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Preach the Kingdom / Discipleship and the Church

As taught by Zach Thompson.

In this, the third lesson in our series on Discipleship and the Church, we cover the difference between the mission of God, the mission of the church, and missions along with the Bible's emphasis on the gospel as the message of the Kingdom of God.

Last week, we looked at the book of Acts and saw really clearly that the church is

God’s chief means for making the gospel go into all of the world. Over and over,

when God might have made something happen by his own power, he has his

people accomplish it at his direction.

This week, we are going to take a wider lens approach to some of this same

reality. My goal this week is that you would have a more full understanding of

how we should think about preaching the gospel in the context of this local


As we start this week, we are going to look at a framework that can help us

understand how to rightly think about the Christian life and how it fits into the

Mission of God.

First, let’s glance at where we are going.

SLIDE: All of the circles

You don’t need to draw all of this right now, but I wanted you to see where we

are going with this graphic so you can account for that in your notes.

Let’s talk about that first big circle.

SLIDE: Missio Dei and definition

This is the Missio Dei. Missio Dei is a latin term that means “Mission of God.”

For clarity this is how we are defining it today. Missio Dei is the mission of God to

work for his own glory and name

We are going to spend a bit of time meditating on this, but I want to take a

minute to demonstrate from Scripture that this is a reality.

We are about to go through several texts, and in all of them, we need to ask this

question: “Why is the Lord doing what he is doing?

First, one of the texts that I think best illustrates this is in Isaiah 48.

SLIDE: Isaiah 48

- Isaiah 48:9-11, “For my name’s sake I defer my anger; for the sake of my

praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. 10  Behold, I have

refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

11  For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be

profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”

SLIDE: 1 Samuel and Malachi

o 1 Samuel 12:20-22, “And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be

afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from

following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21  And do

not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for

they are empty. 22  For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his

great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a

people for himself.”

o Malachi 1:10-11, “Oh that there were one among you who would

shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I

have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept

an offering from your hand. 11  For from the rising of the sun to its

setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place

incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my

name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.”

SLIDE: John 14 and 2 Thessalonians 1:9-12

o John 14:13, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the

Father may be glorified in the Son.”

o 2 Thessalonians 1:9-12, “They will suffer the punishment of eternal

destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory

of his might, 10  when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints,

and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our

testimony to you was believed. 11  To this end we always pray for you,

that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every

resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12  so that the

name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him,

according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

SLIDE: Missio Dei Circle and application

- This really is just a sampling. This is the clear motivation of God all

throughout Scripture. He is working for his own glory. His own name. His

own pleasure.

- You might hear this and think, “Isn’t that selfish? Is God an egomaniac?”

How could God rightly pursue his own glory? Isn’t that categorically wrong?

o NO! It is categorically wrong for us, but God isn’t a man. Ask yourself

this question. Whom would you have him worship? Whose glory

should he be pursuing? Yours? Ha.

o God is pursuing his own glory, and as the sovereign, self-existent,

highest, most glorious, being in all of the universe, it is right for him

to pursue his own glory.

- What does this mean for us? This means that God is ALWAYS working for

his glory.

o If our God is really sovereign, that means that his mission will never

fail. What he sets out to accomplish will never be thwarted. He is

ALWAYS working for his glory, and as his people, this should bring us

great comfort. Because in his grace, he ties up his mission with the

good of his people.

o Why did God relent from disaster? Or listen to the prayers of his

people? Why does he empower his people to live in holiness?

Because he manifests his glory in his people.

o This is why we have the promise of Romans 8:28, “And we know that

for those who love God all things work together for good, for those

who are called according to his purpose.”

o In that same text, just a few verses down, Paul says that “neither

death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to

come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all

creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ

Jesus our Lord.”

o The mission of God to pursue the glory of his own name should bring us great comfort.

SLIDE: Mission Circle

Mission—The mission of the God’s people to pursue the glory of his name by

making disciples

- Questions to ask in each section

o WHAT is the mission?

o TO WHOM is the mission given?

- Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in

heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19  Go therefore and make

disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the

Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20  teaching them to observe all that I have

commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

o Take a minute to talk through this one.

▪ WHAT? to make disciples

▪ TO WHOM? the eleven disciples. They represent the church.

▪ baptizing in the name of the trinitarian God (Missio Dei)

▪ teaching to observe

▪ He is behind this effort! He is with us!

- Acts 1:6-8 “So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will

you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7  He said to them, “It is not

for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own

authority. 8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon

you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and

Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

o To whom? The The Holy Spirit will come upon you

o And you will be my witnesses 

o Acts 1:8 or you will be Acts 8:1’nd

o After 1:6-8, We don’t see the word “kingdom” in Acts until after the

persecution of 8:1.

- Ephesians 3:9-10, “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this

grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

9  and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden

for ages in God, who created all things, 10  so that through the church the

manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”

o The manifold wisdom of God is manifested in the church!

SLIDE: Missions—Specific endeavors undertaken by the church to fulfill its


- SLIDE: Acts 13:1-3, “Acts 13:1–3 (ESV): Now there were in the church at

Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger,

Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set

apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3

Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them


o Paul and Barnabas are sent by a local church!

Some Discussion Questions:

- What does it mean for us to be kingdom minded as we live in the context of

the local church?  How is it not a contradiction that we live in the

community of one local church, but that we preach the kingdom of God?

- How do we balance individual initiative with the calling placed on the local



- I want to transition here to something different. I want to take this

framework that we have laid out here and think through a specific theme in

Scripture in light of the mission of the Church–It’s the theme of kingdom.

- So what I want us to think through is how do we live in this middle circle in

light of what the Bible says about kingdom?

- What does it mean that God is King? Jesus is King? What is the kingdom of

God? What does it mean to preach the kingdom?

