Exemplifying Kingdom Conditions

Dr. Steve Viars June 12, 1990

- tonight we're going to take some time to review for 2


1) we have the clubs workers with us

2) its good in a series like this to pause every so

often and be sure we have the big picture

I. Review

1) order of basic end-times events

- rapture

- believers to heaven for - Judgement seat of Christ

- on earth - 7 years of judgement - tribulation (we've

talked about a lot of events and persons in the trib. -

we won't review them tonight other than to say that the

trib. is divided into how many parts? (2) - the 2nd

part known as the great trib.

- 2nd half begins when the Antichrist breaks his pact

with Israel and erects an image of himself in the

temple, known as the abomination of desolation

- towards the end of the trib - another event in heaven -

marriage supper of the lamb

- trib ends with - battle of Armageddon

- that begins the mill.

-two weeks ago we began talking about the millennial

kingdom- we said that this was a major Bible theme

- let's review some of the major concepts we've already

looked at

2) What is the millennium? (1000 year rule of Christ on this

earth following the tribulation)

3) What was one of the main reasons for expecting a coming

kingdom sometime in the future? (old testament promises

which haven't been fulfilled)

4) We also said that, even though everyone has the same

Bible, not everyone believed in a future millennium. What

were the three "millennial options" we discussed?

(a-millennial, post-millennial, & pre-millennial)

5) What do each of these options mean?

(amillennial - no future kingdom)

(postmillennial - church ushers in kingdom, Christ returns


(premillennial - Christ returns to this earth and

establishes his kingdom)

6) What did we say was the main issue that determined which

of these "milennial options" a person believed in?


7) What are three ways to interpret Scripture that we


(literal method, spiritualizing method, critical method)

8) How did we tie this together with the three groups,

amillennialists, premillennialists, liberals

liberal - literal but wrong

amil - right but must be spiritualized

premil - literal and right

9) What verse did we go to in the NT to show how believing

in a premillennial return of Christ should affect us

today? (Col. 1:13 - "Who hath delivered us from the

power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom

of his dear son)

- we said that while we are not technically living in

the kingdom of God today, Paul could certainly make

this statement because we are personally related to

the king

- it doesn't do much good to believe in a

premillennial return of Christ unless we're working

hard at kingdom living here and now--

- that is looking for more and more ways to be

submissive to his lordship

II. What Is The Church's Relationship To The Kingdom of God?

- one of the questions we have to answer in this study is

"If God made all these OT promises to Israel, how did

we come into the picture?" In other words, what does

all this have to do with the church?

- Can you think of why that would be an important

question to answer? (In a few minutes, we're going to

look at what the millennial kingdom will be like - but

if we don't understand how we're related to that, and

what implications that has to us, then knowing what the

kingdom will be like won't be that valuable

- let me give you the "punch line" first and then we'll

develop this from one of the gospels

A. The Church Was "Grafted In" When Israel Rejected


- One of the best ways to see this point is to study

the concept of the "kingdom of God (heaven)"

through the gospel of Matthew

- now please remember three things about Matthew

1) the gospels weren't the first NT books to be

written. Sometimes we think that since they

were in the front, they were written first.

That’s not true. Several of the epistles had

already been written. The point is - the

gospels were written to the infant church

which had already been established. They

were written to explain certain things to the

early church.

2) Matt. was written primarily to Jews. It

stands to reason that since we want to know

about the relationship of the church to

the millennial kingdom promised to the Jews,

Matthew would be a great place to look -

because surely the Christian Jews or those

Jews who were considering becoming Christians

were wondering about that.

3) Matthew is not developed chronologically, but

thematically. That is different than our

American way of thinking (this happened, then

this happened etc.), so the question in

studying Matthew that is especially important

is, why did God organize these themes around

one another?

- with those thoughts in mind, let's talk about the

concept of the millennial kingdom in the gospel of


1. Matt. 1:1 - "The book of the genealogy of Jesus

Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham"

- point - Matthew in the very first sentence clearly

connects Christ with the Old Testament prophecies

of the coming Kingdom - since those promises came

primarily to Abraham and David

2. Matt. 3:2 - John's message - "Repent, for the kingdom

of heaven is at hand"

- what kingdom would the Jews have thought of when

they heard that statement? The kingdom the had

been promised in the Old Testament.

