Forcefully Advancing The Kingdom


The Forceful Advancing of the Kingdom

Matt. 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. (NKJV)


We’ve said a lot about God’s part and man’s part - it will always be important to know who’s responsible for what

This particular verse is revealing responsibilities


Matthew 11:12 From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people have been seizing it. (GW)


Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until the present, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people have been attacking it. (ISV)


Matt. 11:12 And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it. (NLT)


This scripture has three main ingredients:

1. A defined time period - From John until present - which is while Jesus was on earth ministering

2. Good characters

3. violent and forceful characters

The good guys - were John and Jesus

The bad guys were those attacking


Q: Who Was Forcefully Advancing The Kingdom?

Jesus is the one who said this

He said - from the time of John the Baptist UNTIL NOW

He gave John as the specific example

But he would soon follow John - by His death

A: John the Baptist and Jesus were forcefully advancing the kingdom


How John and Jesus Forcefully Advanced the Kingdom


John:


Matthew 11:12 From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people have been seizing it. (GW)


Context

John the Baptist is sitting in prison.

Jesus had warned his followers in the previous chapter that as they went out with the Gospel, they would be opposed


Matt. 3:1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

Matt. 3:2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Matt. 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’ ”

Matt. 3:4 Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Matt. 3:5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him

Matt. 3:6 and were baptised by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. (NKJV)


Luke 1:17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” (NLT)


God supplied the Spirit and power

Yet John had to speak the words

The message, spirit, and power came from God

But John had to prepare himself and speak the message


His assignment: (which was described by Jesus as forcefully advancing the kingdom)

Prepare the people for the 1st coming of Jesus

His message would turn the hearts of the father’s to their children

And cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly


THOUGHT: God gave John His Words, His Spirit, and His Power

John gave God His heart and mouth

Once John began there was no longer silence from heaven

John was advancing Kingdom

As a result – John was seized and put Into prison

NOTE: When they seized John – they seized the advancement of the Kingdom

The Message Becomes The Man – The Man Becomes The Message!!


Jesus:


Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (NKJV)


The way Jesus advanced the kingdom

God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power

He went about doing good and healing those oppressed of the devil

God was with Him


Jesus advanced the Kingdom with - His Mouth and Hs Hands

By teaching - preaching - healing

He was forcefully advancing the kingdom


Matt. 11:2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples

Matt. 11:3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

Matt. 11:4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:

Matt. 11:5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.

Matt. 11:6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (ESV)


Right after Jesus heals on the sabbath he says this:


John 5:17 But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”

John 5:18 So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.


Jesus advanced the kingdom

It was by teaching, preaching and demonstrating

The religious people hated Him for it