Living in the Kingdom of God

Light Castle

For the past two days, we’ve been examining the kingdom. If you haven’t read the previous posts yet, please see “Demystifying the Kingdom of God” and “Two Kingdoms” before proceeding.

With our understanding of the kingdom of God now in place, I would like to talk about kingdom living.

Christians have far too often presented the gospel as nothing more than salvation from sin and death (or worse yet, as a get-out-of-hell ticket). These things are included, but salvation is only one part of the whole gospel, which Jesus calls the “gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 24:14).

Two Kingdoms

Dark Castle

Yesterday, I attempted to demystify the kingdom of God. If you haven’t read my previous post, please do so now, as this picks up right where that left off.

Doesn’t God have dominion over everything, and does that mean that the whole world is the kingdom of God?

No, not quite.

In the grand scheme of things, yes, God is sovereign over everything. He created the world. He owns it. And he has the absolute power to step in and act whenever he chooses.

But God allows us to exercise our free will and choose whether we will serve Yahweh or serve the god of this world.

Demystifying the Kingdom of God

Castle

Jesus taught more about the kingdom of God than any other topic.

Actually, that’s not the best way to put it. It would be better to say that the kingdom of God was the subject of everything Jesus taught, whether he used the word kingdom or not.

The very gospel Jesus preached was the “gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 24:14). He spent the majority of his earthly ministry proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that relatively few Christians really understand the kingdom of God.

Free Combined Account of the Gospels

All About Jesus

I recently reviewed John MacArthur’s excellent resource, One Perfect Life, in which he combines the four Gospel accounts together into a single flowing narrative. I also mentioned Johnston Cheney’s similar work, Jesus Christ: The Greatest Life Ever Lived, which has tremendously helped my studies on the life of Christ. I even tried my hand and doing a similar combined account myself for the six denials of Peter.

Well, I just discovered another similar effort. All About Jesus, compiled by Roger Quy, is intended to make an easy reading experience through the Gospels. With that in mind, it uses the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) as the base text, and leaves out the references to book, chapter, and verse (however, a chart at the end shows where all the references fit). There are also explanatory footnotes at the end of the book.

How Many Times Did Peter Deny Jesus?

Peter

If you’ve ever gone to Sunday school, you’re probably thinking that the answer to this question is obvious. Everyone knows Peter denied Jesus three times. Right? It certainly would seem that way from reading of any one of the Gospels individually.

Let’s try a harder question then. How many times did the rooster have to crow? Ah, now we have a slight dilemma.

In Luke 22:34 and John 13:38, Jesus said that the rooster would not crow at all until Peter had denied him three times. But according to Mark 14:66–72, Peter only denied Jesus once before the rooster crowed. Then the rooster crowed again after Peter made two more denials.

The Six Denials of Peter

Peter

The following is the account of Peter’s six denials. It has been combined together from the four Gospels. Read “How Many Times Did Peter Deny Jesus?” for an explanation.

I used the World English Bible as my starting point for this compilation.

Lk 22:54They seized him, and led him away, and brought him into the high priest’s house. But Jn 18:15Simon Peter followed Jesus Lk 22:54from a distance, Jn 18:15as did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest; Jn 18:16but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought in Peter.