3. Matt. 4:17 - Jesus' early public ministry - "Repent,

for the kingdom of heaven is at hand"

- same as John's message

4. Matt. 5-7 - Sermon on the Mount - which deals with

the ethical aspects of the coming kingdom

- blessed is the poor in spirit, for theirs is the

kingdom of God

- being meek, hungering and thirsting after

righteousness, merciful, pure in heart,

reconciliation before sacrifice, guarding against

lust, love of enemies, etc.

- point we need to see - the more He taught about

his kingdom, the more the opposition grows

- the king is here, but he's not "towing the

party line"

- he's not talking about political deliverance

from Rome

- He's talking about believing on Him and having

a changed life

- we're going to have to love our enemies and

all of that - something is going wrong

5. Matt. 8-9 - miracles of cleansing and healing.

9:35 - "And Jesus went about all the cities and

villages, teaching in their synagogues, and

preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing

every sickness and every disease among the people"

- so we have the same theme again. The kingdom that

was promised was at hand. The King is here who has

power over sin and death.

- but again, something is wrong

- the king is healing on the sabbath instead of

siding with the established religion

- the king is talking about the sacrifices of


- a scribe came to him in chapter eight, v. 19 and

said - Master, I'll follow you anywhere - I want to

be part of your kingdom

- Jesus said - "The foxes have holes and the birds

have nests, but the son of man has nowhere no lay

His head"

- so the kingdom of heaven is at hand, but its not

quite what they expected

- it doesn't fit in with what they were wanting in a


- still the message is proclaimed

6. Matt. 10 - disciples sent out - (verses 5-7) - "Go

not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city

of the Samaritans enter not, but go rather, to the

lost sheep of the house of Israel". - "And as ye

go, preach saying, the kingdom of heaven is at


Finally, the opposition is going to climax in the next

two chapters:

7. Matt. 11 - John the Bpatist in prison. This had

actually happened earlier in Christ's ministry, but

the Spirit of God inspired this in such a way as to

make a point. The people had rejected John the

Baptist. (verse 12) - "And from the days of John

the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has

suffered violence..."

8. Matt. 12 - The Pharisees commit the unpardonable sin.

- Jesus exorcized a demon from a possessed man, and

the Pharisees said, he does this by the power of

Satan. The Jews have now officially rejected the

kingdom they had been offered.

- Christ answers them in kingdom language when He

says in verse 25 - "Every kingdom divided against

itself shall fall"...verse 32 - "And whosoever

speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall

be forgiven him, but whosoever spoeaketh against

the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him,

neither in this age nor in the age to come"

9. Matt. 13 - parables of "delay" - tares among the

wheat, sower/soils, leaven, all speaking of delay

10. Matt. 16 - Jesus explains that delay in Matt. 16 when

He says to the disciples - Upon this Rock I shall

build my church, and the gates of hell shall not

prevail against it. Next he begins to tell of his


- I probably need to emphasize this - we've been talking

about history from a human perspective. All of this

was in God's plan. The cross was not an abortive act

because the Jews wouldn't co-operate.

- but humanly speaking, you have to explain why the

church is experiencing the blessings of God and will

one day take part in the millennial kingdom that was

promised to the Jews. The explanation is - The Jews

rejected the King because He did not fit what they

wanted in a leader.

11. Rom. 11:25 - "For I would not, brethren, that ye

should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should

be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in

part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of

the Gentiles be come in"

B. Point - The Way The Church Operates Corporately And

The Way Church Members Behave Individually Ought To

Be An Example Of "Kingdom Conditions"

- that’s what makes this study of the millennial

kingdom relevant - the more I understand what the

coming millennial kingdom will be like, the more I

understand what I'm supposed to be like now

- additional verses describing the relationship of

the church to the coming millennial kingdom: Acts

20:25, Col. 1:13, 4:11, II Thess. 1:5, II Tim.

