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The Kingdom of God


Series: Acts

Passage: Acts 28:30-31

Speaker: BJ Chursinoff

The final scene in the book of Acts doesn’t appear to be all that inspiring. The Apostle Paul is under house arrest in Rome. He’s allowed visitors, but he isn’t allowed to travel anywhere. But that’s OK. Because placing an Apostle under house arrest cannot stop the Kingdom of God from advancing.

Transcription (automatically-generated):

OK, we are in - you can believe it or not - Acts chapter 28. Which, if you're keeping track, this is the final chapter in the book of Acts.

I'm skipping over a bunch of text here tonight so I can focus on the very last two verses for this particular message. Next week, Jeff's going to double back and unpack the rest of chapter 28 for us, and that means we might, if he gets through it all, we might. Great. Be finished the Book of Acts next week, so stay tuned for... I'm surprised! All right, then. Maybe... I was not expecting that. I'm kind of shaken a little bit. Thank you, Lord, for Your grace, administering Your Word in the Book of Acts to all of us here at Gospel City for the last two years, almost.

Now, at first glance, if you were to take a cursory look at the last two verses of acts, it might seem a little bit anticlimactic, especially after.

All the spiritually explosive events that have been documented by Luke in his two-volume work. Remember, Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke, the gospel that bears his name. That was his first volume. And he wrote the sequel to that work, which is the Book of Acts. That's volume two. The vast majority of Luke and Acts reads like a bunch of high-powered spiritual fireworks going off. And then when we get to the last two verses in Acts 28, it seems like the final firework goes off, kind of. But instead of exploding like a normal firework would, it makes a lame little fizzle sound, like before dying out like a dud.

Now here's a quick recap of some of the big things that Luke has recorded for us to show you what I mean. One day, in the height of John the Baptist's public ministry, where crowds of people were flocking to him to be baptized in the Jordan River, John stops, points at Jesus, who is walking straight towards him, and says out loud in front of everyone so that all could hear, there he is, the one that we've been waiting for centuries to come, the messiah, the savior of the world. John then baptizes Jesus in the Jordan. And when he does, the Holy Spirit descends from heaven, visibly lands on Jesus. And God the Father speaks audibly from heaven, declaring to the world that Jesus is his beloved son with whom he is well pleased. Jesus goes on from there and begins his roughly three-year public ministry. He travels all around Israel, teaching people like no one has ever been taught before. People are awestruck by the things that he says and by the way that he says them. He performed countless miracles of mercy, healing the sick, the lame, the blind, the demon oppressed, even raising some dead people to life. And he did this over and over and over again.

And these miracles that Jesus performed validated each and every one of the things that he taught. The crowds. As his earthly ministry was coming to a close, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a cult which was assigned to the people of a prophetic fulfillment. Their long-awaited king had finally come.

But he was rejected by the people.

He came to save. He was arrested by the religious leaders and they turned him over to Rome's custody. Jesus' kingship was treated with mockery by the Romans. After brutally beating him, the soldiers jammed a crown of thorns upon his head. They draped a scarlet robe upon his shoulders and they placed a staff in his right hand. And they kneeled before him, paying homage to him, sarcastically saying, hail, king of the Jews. When they were done with that charade, they led him away to crucify him. And after they put him on the cross, they also placed a sign above his head which said, this is the king of the Jews. The soldiers taunted him while he hung there saying, if you are the king of the Jews, save yourself. But of course, he didn't do that. That's not why he came.

And there hanging on the cross, the King of Heaven died.

But he didn't stay dead. It was impossible for him to. King Jesus rose in power from the dead on the third day, conquering the power of death, the risen Jesus appeared to his disciples and gave them a command. They were to be his royal ambassadors to the entire world. He told them, go into all the world and let everyone know that the king of heaven and earth, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, has conquered death. And in doing so he has secured forgiveness of sins for the whole world. And now he extends terms of peace to his enemies before the day that he comes back to set up his kingdom here on the earth. And they did what he said. They took that message throughout the world, telling sinners everywhere how they can be forgiven and reconciled to a saving relationship with God through his son King Jesus. But his disciples didn't head out on this mission until they were filled with power from on high. Power that the king told them to wait for. Power that was his very own presence in them. The spirit of King Jesus came down from heaven upon his people at Pentecost. The spirit that rose Jesus from the dead was the same power that was now at work in his people. Immediately after the spirit came, Peter stood up and preached the good news of the kingdom of God, and 3000 people who had been enemies of the king up until that point received the terms of peace that he offered them.

