SermonKingdom Living Problems
An all-creatures Bible Message

Kingdom Living Problems
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
2 June 2019
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

John 17:20-26
Acts 16:16-34

Kingdom living problems are not the problems that stems from living in the heavenly will of God, but the problems that we humans have with consistently living in that heavenly realm here on earth as it is in heaven.
 
We humans quite often allow the earthly problems around us to pull us away from consistently living in the perfection of heaven.
 
We sometimes find ourselves getting angry or frustrated or annoyed to such an extent that we react in an earthly manner instead of the way Jesus reacted to the problems around Him while He was living in a human body here on earth.
 
In such cases, we are not consistently representing the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven as a witness to others, and we may try to excuse it away as ďonly being human,Ē but at the same time they become kingdom living problems, because we are not being consistent witnesses as ambassadors of God, for at those times we are seen as really being like everyone else.
 
So, the question before us is how do we learn to eliminate these kingdom living problems?
 
And you are not alone in this effort, for I also have from time to time fallen into the traps that kingdom living problems present.
 
Letís seek these solutions and answers about how we are to be living here on earth as we look at John 17:20-26, and other Bible passagesÖ

20. "I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;

This means that Jesus was praying for us today, just as He was praying for the disciples in His day upon this earth.
 
A personís word is not just what they say, but who they are, for our very lives must also reflect who we really are and what we say.
 
In other words, do we keep our word to others in a consistent manner, and show the world around us God within us, as well as His heavenly will?
 
The devil doesnít want us to be like this, and tries many ways to pull us away from living in Godís heavenly will, which makes kingdom living problems when we give in to them instead of rejecting them for what they are.

21. that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.

We need to learn how to consistently recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit within us and His promptings about the source of the earthly problems we encounter so that we can sidestep them or reject them outright, instead of falling into the traps set for us.

22. "And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one;
 
23. I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.

This is who we are to be at all times, and because of the glory and grace given to us, we should be able to do this, which is something that we desperately need to remember in times of stress.

24. "Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world.

In other words this kind of love is nothing new, but a love that has existed before God created the heavens and the earth.

25. "O righteous Father, although the world has not known Thee, yet I have known Thee; and these have known that Thou didst send Me;
 
26. and I have made Thy name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I in them. "
NASB

This shows us that Jesus faced the same problems that we face every day, and we need to learn how to recognize those problems and not give into them, for when we learn to do this consistently, we will also find that we have eliminated kingdom living problems from our lives.
 
Now, letís turn our attention to Acts 16:16-34, and see if we can find some ways of eliminating kingdom living problems from our livesÖ

16. And it happened that as we [Luke, Paul, and those traveling with them] were going to the place of prayer, a certain slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortunetelling.

Luke is telling us that this girl was doing what she was doing through the evil powers of this earth and not with the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and even though what she says may sound Godly, it was not.
 
This girl is a kingdom living problem that needs to be avoided.

17. Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation."

Note that what she is saying sounds like it is correct, and on the surface it is, but her intent is not heavenly but earthly, and we always have to be alert to the fact that the devil is very tricky.

18. And she continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" And it came out at that very moment.

If this girl was truly doing what the Lord was directing her to do, Paul would not have become annoyed with her, and we believe that his annoyance was the result of the Holy Spiritís promptings telling him that certain things she was doing were not in the heavenly will of God.

19. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities,

We need to remember that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, and the way her masters are reacting shows their true intent.

20. and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, "These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews,

This is prejudicial talk, which should also tell us that they are lying, and should not be listened to.

21. and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans." 
 
22. And the crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them, and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods.

Even the magistrate was listening to worldly lies instead of uncovering the truth, but Paul and his friends knew the truth and were focused on it.

23. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely;

They were still following worldly lies, just as people today who eat animals are following worldly lies and traditions; however, in both situations they are not following the heavenly will of God, which makes them a part of the kingdom living problems that are all around us, and we need to learn to recognize them.

24. and he [the jailer], having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and fastened their feet in the stocks.
 
25. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;

Notice that Paul and Silas were still focused upon the heavenly will of God, and not the corrupt and evil ways of this earth, and instead of seeking ways to take revenge for the injustice inflicted upon them or to escape, they were putting their faith and trust in God.

26. and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's chains were unfastened.

The way this is described, it only could have come from God, but as history has taught us, He doesnít always intervene in this way, and sometimes He even allows us to carry our faith to our death.
 
The key is, will we, or will we not fall back into worldly ways?
 
At times, heavenly living problems can be quite strong and even sneak up on us.

27. And when the jailer had been roused out of sleep and had seen the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.

The jailer seemed to have feared what the rulers would do to him more than death, for he only saw his solution in terms of other worldly evils and not in the heavenly will of God.

28. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here!"
 
29. And he called for lights and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas,

The jailer obviously recognized something special in Paul and Silas, and hopefully thought that there really was a power greater than what the Romans had presented to him.
 
The jailer was developing faith in the God of Paul and Silas.

30. and after he brought them out, he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
 
31. And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household."

Perhaps this is the reason that God performed the miracle He did; in any event, the jailer was overcoming heavenly living problems and actually seeking the heavenly will of God.

32. And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.
 
33. And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.

From what we are told, this does not appear to be a water baptism but a baptism of the Holy Spirit.

34. And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
NASB

When we learn not to fall into the traps presented by kingdom living problems upon this earth, we have no idea how far reaching our witness can be, and how effective our witness upon the hearts and souls of those who observe it.
 
If we are truly born again, then like it or not, we are ambassadors of Christ, and we need to learn how to live like it every hour of every day as Godís witness to the world around us.
 
We can and must overcome kingdom living problems.
 
Amen?
 
Amen.

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