Heavenly kingdom living versus worldly living describes the problem in
the world today, for we have a free will and can choose to live in the
heavenly will of God, or we can choose to live in the worldly ways of the
We always encounter people who try to justify their ungodly ways of life by quoting a Bible passage out of context.
Most of these passages are from the Old Testament, which contains many passages that record the way people lived, which are not necessarily in the creation or heavenly will of God.
But the following passage also contains examples of great faith.
In Genesis 24:34-67, we encounter one of these passages, which on the surface might seem to be what God really wants, but is not really in the heavenly will of God.
34. So he said, "I am Abraham's servant.
35. And the LORD has greatly blessed my master, so that he has become rich; and He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys.
Letís stop here for a moment and think about what we are being told.
In Abrahamís day, having slaves and indentured servants was very common among the wealthier people, and as we can see in this verse, they are considered as property along with animals, gold and silver.
This is one of the ways we can allow wealth or money to corrupt us to worldly living instead of the heavenly kingdom living God desires.
And we should all know that in the heavenly will of God all other living beings, whether human or animal, should be treated as beloved members of the family, for there is no pain or mourning or death in heaven.
36. Now Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master in her old age; and he has given him all that he has.
Abraham also had another son, Ishmael, by Sarahís Egyptian servant, Hagar,
but there is no mention of him here, which shows us one of the problems of
having more than one wife or extramarital affairs.
This is another example of how heavenly kingdom living can be corrupted into worldly living, which honors the devil and not God.
37. And my master made me swear, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live;
Abraham knew that the ungodly beliefs of these women would lead Isaac astray from heavenly kingdom living and lead him into the worldly living of which they were a part.
38. but you shall go to my father's house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.'
But, Abraham seemingly sees nothing wrong with having Isaac marry one of his relatives, which we should all realize is against Godís creation and heavenly will, because it can lead to genetic defects, for that is the way that God created us to be; we were not to marry our relatives.
39. "And I said to my master, 'Suppose the woman does not follow me.'
40. "And he said to me, 'The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send His angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives, and from my father's house;
41. then you will be free from my oath, when you come to my relatives; and if they do not give her to you, you will be free from my oath.'
Abraham wants Isaac to marry his cousin or second cousin.
42. "So I came today to the spring, and said, 'O LORD, the God of my master
Abraham, if now Thou wilt make my journey on which I go successful;
43. behold, I am standing by the spring, and may it be that the maiden who comes out to draw, and to whom I say, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar";
44. and she will say to me, "You drink, and I will draw for your camels also"; let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master's son.'
45. "Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder, and went down to the spring and drew; and I said to her, 'Please let me drink.'
46. "And she quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I will water your camels also'; so I drank, and she watered the camels also.
The servantís prayers were answered, which is a sign of his faith.
47. Then I asked her, and said, 'Whose daughter are you?' And she said, 'The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him'; and I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists.
This also confirms that Rebekah is Isaacís second cousin.
48. And I bowed low and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had guided me in the right way to take the daughter of my master's kinsman for his son.
This is the kind of faith that we all need to have, even if in this case it is not necessarily an example of heavenly kingdom living.
49. So now if you are going to deal kindly and truly with my master, tell
me; and if not, let me know, that I may turn to the right hand or the left."
50. Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, "The matter comes from the LORD; so we cannot speak to you bad or good.
This is also proof that Laban and Bethuel also believe in God.
So, what happens?
51. Behold, Rebekah is before you, take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master's son, as the LORD has spoken."
It appears that both of them have agreed to this arranged marriage.
52. And it came about when Abraham's servant heard their words, that he
bowed himself to the ground before the LORD.
53. And the servant brought out articles of silver and articles of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.
54. Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night. When they arose in the morning, he said, "Send me away to my master."
55. But her brother [Laban] and her mother [Milcah] said, "Let the girl stay with us a few days, say ten; afterward she may go."
56. And he said to them, "Do not delay me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master."
57. And they said, "We will call the girl and consult her wishes."
58. Then they called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go."
59. Thus they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse with Abraham's servant and his men.
60. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
"May you, our sister,
Become thousands of ten thousands,
And may your descendants possess
The gate of those who hate them."
61. Then Rebekah arose with her maids, and they mounted the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.
62. Now Isaac had come from going to Beer-lahai-roi; for he was living in the Negev.
63. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, camels were coming.
64. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from the camel.
65. And she said to the servant, "Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?" And the servant said, "He is my master." Then she took her veil and covered herself.
66. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.
67. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and he took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her; thus Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
Letís continue with our discussion of heavenly kingdom living versus worldly living as we look at Matthew 11:12-30.
12. "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.
This was written some 2,000 years ago, and still nothing has changed.
Because as a society, we have allowed the ungodly and violent people to rule over the earth and the kingdom of heaven which we are to bring to earth as it is in heaven.
And because we who are true loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God have failed to free creation from the corruption brought on by these violent and ungodly people.
These are prime examples of how worldly living can corrupt the heavenly kingdom living that God desires for our lives.
13. "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
14. "And if you care to accept it, he himself is Elijah, who was to come.
This means that John came in the spirit of Elijah, and not that Elijah was reincarnated into Johnís body, as we have heard some people claim.
15. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
That John the Baptist announced the coming of Messiah, Jesus.
For Jesus came to turn the people away from their worldly living and back to the heavenly kingdom living that God always desired for us.
16. "But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children
sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children,
17. and say,' We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.'
This is another way of saying that the people desired their worldly living more than the heavenly kingdom living God desires for us.
18. "For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a
19. "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."
The evil in this world doesnít want to recognize the good, and does everything in its power to lead people astray, and because they are weak and go along with the crowd, they follow the earthly ways instead of following Jesus.
20. Then He began to reproach the cities in which most of His miracles were
done, because they did not repent.
21. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
This is also describing the problem in the churches today, for most churches talk about heavenly kingdom living, but at the same time promote worldly living; a prime example of this are their church dinners featuring the cooked remains of once living animals.
22. "Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and
Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you.
23. "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You shall descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.
24. "Nevertheless I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you."
This is what we keep encouraging people to do: Cease following the cruel ways of this world and follow Jesus and become the loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God we have been called to be, and help free creation from its present corruption.
25. At that time Jesus answered and said, "I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of
heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and
intelligent and didst reveal them to babes.
26. "Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight.
27. "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
28. "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
29. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.
30. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."
Jesus is telling us He is gentle and humble in heart, which is a very
important distinction for us to understand, for the ways of this world are
mostly violent and prideful, the opposite of the ways of Jesus.
This Matthew passage is presenting the difference between heavenly kingdom living versus worldly living, and we have a choice; which one are we going to choose?
This passage is also telling us that the ways of this world cause us to feel weary and heavy-laden, and that we are to give these things to Jesus, and instead take upon ourselves the gentle, humble, and light ways of living in the heavenly will of God.
If we feel better about ourselves, by unloading the burdens of worldly living, then we are much better able to help make the world a better place, and be steadfast witnesses against the violent and evil ways of the world.
And Jesus makes it easier for us to do it.
We CAN do it.
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