They turned from living in rebellion to God, and they trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, and they turned their lives over to him as their new king. And God spread the influence of his kingdom from there through his subjects, going and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom. Everywhere they went, these royal ambassadors of King Jesus were sent with the king's authority, and they demonstrated that his authority was with them, because when they preached, they also performed signs and wonders along the way, just like they saw Jesus do when he was with them. The kingdom of darkness was getting pushed back. People were getting saved. Churches were getting planted. There were spiritual fireworks going off everywhere.

And then one day, one of King Jesus' chief servants, the apostle Paul, gets arrested. And he's moved from place to place until he finally gets to Rome. And that's where we find him when we read the final two verses of the book of Acts. This is where the last of the fireworks seem, at first glance to fizzle out. Acts 28, verses 30 to 31 read. Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house, and he welcomed all who visited him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. Paul is under house arrest in Rome. He's being watched by a Roman guard 24/7 which is the first-century equivalent of having ankle monitor. Just so you get the picture, Paul wasn't a threat in Rome's eyes. He was allowed to have people come and visit him, and they did a lot. And these verses tell us that Paul proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ with all. Boldness and then the end.

Now, at first glance, this doesn't seem all that special, doesn't appear to be a fitting end to the spiritual firepower that the two-volume work that Luke and Acts is.

But there's more to this scene than meets the eye. And I'll double back in a bit.

To show you what I mean. But first, I want to spend some time, I want to shift gears slightly, and I want to draw your attention to a phrase that we read in verse 31. It's really just the title of our message here this evening. It's the phrase the kingdom of God. And if you like underlining things in your Bible, underline that phrase in verse 31, the kingdom of God.

And I want to ask you a question: How often do you hear the kingdom of God come up when people are discussing God's word? 'How often do you personally think about the kingdom of God or bring it up in conversation with others?

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that the phrase is almost non-existent in Church culture today. We talk about heaven a lot, we talk about the church a lot, we talk about Jesus coming back a lot, but we don't talk about these things in the context of the kingdom. I don't hear it talked about a lot.

Anyways, the specific idea of the kingdom of God is not on anyone's radar, as far as I can tell, and that's weird when we take into account the prominent role this concept had in Jesus's very own life and ministry, and then also continuing on in his apostles lives and ministries in the years that followed. The kingdom of God is a dominant theme according to Luke. He uses it 31 times in his gospel, which is more than any other gospel writer by far. He uses it another six more times in the Book of Acts. But surprisingly, as much as it's in the Bible, it's not a dominant theme in the conversations we have in the church today here in the west, anyways.

The kingdom of God is a reality that we have to grasp if we're going to understand the point of acts, the point of the gospels, the point of the whole Bible, and the point of our Christian life in the church and in the world today.

So here are some of the things that Luke says about the kingdom of God in his gospel. In Luke 443, Jesus said that proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God was the reason he was born into this world.

And so then it's no surprise that we read in Luke 8:1 that Jesus was telling everyone about the kingdom of God in all the towns and villages that he went to. The kingdom was a theme that dominated his teaching. In Luke 9:11, when crowds came to Jesus, he not only told them about the kingdom of God, he then went on to heal the sick that were there among him. And these miracles validated his words that he spoke about the kingdom. Interestingly, although the kingdom of God is a reality that stretches way back into the Old Testament, it's a concept that only really began being taught and preached when Jesus came. Luke 1616 says this and it's on your outline. Jesus says the law and the prophets were until John. Speaking of John the Baptist.

Since then, the good news of the Kingdom of God has been proclaimed. Jesus used parables to teach people details about the kingdom of God. He said, what is the kingdom of God like? And what can I compare it to?

And then he went on to use parables to answer that very question. Jesus said that the kingdom of God is here right now in a very real, tangible and experiential way, and it is also coming in a fuller, more complete way one day very soon. Luke 1911 tells us that Jesus's disciples were anticipating the fullness of the kingdom of God to come in their day. And I would expect it to come too, if I heard Jesus talk about it as much as they heard him talk about it. Jesus said that the kingdom of God belongs to the spiritually poor, those who are poor in themselves, those who have an accurate view of their life apart from the grace of God. Jesus said that although John the Baptist was the final prophet of God before Jesus came, which means that John was kind of a big deal. Everyone who is in the kingdom of God is greater than John. That means, according to Jesus, if you recognize your spiritual poverty in this life, you can experience spiritual greatness in the kingdom of God. Jesus says that it's difficult for rich people to enter the kingdom of God. Not impossible, just difficult.

