Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Promised Revival: God’s Mission Completed


Introduction

How do laziness and patience differ?
What differentiates those who wait with anticipation and those who wait with boredom?
Have we been given a purpose during our patience? What is it? How are we to do it?

Discussion Guide

Read Matthew 28:18-20
How does Christ’s authority (in Heaven and Earth) make a difference to our attitude in waiting?

The lesson states (Sunday) that “the gospel was preached to every creature under heaven in just a few short years (Col 1:23).” While today, much of the world has never heard the name of Jesus, how might this have been true in Paul’s day? 

When Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of Heaven (or “Kingdom of God” - they are interchangeable phrases), He, like Paul, talked about it being a present reality. In Matthew 21:31 Jesus says, “the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God ahead of you.” Notice he doesn’t say they will enter but that they are entering God’s Kingdom. Jesus also said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). Belongs, not will belong. With this ‘present Kingdom’ in mind, consider Matthew 19:23. How does this bring new light to the reason wealth excludes some from the Kingdom of God? 

Consider also Matthew 6:24. Two Kingdoms with distinctly different rulers are revealed in this text - Heaven and Earth, God and Money. How can our extreme wealth (we are all rich on compared to the rest of the world) be used to fund lazy waiting? How can it be used to fund the Kingdom of God as we wait? 

How should our submission to Jesus’ authority over both Kingdoms (Heaven and Earth, Matthew 28:18) impact the way we wait for God’s Mission to be Completed?

Compare this to Paul’s statement above. If we grasp what Paul and Jesus are talking about, what difference does it make to our activity as we await “God’s Mission Completed”? How might this attitude and approach to the Kingdom of God bring about “The Promised Revival”?

Read Acts 4:31 and John 6:63. What role does The Holy Spirit play in us being a people of purposeful patience?
When you are baptised in water, you come up all wet. What happens to those baptised in fire? What impact does one branch, baptised in fire, make on a pile of dry sticks when introduced to them? How is the baptism of the Holy Spirit like this? How is it different?

Consider a few attributes of God’s character, what are the results, both immediate and long term, if we reveal each attribute of God to the world around us? When we are baptised in the Holy Spirit, what is the primary affect we have on those who do not know God? What aspect of God’s Character is most likely to reveal the contrast between Kingdoms - Heaven and Earth?

To be believable in the world today, you must be living what you are believing. There is so much information, available at the click of a mouse, that proof is not enough. The world needs people who are living the message they are sharing. 

How can you and I begin, continue and complete living the Good News of the Kingdom of God that we so passionately want the world to hear?