- We 100% do not have time to exhaust the theme of God’s kingdom today.

This is one of the themes that runs throughout the entire Bible, and we

won’t even attempt to exhaustively cover it. But let’s do a quick run


- The Kingdom overviewed:

o SLIDE:Gen 1:28, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be

fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have

dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens

and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

▪ This is the Missio Dei in action. God is telling them to spread

his image and glory all over the world.

▪ Notice the kingly language. Subdue it. Have dominion over it.

These are things that Kings do. Adam was mean to be a

reigning king that represented God to all of the earth.

▪ But he failed. Didn’t he… He rebelled against God, and was cast

out of God’s presence, but God gave a gracious promise in

Genesis 3:15.

o SLIDE:Gen 3:15, Speaking to the serpent, he said, “I will put enmity

between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her

offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

▪ This is the promise of redemption. The defeat of the serpent

and the bruising of the offspring of Eve. And they began to

hope for one who would accomplish redemption.

▪ But over and over, mankind is characterized by failure.

Wickedness reigns to the point of destroying the earth, and

God eventually makes another promise to Abraham that all of

the peoples of the world would be blessed through him and his

offspring. Again, hope. But Isaac and Jacob and their children

continue to fail. And we come to king David, to whom God

makes another promise.

o SLIDE:2 Sam 7:12-13, God promises David that “When your days are

fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your

offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will

establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I

will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”

▪ And it looks like this could be Solomon, but Solomon’s heart

turned from God, and the hearts of most of his son’s who took

the throne also turned from God.

▪ But then we have Jesus. Of the people of Israel, in the line of

David, the God-Man comes, and what does preach? In Mark 1,

there is a summary of what Jesus preached.

o SLIDE:Mark 1:14, “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into

Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, The time is

fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the


▪ The kingdom of God is at hand, so repent and believe.

▪ The kingdom that Adam and Eve hoped would be restored–the

kingdom that would bless all of the nations–the kingdom that

would be established by God himself and would have no

end–THIS kingdom is near, so repent and believe.

▪ This was the message of Jesus. And when we repent and

believe, Colossians 1:13-14 tells us what is true of us.

o SLIDE:Col 1:13-14, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness

and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we

have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

▪ So looking at all of this, we can say that in a sense, the

kingdom IS the gospel. The kingdom is what was cast aside by

Adam and Eve. The kingdom is what was promised to Abraham

and to David. The kingdom is what Jesus brought. And for all

who are in Christ, we are welcomed into the kingdom.

o SLIDE:Hebrews 2:8-9, “Now in putting everything in subjection to

him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see

everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little

while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with

glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the

grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”

▪ Nothing is outside his authority. But we don’t see everything in

subjection to him. There is still rebellion against Christ. But

how is this possible? Doesn’t Matthew 28 say that all authority

in heaven and on earth has been given to him? How is there

still rebellion against the King?

▪ The presence of authority doesn’t mean there is submission.

He has all authority, but he is working through his church to

bring all peoples under the banner of his authority. This is why

Jesus taught us to pray “your kingdom come, your will be

done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Because his kingdom has not

come in its fullness. Because his will isn’t done because people

are still rebellion against him. This is why we preach the

gospel. Because Christ is King.

- SLIDE: What does the theme of the kingdom accentuate?

o SLIDE:That there is a king with all authority.

▪ Preaching the kingdom means preaching the king. We don’t

just tell people about how awesome our community is. Our

mission is not to have a solid support system for each other.

Our mission is to bring people under the banner of the one

true king. Not whatever thing they call king. There is one king,

and we owe our loyalty to him.

o SLIDE:That all must submit to that authority

▪ We are kingdom citizens inviting others to be kingdom citizens.

We are those who have been transferred out of the domain of

darkness and into the kingdom of his beloved son, and we

beckon others into that kingdom. And not only that, we plead

with those who are already citizens to remain faithful to the


o SLIDE:Those in this kingdom live by the will of the king.

▪ The kingdom of God is made up of people who are doing what

mankind was always meant to do. Submit to God and glorify

his name. That’s the mission. Isn’t it? Isn’t it the same thing

that Adam and Even rebelled against? Isn’t that exactly what

Jesus did on earth?

▪ This brings clarity doesn’t it? Our mission isn’t to be generous.

It’s not to be nice. It’s not social justice or racial reconciliation.

Those are good things that flow from being kingdom-citizens,

but they aren’t the mission. The mission is to live in submission

to the king and make disciples.

o SLIDE:All who rebel against the king’s authority will meet the king’s


SLIDE:I want to end by addressing a question. To whom to we preach the


- SLIDE: To those who have already submitted to his name.

o Acts 14:19-22, “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having

persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the

city, supposing that he was dead. 20  But when the disciples gathered

about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he

went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21  When they had preached the

gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to

Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22  strengthening the souls of the

disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that

through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23  And

when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with

prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they

had believed.”

● The gospel isn’t only for unbelievers.

● preaching the kingdom to believers for the sake of


● Mt 28, teaching to observe is part of making disciples.

● Church covenent: “We will seek, by his grace, to live

carefully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly

lusts, as is fitting for those who are born again and have

entered into the kingdom of God where we are called to

renew our minds to the truth so that we may lead a new

and holy life glorifying our Father in heaven.”

- SLIDE: To those who haven't submitted to his name.

o Acts 19:8-10, “And he entered the synagogue and for three months

spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of

God. 9  But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief,

speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from

them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of

Tyrannus. 10  This continued for two years, so that all the residents of

Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.”

● preaching to unbelievers

● Both religious and unreligious

● It was when they stopped preaching to some that others

were able to hear.

● All the residents of asia, 5-6 million people.


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