Those who count the cost and make the necessary sacrifices to enter the kingdom of God become part of a spiritual family with others who have also entered. By counting that exact same cost, Jesus taught that believers in the Old Testament will be in the kingdom of God with believers in the new. Jesus sent his disciples to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. The miraculous healings that his disciples did authenticated their message about the kingdom, just like Jesus' miracles. Authenticated his message about the kingdom. Jesus taught his followers that spreading the news of the kingdom was to be a higher priority for them over and above their own personal lives. Everyone is urgently invited to enter the kingdom of God according to Jesus, and those who exercise faith like little children will enter the kingdom of God, and it's possible to be rejected entrance into this kingdom.

We get all that from Luke's gospel. Then when we jump from the Gospel of Luke into the book of Acts, we see Luke continue to highlight the theme. Acts, chapter one, verse three. Luke says that Jesus spent the 40 days that he had with his disciples after he rose from the dead and before he ascended back to heaven. That 40-day span he spent teaching them about, guess what? The kingdom of God. In Acts 812, we read that the gospel message is connected to the kingdom of God. The good news about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is intricately tied to the concept of the kingdom.

The disciples taught others that it's difficult to enter the kingdom and the kingdom of God was the theme that dominated Paul's preaching for three months. He was in ministering in Ephesus in Acts, chapter 19, verse eight. When Paul got to Rome, Luke says he spent literally all day teaching the Jews about the kingdom of God. And when we get to the final two verses in the Book of Acts, we read that Paul spent two years under house arrest in Rome, teaching everyone who came to see him about the kingdom of God. The book of Luke is full of Jesus talking about the kingdom of God. The book of Acts opens with the risen Jesus telling his disciples about the kingdom of God. And the Book of Acts ends with Paul telling all who came to him about the kingdom of God over and over and over again. It's the kingdom of God, the kingdom of God, the kingdom of God. It's a theme that is inescapable. When we read Luke's work.

Now, you just got hit by a tsunami wave of information about the kingdom of God. I'm going to switch gears a little bit and see if we could put this together in a way that would be helpful for us, because the concept of kingdom is relatively foreign to us. We have government and democracy. That's all we know, because that's what we've grown up with. And we'd be much more familiar with the idea of kingdom if we lived during or before the medieval times, when everything was a kingdom. Back then, everyone was familiar with kingdoms and how they worked. But if you're like me, you've seen enough movies to have a basic grasp of the moving parts that make up a kingdom.

A kingdom has a king, a ruler who reigns, leads, protects, and provides. If he's a good king, he does these things. A kingdom has a people, its citizens. They live in the kingdom, and they abide by the laws of the land that the king decrees. A kingdom has borders, and the laws of the land are only upheld as far as the borders of the kingdom extend. A kingdom may coexist with rival kingdoms. If there's more than one kingdom, each kingdom may live at peace with the other or not. And if not, that may lead to war with one kingdom, destroying the other with the victor, then extending his borders to assume the territory it has just conquered. Although we don't live in an age of medieval kingdoms, today, we need to grasp how kingdoms work because it's foundational to understanding what God is at work doing in our world today.

We need to grasp how kingdoms work because it's a theme woven throughout the entire Bible. It's not just a theme found only in Luke and Acts. The whole Bible story, from Genesis to Revelation. Is a story about kingdom. Story is a powerful medium for conveying truth.

If you've ever been here with us for a Family Sundays, you're familiar with storytime with Uncle Beej. Where I read a short story with the kids. That comes from a small section of the Bible. I'm going to insert story time with Uncle Beej into this message right here. If that's okay.

I'm going to share a story that captures the kingdom theme. Found in the pages of scripture. This story is called the kingdom of the great King. In the beginning, the great king established his kingdom upon the earth. It was beautiful, peaceful. There was abundant provision, blessing to be had everywhere you turned. In the beginning, the kingdom was populated by only two citizens.

The great king established laws. That were to tell the citizens of his kingdom how they were to live. The first command they received from the king was that they were to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. That's because the great king wanted his kingdom to be one big, happy family. Living under the care and the protection of the king. The second command they received from the king was that they were to exercise dominion over the kingdom. Ruling it as vice-regents or caretakers of the great king's kingdom. The third command they received from the king. Was that they were not to take something that belonged to the king. The king made a certain tree in a certain garden out of bounds. It was the king's world, after all.

