocrat: Those who rule and exercise power solely by means of wealth.
  • Pluto is the Greek god who rules the underworld.
  • Plutos is ‘Wealth’ in greek
  • Plutus is the Greek god of wealth and agricultural bounty
  • The term literally groups Hell & Wealth…
  • God will make their ‘Stuff’ go bad, ruined. It’s former value gone (Matthew 6:19)

3 Yes, their very tarnish will be the evidence of your wicked hoarding and you will shrink from them as if they were red-hot. You have made a fine pile in these last days, haven’t you?

  • What the ‘Plutocrats’ have amassed will expose their greed and gluttony
  • Their own ‘Stuff’ will consume them like fire
  • They have made a point of putting their wealth on display (Braggy)
  • They justify what they do to amass their wealth, no shame (Judgy)

4 But look, here is the pay of the reaper you hired and whom you cheated, and it is shouting against you! And the cries of the other laborers you swindled are heard by the Lord of Hosts Himself.

  • Plutocrats exploit people without property to build their wealth!
  • Such people go beyond Judgy & Braggy to full out oppression of others!
  • Almighty God knows who is responsible for the oppression & takes it personally

5 Yes, you have had a magnificent time on this earth, and have indulged yourselves to the full. You have picked out just what you wanted like soldiers looting after battle. 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent and they have been powerless to stop you.

  • Self Indulgence to the max! Greed is the attitude, Gluttony is the action…ugly
  • Typical translation of 5:5b: ‘You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter’
  • This person nourishes evil in their heart, piling up stuff at the cost of lives.
  • Fostering a heart of evil like someone who loots dead bodies after a slaughter
  • This is about being so into yourself and your pleasure you wantonly oppress
  • You are an exploiter of those God says He champions, those without means
  • Christ’s Body cannot tolerate the exploitation of anyone made in God’s image


Self-Righteousness: Judgy

In Christ’s Body we are not to speak judgement upon each other in the Body, usurping God’s exclusive role as Judge. Our role as members of this body is to obey God’s law, not to criticize it. We know better than to imagine we are our neighbor’s judge! (Some Narcissism)

As Christ’s Body we live as though God is in charge of everything, and we are dependent on Him for every fleeting moment of this life. We believe we have no business judging anyone!

Self-Important: Braggy

In our flesh and sin we strive for importance, validation, and control, from that we ‘self promote’! (Pretty Narcissistic)

Christ’s Body recognizes God as ‘All-Everything’ so we have an attitude of humility regarding what is going to happen in the future, knowing and acting like HE wills EVERYTHING! Because of what we know, anything else is sin.

Self-Worship / Greedy

People who abuse power and hoard resources will one day have the tables turned on them, what they have amassed will consume them like fire. What they have accumulated and those they have oppressed will be the proof of their guilt. (Full Blown Narcissist)

The ‘Lord of Host’ knows everything and HE will judge those who have piled up wealth by oppressing and murdering others.


Why is it important to have a ‘Biblical Orientation’ to God’s Law?

If being judgmental is a continued problem for you, what are you doing about it?

Why do you desire to promote yourself? Is it a matter of control or trust or both?

What are some biblical practices that will keep you off the road to self-worship?

3 suggestions

#1 Raise your sensitivity to sin!

Confession your specific sins to God and people you trust.

#2 Expose yourself to God’s evaluation of you instead of your own.

Search me God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

~ Ps. 139: 23-24

#3 Serve Christ’s Body in unappreciated, and unpleasant ways!

Serve at Christ’s convenience, not your own