On Sunday morning, Jurie took the last three chapters of the book of Hebrews and showed us that when we walk by faith and not by sight, we can still walk with confidence. By faith, we follow God’s lead, and we do not stumble.
Today, though, I want to focus in on another message hidden within these chapters:
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.Hebrews 12:25-29, NKJV, emphasis added
In the end, all that will remain is God’s unshakeable Kingdom… and we are the recipients of that kingdom. I know my friend Joe will be happy we’re discussing this; the Kingdom of God is what we’re all about as Christians. Jesus even prayed about it in Matthew 6:10 (NKJV), “Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.”
As an American, though, this kingdom talk has often had me confused. For one thing, we’re told from the time we’re tiny tots that monarchy is bad but democratic republic is good. The American Revolution was all about breaking free from foolish and greedy King George III, right? And then there are all the Disney princesses, who have oppressive, absent, or ridiculous fathers. The only other king I ever learned much about was King Arthur (with his round table of devious and adulterous knights).
Yet now, in the context of Christianity, we are given a King who is the spiritual descendent of Melchizedek, “known as king of righteousness,) or “king of peace” (Heb. 7:1-3). Jesus is the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16).
What is the nature of this kingdom we’re receiving? Hebrews 12:29 calls it a “kingdom which cannot be shaken,” but the Bible has so much more to say about it:
Who is this kingdom for?
Some promises are pretty one-sided. “I promise to call my mom.” “I promise to go to bed on time.” But some promises demand response. “I promise to love you forever.” “I promise to be with you always.” These latter statements are too big and too powerful to just float there; we’re compelled to respond in kind. “I promise to love you back,” or “I’m not ready for that kind of commitment.”
“I promise you will inherit My unshakeable Kingdom” is one of those promises that demands a response. After all, it is a “forever promise,” and when the King of Kings opens the gates of His eternal Kingdom, it’s kind-of a big deal. Do I walk through those gates and become a loyal subject? Or do I say, “I’m not ready for that kind of commitment”?
Hebrews 12 gives us some guidance. Verse 28 tells us to, “have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” What is this grace? Grace is often equated with mercy, but in a recent sermon, Jurie described grace as “receiving something you don’t deserve,” while mercy is “not receiving something you do deserve.” By God’s mercy, our punishment was poured out on His son so that we might be saved. By God’s grace, we have received the power of the Holy Spirit to know Him more, to overcome hardship, and to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. May our response to God’s promise of His Kingdom be that we lay claim to this grace that gives us the power to serve Him acceptably with reverence and godly fear. Amen.
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