He could make any rules he wanted, and this was one of them. This third command was the only one that had a consequence attached to it if anyone broke it. If the citizens of the kingdom ate from that one tree, then there would be big trouble. Not too shabby of a deal, if you ask me. Two people were given the entire kingdom to rule and reign over. A kingdom that was literally the entire planet Earth.

But then something happened. A usurper slithered onto the scene. The great king had an adversary. And this enemy of the king came to one of the citizens. And began to sow into their mind propaganda against the great king. Saying that the king wasn't good. And that he couldn't be trusted. And that he didn't have his people's best interest in mind. Because if he was good. And if he did have his people's best interest in mind. Then he wouldn't have forbidden them from eating a piece of delicious fruit. That would have given them secret knowledge.

The adversary's plan worked. The line was crossed. The law was broken. The forbidden fruit was eaten. And then the one citizen who ate it also invited the other to eat it, too. And when they did, everything changed.

At that moment, when the two citizens of the kingdom had forbidden fruit juice all over their faces. All that was good and perfect in the kingdom was broken and lost. A darkness came into the kingdom that was never there before. A darkness came in that day and began to unravel everything that was good. The peace that the two citizens enjoyed in their relationship with each other was fractured. Instead of being on the same team, they began to point their fingers and blame each other. The mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health that each of them personally enjoyed in themselves began to fade away. Shame and guilt flooded their lives for the first time. And their bodies, that were designed to live forever, now began to slowly die. The relationship that they had to the Kingdom that was once fruitful and blessed was now a burden instead. Work used to be fun. Now thorns and thistles grew up making gardening toilsome. Having children was originally designed to be a breeze. Now it was going to push the woman to the brink of physical agony every time a new life was to be born into the world. And if all of that wasn't bad enough, the sweet, perfect, blessed relationship that the citizens of the kingdom enjoyed with the great king was lost. Instead of looking forward to seeing the king and walking with him in the garden like they had always done, now the citizens of the kingdom hid themselves from the great king because they were scared. The right to rule and reign over the kingdom was taken from the citizens and handed over to the usurper. From that moment on, the enemy of the great king put new laws in place over the world. The new laws were simple. Anything that the great king said to do, you are now supposed to do the opposite. Or another way to put it, just do whatever you want to do, whatever you think is right in your own eyes, which always happened to be the opposite of what the great king wanted anyways. And from that moment on, after the darkness had come into the kingdom, children were born into this new kingdom, with the usurper acting as the new vice regent over the earth. Every child that was born into this new dark kingdom was trained and inspired and encouraged to hate the great king. Spiritual darkness covered the kingdom. Hate, selfishness, murder, lying, stealing, and everything else that robbed people of happiness became commonplace in the new kingdom.

Everyone was a citizen of this new kingdom, and they were all enslaved and under the control of the usurper. And everyone hated the great king. But the great king never stopped loving the people that lived on his planet, he never stopped loving them for even 1 second, even though they all turned their back on him and committed heinous acts of crimes against him. He loved them when they were in their bitter worst.

And because he loved them, he had a plan to rescue them all. The great king was going to send his son into the world. And this son of the great king was going to become the new king. He was going to reclaim all that had been lost to the usurper. He was going to save all those who were enslaved in the kingdom of darkness, and he was going to make a way for them to become citizens of his new and better kingdom.

This wasn't going to be easy, because everyone on the planet was a war criminal. Everyone had committed heinous crimes against the great king, crimes that deserved the death penalty. And so this is what the son did. Although he was a king, he was also a citizen, too. But he was a perfect citizen, the only one who was. He never committed even one small, tiny, little bitty crime against his dad, the great king, not even one. And because he was perfect, he could offer himself up to pay the penalty of everyone who was a slave of the usurper. The son gave himself up to die, which was payment for everyone's crimes. And because he paid their penalty, they were now all allowed to go free. Because the sun's payment made everyone free, they were free to leave the usurper's kingdom and enter into the new kingdom that the sun came to build. And that's what some people did. Some who were slaves in the dark kingdom were so overcome by the act of love that the sun displayed on their behalf, that they turned from the kingdom of darkness that they had known their whole lives, and they entered into the kingdom of the sun instead.

With great joy, they became citizens of his new kingdom, this better kingdom, one that was like the kingdom that the great king had set up in the beginning, a kingdom that was marked by love and light and beauty and truth and grace and freedom.

