We are learning to think differently. God is teaching us how to think about things. We are relating to the Word of the Lord differently from how we have in the past. For example, many Christians believe that the Church will not go through tribulation, and many of those who do believe it put the tribulation in the future. Some of us, though, are going through tribulation now. Acts 14:22 says, We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God. Now, if the Kingdom of God is in the future, so is the tribulation and that separates us from it. But if you are entering the Kingdom of the Lord, you are experiencing the tribulation within you. The reason it is taking place in you is because your flesh nature is opposed to God. The Christian that says we will not go through tribulation is not entering into the Kingdom of God. The same is true for those who say the Church will go through tribulation but they place it in the future. By placing the tribulation in the future, the Kingdom is placed in the future, too. On the other hand, those who are progressively walking with God now are realizing that their greatest hindrance is their own flesh nature. For them that is where the tribulation is taking place. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Galatians 5:17. I am not saying there will never be tribulation in the world, just that it begins in those who are entering the Kingdom of the Lord. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? I Peter 4:17.
Do you remember where Jesus was crucified? It was at Golgotha (Matthew 27:33). It means the place of the skull. That is also where we need to be crucified – spiritually. That is how we learn to think differently – like the Lord. You see, the carnal mind is God’s enemy (Romans 8:7). We don’t naturally think like Him. Our thinking doesn’t lead us into God, because our human nature is opposed to God. That is why Proverbs 3:5 says, Lean not unto thine own understanding.
Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the Kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
How did the Pharisees shut up the Kingdom of God? They kept God in the past and the future. They taught the people about what God did in the past and what He would do in the future and kept Him out of the present. In that way they shut up the Kingdom of heaven against men. They would not enter in and they wouldn’t let others enter in.
The purpose of the Scriptures is to give us a present relationship with God. The Scriptures are the doorway into the Kingdom of the Lord; they give us access into the Kingdom. However, when we only view them historically the door is closed.
Matthew 3:1-2 In those days
came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.
John’s message was: the Kingdom of heaven is available. Take it out of the future and enter in now. Repent of futuristic thinking.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Jesus began His ministry in the same way as John the Baptist, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repent that you have God in the past and in the future and have kept Him out of the present.
The tenth chapter of Matthew is the account of the disciples’ first ministry trip. In the first verse Jesus calls them to Him and gives them authority. Then in the second verse they are called apostles. After that He tells them what they are to minister.
Matthew 10:5-7 These twelve
Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the
Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Three times the message is, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” John the Baptist proclaimed it. Jesus Himself proclaimed it, and when He sent the disciples out He told them to proclaim the same message. About 2,000 years have past and God is still trying to tell us it is available – the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Woe unto us if we take the promises and provisions of God and say they are for another day. Say no more in your heart tomorrow, tomorrow; God is going to meet me tomorrow. Let me tell you when God will meet you. James 4:8 says, Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. God will meet you when you step out to meet Him. God’s provisions are for now!
II Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you! That is exactly what you will need if you set your heart to know the Lord now and not place Him in the future. Remember, it is through much tribulation that we enter into the Kingdom of God (Acts 22:14). Don’t let that slow you down, though. It is much better to experience the tribulation now than when the wrath of God is turned loose on the world.
II Peter 1:3 According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
Everything that is needed is provided. He has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. That is the same thing John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
We need to understand how God expresses things. When He says all things pertaining to life and godliness have been given, He means that it is all provided. He gives it in provision. Now, it is up to us to appropriate those things. It is the same as with your basic salvation. Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross that all might be saved. It is a provision for all people, but only those who appropriate the provision are saved.
Where are you in your spiritual growth? What do you need for the next step? It is already provided! You receive it in the same way you received your salvation. The Kingdom of heaven and that which is involved in it is available. Receive what you need, for it is already provided.
Copyright © 2004 by Henry DuBose