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Hebraic Definition of Kingdom (2 of 4)

Shane Willard

Page 3 of 10
He said these six things - that's the only times He ever used the word hell - was about people who struggle with holding anger in their heart. That has nothing to do with us does it? People who at times think they're better than other people and call them a fool. We would never do that. People who actually think they're more important than they are - really? People who hold unforgiveness in their heart, people who are greedy and overlook the poor. These were the things - in other words what's He saying? He's saying if you live like that you're endangering your life of the garbage dump. You don't want your life on the garbage dump; you want to live a fuller life. Now the other hell was Hades. Hades was the hell you really wanted to avoid. That's the one we think of as the one beyond the grave. He only uses that word once. He uses it three times; twice as a figure of speech, for instance the gates of hell will not prevail against it. The only time He uses it in terms of someone going there is who? [unclear 00.11.47] Exactly. There's a rich man and he overlooked a poor man. That's the guy that goes to hell. Amazing - out of all the sinners Jesus dealt with; a lady caught in the act of adultery. He's like it's going to be okay. It's going to be okay. How nice was God to that lady? What does He say to her? I don't condemn you, now go and sin no more.

Don't we say it backwards? We say it go and sin no more so God won't condemn you. Well no, that's backwards. Jesus is saying since I don't condemn you now go and sin no more. See we read those lists that Paul makes; see to it that none of you do this, this, this, this, this, this, for this is not behaviour becoming of saints. Paul says because you're saints don't do this. We say don't do this so you'll be saints. We even talk about repentance that way. We say - I'm not saying you do, I'm talking about in general. We say repent so God will be kind. If you repent God will be nice to you. I would suggest to you that God's nice just because He's nice. I would suggest to you that your actions don't do anything to affect God; it's actually your revelation of who God is the whole time that changes everything. It's the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. God's nice to everybody. Jesus was nice to everybody - except for He said there's this rich guy and he overlooks a poor guy. That's the guy who goes to hell.

It's amazing that even in hell - you think about that story. Even in hell the guy's in flames - it's a weird story - it says he's in flames and he looks up and he sees Abraham and the beggar. You mean out of all of heaven those were the two people who happened to be standing there? So he looks up and he sees Abraham and the beggar, and he says Abraham, I realise that's the beggar. Hey, do me a favour. Send him here to give me some water. This guy's in hell and he still thinks he's better than the beggar. Abraham goes what? No, that's not how this works. I'm not sending him to hell for you, what are you talking about? He goes okay, then send him back to earth to serve my family. Abraham says no, that's not how this works. It just doesn't work that way, and the rich man says no Abraham, let me tell you how it works. That's when Abraham goes someone who's this far gone, in other words if you're on fire and you still think you're better than other people there's no hope for you even if someone rose from the dead. No, no. No, it's not [unclear 00.14.27] so my question is this before you dismiss yourself from that conversation, you realise we are the rich men?

If you drove here tonight in a car and it has like a motor okay, [laughter] I don't care if it's a 30 year Hyundai. Listen, if you drove here tonight in a car you're in the richest eight per cent of the whole world. If you left your other car at home, like you and your wife, you each have a car, you're in the richest one per cent of the whole world. If your car is sitting at a home that has a concrete foundation and wood is it's basic building material you're in the richest one-tenth of one per cent of the whole world. We are the rich man. The question is what are we going to do about it? See the kingdom of God, we lose it's meaning when we make it about going to heaven one day. It's not about going to heaven one day. It's about conquering hell's hold on the places in this earth. It's about looking around and seeing the places devoid of what God would want it to be like, and then doing something about it. That's what it's about. It's about establishing a kingdom on earth, a radical new culture that'll show the whole world what God would look like, what God would look like if He was here living this thing out. That's what the kingdom of God is about.