“All the believers were together and had everything in common.” Acts 2:44 NIV
I’m excited to invite you to a new study titled Life Together beginning on Sunday September 18th and continuing for 7 weeks every other Sunday night, beginning at 6:30 pm. (See the bottom of this blog entry on how to get signed up)
Do you realize that the primary message of Jesus our Lord centered on the Kingdom of God? Amazingly, this teaching of the Kingdom remains a mystery to many Christians today. Life Together will look at a few key questions like, What exactly is the Kingdom of God? When will it come? Is it here now? Is it in me, among us, or will it be yet future? Actually, I believe that our understanding of and participation in the Kingdom is absolutely crucial if we are to live as Christ-Followers today!
What was Jesus sent by the Father to communicate? The Gospels contain several summary statements that give us an overview of Christ’s message. We often say things like, “Believe and receive”, “say a prayer and you will have eternal life”, “accept Christ!” But after Jesus’ baptism and temptation in the desert, He began to explain the true beginning of what it meant to believe in Him and to be His followers. Consider the following:
“17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.’ And after that, “23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” – Matthew 4:17, 23 NIV
Jesus’ message did not change in three years of public ministry. Take a moment to check out, Luke 4:43; 8:1; and Matthew 9:35. Jesus proclaimed the same Good News in each of these instances. In fact to Jesus, the Good News was the good news of the Kingdom of God:
“43 But he said, ‘I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.’”– Luke 4:43 NIV
When Jesus prophesied that the same gospel would be preached until the end of the age, He removed any question that the gospel might lose its Kingdom overtones.
“14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:14 NIV
You may ask, why is this so important? Because at stake is the appreciation of the full content of the gospel. If we don’t include the kingdom in the presentation of the gospel along with repentance, and growth in kingdom living, then we reduce and alter the message of Jesus and become guilty of devising a different gospel. The gospel is the kingdom! The good news of the kingdom is that the dominion of God can be established in human hearts (Luke 17:21). God’s kingdom principles and practices can also be advanced into all walks of life when the kingdom of God is upon us (Matthew 12:28) and YES we also look forward to the actual rule of Christ here on earth during His millennial reign (Luke 1:33).
Throughout my years in ministry I have come to realize that we learn best by doing. This is why Life Together will be focused on biblical teaching AND participation. I am trusting that the Spirit of Christ will unite and empower us as we learn Christ together (Ephesians 4:20).
I believe that these gatherings have the potential to be truly life-changing. There will be 7 gatherings taking place on the 1st and 3rd Sunday Night of each month (September through December). The dates are:
- September 18th
- October 2 & 16
- November 6 & 20
- December 4 & 18
We will announce the location next week! Feel free to invite as many people as you think might benefit from such an experience. Also, you do not need to attend all the gatherings as we know schedules vary!
If you have any questions or would like to sign up, please contact Tom Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org. His cell is 503-799-5164 and my cell is 503-957-4547. If you have already registered please do not register again.
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday Night September 18th at 6:30 pm!
Advancing His Kingdom,