4:18, I Cor. 6:9-10, Gal. 5:21, Eph. 5:5

- now let's look at what the millennial kingdom will be


III. What Will The Millennial Kingdom Be Like?

A. Form of government will be monarchial

read Isa. 9:6-7

INPUT - now I don't want to get into a political

discussion, but what are some of the weaknesses of

having a government that is not monarchial?

the Scripture makes it clear that in the millennium,

we won't have to worry about branches of government

fighting with one another, with personalities and

hidden adgendas and all the rest--because Jesus

Christ will be the sole ruler and everyone will

gladly submit to his rule

- while that's interesting to know - I'm more

interested tonight in thinking about how that

should affect us corporately as a church and

individually as church members

1. affects how a church operates - Christ is the


- Eph. 1:22, 4:15

- affects how a church makes decisions

- The NT emphasizes in many places that a

church ought to be one minded

- that can only happen if everyone submits

their ways of thinking to what? (the mind of


- that simplifies church government and church


- the question isn't - "How can I get my way?"

but "How can we together promote Christ's


- I'm sure some of you could tell stories from

other situations you've been in where you

weren't sure everyone was going to come out

of the church business meeting alive

- the lost world looks at that and scoffs and

rightly so

- the point is that in the millennium, Christ

will be the head and that’s the way it ought

to be in the church now

- by the way, that not only affects church

government, it also affects who we promote and who

we don't

- did you notice, when the new room was built - we

didn't call it "Pastor's Memorial Sunday

School Coliseum"

- we won't call the new parking lot - John McKinnis

Memorial Drive

- some of you think I'm kidding but listen - I was

talking to Rob about this and he told me

about a church in another part of the country


- the labels for the tapes in the tape ministry

have a little picture of the pastor and they're

titled "Pastor so & so Speaks"

- that’s also the title of the radio ministry

- in the foyer of the church, there's a big

picture of the pastor

- the bulletin has his picture on each panel

- someone went through the church newsletter and

counted up the references to the pastor and

then counted the reference to the Father, Son,

or Holy Spirit

- the trinity was mentioned 12 times, the pastor

was mentioned 24!

- the point is, that’s not the way it will be in

the millennium, and that’s certainly not the way

it should be in any church today

- the church isn't in the business of

promoting men, or women, or personalities

- the church ought to be in the business of

promoting Christ

- by the way – that’s true individually as well

- you ought to be living under a monarchial form of

government - where Christ is in charge

- your family ought to be governed that way as well -

where Christ is the head of the home

- those who know you ought to say - He isn't living

for himself - he or she lives for the Savior

- I know there are a number of folks who are working

hard at that kind of lifestyle

- we drove in from the conference Friday night

- VBS sign was up

- next day we, along with 5000 other

residents, received a mailing

- # of folks worked putting landscaping rocks

around the building

- all kinds of people serving around here all

the time

- Why? - because they've chosen to life for someone

other than themselves

- like when Jesus said - He who loses his life for my

sake shall find it

- Jim Elliot, the martyred missionary to the Auka

Indians said, "He is no fool who gives what he

cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose"

- that’s the way its going to be in the millennium,

and that’s the way it ought to be for Christians now

- a second characteristic of the millennium is that there

will be:

B. A Perfect Blending of Severity and Tenderness

- read Isa. 40:10-11

- the passage says that when Christ is in charge, his

rule will be both tough and tender

- it will have just the right blend of grace and


- perhaps the Psalmist said it best in Psalm 85:10 -

"Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness

and peace have kissed each other"

- that’s the way it will be in the millennial kingdom,

and God's desire is that you and I would be

exemplifying that kingdom condition even today

- let me ask you tonight, do you have trouble

striking that balance

- in the way you treat your spouse

- in the way you bring up your kids

- in the way you deal with employees?

- I think most of us would say yes

- some of us would say we error on the side of mercy

- we let too many things go

- we ignore things instead of dealing with them

- we laugh when we know we really ought to be


- some of the rest of us are on the other extreme

- we error on the side of severity

- everything is a calamity

- we're not patient with people and their faults

- we don't give those under us the right amount

of freedom

- the workers call you a tyrant behind your back

- Hopefully it will be stimulating to us just to be

reminded of how Christ's millennial rule will be a

perfect blend of severity and tenderness

- and next time we start to come down to hard, or

ignore it instead of acting - we'll think -

"That’s not the way it will be in the millennial

kingdom, and that’s not the way it will be for

me now"

C. Subjects include all nations

- read Dan. 7:14

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video