But sadly, not everybody loved the son. Even after all that he did for them. Not everybody was grateful for the sacrifice he made on their behalf. A lot of people still loved the dark kingdom, even though they were miserable, powerless, and hopeless. The usurper had kept them tricked into thinking that they were in fact, living their best life. Not only did they not come into the son's kingdom, but they also hated the son. And they hated everyone who was a part of his new kingdom.

Now the son is patient with them, though he is giving them time to change their minds about him. But he's not going to wait forever. He can't, because those who follow the Usurper are destroying everything and everyone the son loves. He's going to give them a lot of time to change their mind. But one day, it will be too late. And then the sun will remove the usurper along with everyone who follows him. One day, the sun will take them out of the kingdom, off the earth forever, where they can never damage what is good ever again. So, as it stands, there are two kingdoms on this earth right now. There are two kings who oppose each other. There are two groups of citizens. There are two sets of laws that govern each group. And although these two kingdoms are coexisting on the planet right now, these kingdoms cannot and will not coexist forever. One day, the son of the great king is going to make everything new and everything perfectly good. Those of us who love the son are waiting patiently for him to come and do that. And until he does, all the citizens of his new kingdom are tasked with the charge of telling everyone who still lives in the kingdom of darkness, who lives under the power of the enemy, to trust the great king and his son and to come into their kingdom.

The son has made a way for them to do that. The doors to the new kingdom are wide open. All people have to do is trust the Son and follow him in the end. That's not a made-up story. It's the story of the Bible. It's what God is doing in the world today, right now, as we speak. He has a kingdom. Jesus is the king. He's made a way for spiritual rebels and criminals to enter his kingdom. He took the death penalty so that we could live. It's what he accomplished on the cross, and anyone can take him up on the terms of peace that he offers. You can come into his kingdom if you haven't done so already. Be a part of his people, live according to his laws, experience the blessing that comes from living. For a king like Jesus, we can experience a measure of this kingdom life right now. Wherever the king's people gather, the king is there with them, ruling and reigning over their lives, leading, loving, providing for, and protecting them. The way we live as his people demonstrates the reality of this better kingdom that is a stark contrast to the broken, dark kingdom of this current world in every way.

And as we live as citizens of the kingdom of God, now we wait for our king to come back, because when he does, he will establish his full rule and reign over the entire earth, the kingdom of God is here now, but it is coming one day soon in its absolute, perfect fullness. King Jesus cannot be stopped.

The religious leaders of his day already tried to stop him. Satan already tried to stop him. Death already tried to stop him. And we have seen how all of those attempts turned out. Jesus'tomb is empty because he walked out of there alive. Nothing can stop our king.

Now, with the kingdom of God hopefully fresh in our minds, let's head back over to our verses in acts. The image of Paul sitting under house arrest for two years doesn't scream, the kingdom of God is coming in power. But there's a lot going on here...

That we can get really, really excited about. Although Paul was hindered from personally taking the gospel of the kingdom of God to new places himself, the gospel was not hindered in the slightest. That's because it went out through the people who came to visit Paul. People who came to hear Paul teach about the kingdom of God didn't end up moving in with Paul. They didn't become his roommates. They didn't build bunk beds everywhere. They went back to where they came from. They went back home freshly armed with the knowledge of the kingdom of God, coming straight from one of King Jesus' chief. Apostles. New ambassadors for King Jesus. Equipped with the message of the king, there were many that would have carried the gospel message of the kingdom across the world further and faster than if Paul were to do it all by himself. This is very similar to when Jesus told his disciples that it would be better for them, that he'd leave and go back to heaven so that he could send the Holy Spirit to them. And when the spirit of Jesus came, he would now be with every single one of his kingdom citizens wherever they went.

Before Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection, he could only be in one physical place at one time. But now that his presence was in each believer, Jesus could be in a bunch of places at the same time. His work could be multiplied across the earth. And a similar thing is happening with Paul here at the end of Acts. He's under house of rest in Rome. He can't go anywhere. But his words are being carried and multiplied all over the world through the people who are coming to see him and be taught by him. What happened when the gospel of the kingdom went out from Paul's house in Rome? Wherever the gospel of the kingdom went, the power of the kingdom of God pushed back against the kingdom of this world. Many people who heard Paul's friends, many of them would reject the terms of peace. That came to them by way of the gospel message being presented.

But there were many people who believed it, and those who believed they entered the kingdom of God, and they got to begin experiencing a measure of the kingdom reality. Now, Jesus as king over their life, governing their life by his word, enjoying this life with others who have entered the kingdom, which is the church, and taking up the mission of the king to keep taking this gospel message of the kingdom to people who haven't heard it yet, and keep doing it until King Jesus comes back. The kingdom of darkness can stop Paul. It can stop you and me, but it cannot, it cannot stop the kingdom of God from spreading. It's impossible. Now, I'm not trying to pretend that Paul's situation was favorable here. We wouldn't have chosen that situation for him if we had any say in the matter, and we wouldn't choose it for ourselves either.

But this is how life works sometimes, isn't it? We encounter unfavorable circumstances that at first glance may threaten the gospel of the kingdom of God from moving powerfully in and through us. But like we learn from these last two verses in Acts, nothing can stop the kingdom of God. This is a timely reminder for us here at Gospel City as we face some undesirable circumstances of our own.

We have to find a new home for the church to meet in. Because we can't afford this one any longer and because of the size of our little church, Jeff and I have to explore finding secular jobs that will allow us to pay the bills at home. Plus, we'll also need to find a way to continue shepherding Gospel City Church.

While we do that, would we have chosen these circumstances for ourselves and for the church if we had the chance? Just so you know, never just so we're on the same page, we would never have chosen this situation for ourselves. But will these circumstances hinder Jesus from advancing the gospel of his kingdom in and through us? Not even close. May the Lord give us the faith that we need to see how he might want to use us for the sake of his kingdom moving forward here in Pork Aquaquitlam, through Gospel City church in the days to come. Amen. Amen. With that said, I'm going to invite the worship team to come up and get ready to lead us in our back half of worship.

And as they do, I want to end our time by talking to anybody here tonight who is currently living outside of the kingdom of God. King Jesus loves you so much. Because he loves you. He, right now, wherever you are sitting right now in this moment, King Jesus is offering you terms of peace and a way for you to enter his kingdom. He is offering to have all the crimes you've ever committed against him wiped clean from your record. He is offering to give you a fresh start as a citizen in his kingdom. He is inviting you to become a friend of his friends. This is an incredible offer, but it's a limited-time offer. This offer will expire when you physically die or when the king comes back, whichever one comes first.

And when the king comes back, he is judging and removing all expressions of evil and wickedness from this planet. And this includes removing those who reject him. Just so you know, the rejection of Jesus is the epitome of wickedness. Jesus personified is pure, white hot, pure goodness, pure love, pure, unadulterated light, pure life.

What does it say about a person if they reject that? It means they love the darkness and the evil instead. And God loves you so much that He came and died for you. And will you reject his offer of forgiveness because you don't want to stop doing the wicked things in your life? To reject this offer of terms of peace from the king is to remain an enemy of King Jesus. It is to love evil instead of loving good. And if you stay hardened against God for the rest of your life, you will face the wrath of the king.

If you do, I beg you, receive the king. Take his love and friendship while it's freely offered to you and while you still can enter his kingdom. Live forever with him. He won't make you choose him. I'm begging you that you do. Let's pray.

King Jesus, we are, whether we realize it or not, we are always, always at your mercy. Nothing good in our lives ever happens apart from you permitting it, allowing it, or working it, whether we are children of yours now or not. The only way any of us know you in this room right now is because you lavished your mercy upon us and your patience and your forgiveness and your grace. And we're eternally grateful, Lord. Those of us who have received you, we're going to worship you with the rest of this life. And we're just getting warmed up because we can't wait for glory. We can't wait for heaven, because we're going to worship you unhindered with glorified bodies, with a power that we've never known. We're going to pour out praise to you forever and ever and ever. And we're never going to get bored of that. We're never going to get tired. We're never going to look at our watches or see what's happening on TikTok. We are going to be captivated by your glory.

You are life and, Jesus, the only reason that you haven't come back yet to clean the swamp across this earth is because you're waiting for more sinners to take you up on your offer. You're enduring wickedness so that more could become citizens of your kingdom. Help us understand why you're taking so long, and let us have a taste and just a portion of that burden shape our hearts when we look at people who don't know you yet. Jesus, mobilize us as your church to pour ourselves out as ambassadors of the great king, giving as many people an opportunity as possible to enter. And lastly, Jesus, anyone that's here who doesn't know you, please don't let them leave here tonight without knowing you in a real and a saving way. Save them into your kingdom. Tonight we pray Jesus, for your glory and for their joy. And do this for anyone who's watching online. I pray anyone who's watching this, save them right when they're sitting on their couch or on their bed or in their car, spirit, penetrate their hearts, and show them Jesus in such a way that he becomes irresistible to them.

Get glory, Jesus. Get all of it we pray in your name. Amen. Amen.

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