Mark 12:28-34



A.the "Kingdom of God," is a phrase that means the rule of God or the reign of God

B.this is best understood by distinguished it from what Jesus did not mean

1.He was not speaking of a geographical area such as the Holy Land or the Temple

2.He was not speaking of a political entity such as the nation of Israel

3.He was not speaking of a group of people such as His disciples or the church

C.the kingdom of God is God's ruling; it is the sovereign reign of God

D.the rule of God implies a people to be ruled, and Jesus regularly invited people to enter the kingdom of God, that is, to open their lives to the ruling of God

1.He invited everyone

2.He did not restrict the invitation to the respectable people, or the religious, or the wealthy or powerful

3.He spoke of God sending His servants out into highways and hedges to urge people to come into the kingdom

4.God is very gracious and loving toward all people, and His kingdom is offered to everyone

E.this Scribe saw the spirituality of the Divine law; that religion consisted of love to God his answer, Jesus saw that he had broken through the common prejudices of his nation

2.this scribe had overcome the darkness which supposed that religion consisted in the mere formality of the ceremonial law

3.he understood that love was the thing needed; the great thing in which all true religion consisted

F.Jesus saw that nothing was wanting but faith

1.he was so near to the Kingdom of God, that a single act of the mind would bring him within it

2.he only had to yield his heart to what his intellect perceived; and by that one act he would be in the kingdom

3.for this reason, Jesus said, "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God"

II.the man who is far from the kingdom of God

A.if some are near the kingdom of God, then by comparison others must be far from it

B.when the things connected with this Kingdom of God are not the subjects of thought and attention, a man is far from the Kingdom of God

1.they have "no time" to look into the real, spiritual merit of this kingdom and its laws

2.they give themselves up to business and pleasure, and think about everything else but what they ought to think about – Mark 10:23-25

3.this person is far from the Kingdom of God; they have everything to learn yet

C.when people are full of worldly mindedness and worldly prosperity, they are far from the Kingdom of God

1.some have so increased in worldly affairs, that even on the Lord’s Day, worldliness often engrosses their thoughts

2.the world has such a hold upon them, that they have more worldly thoughts than any other

3.some have the desire to get rich, and to elevate themselves and their families; that they turn their backs on religion and all thoughts of salvation

4.these are far from the Kingdom of God

D.when someone is in great spiritual darkness and ignorance, and know little about religion or have gross misconceptions about it, such people are far from the Kingdom of God

1.when entrenched in error, they give themselves up to believe some lie

2.they silence the voice of conscience, and cleave to a refuges of lies

3.when filled with the prejudices of education, and false ideas of religion, men are far from the kingdom of God

a)how many false theories and doctrines of religion are there

b)look at the Jews, how full they were of the prejudices of religion

4.many have perverted the true sense of Scripture; it is difficult for them to get into the Kingdom of God

E.when a man is governed by carnal appetite, and pleasure is his great pursuit, it may be said that they are far from the Kingdom of God

F.many people are troubled about many things; they care so much about the things of the world, that they have no time to attend to their souls

III.the man who is not far from the kingdom of God

A.many have been in this condition; some may be in this condition even now

1.when eternal things hold the attention of our mind, and persuade us to apply our mind to it, we are getting closer to the Kingdom of God may be said that we have taken an important step in our approach towards the Kingdom of God, although not an entrance into it is a step that is infinitely important; so much so, that our eternal salvation depends on it

B.when a person has made up his mind to be honest with God, and with himself, he is getting close to the Kingdom of God

1.dishonesty on the part of men is a very great obstacle

2.when we are unwilling to honestly ask God, "Lord, what wilt thou have me do," it is a great hindrance

3.the question is not what I have persuaded myself to believe, but what has God said

a)when we come to God for instruction, casting aside all our prejudices; it may be said, we are not far from the Kingdom of God

b)when our errors give way, and we find ourselves no longer stubborn and confident in them; it may be said, we are not far from the Kingdom of God

c)when we find that we can no longer maintain the position we hold; it may be said, we are not far from the Kingdom of God

4.this was the case with the Scribe in our text; but whether he ever entered the Kingdom or not, has not been recorded

a)it was clear, that he had broken through the prejudices common to his nation, and had come to understand the real spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God

C.when a person finds the excuses which they have used to soothe their consciences, begin to fail, it may be said they are not far from the Kingdom of God sinner intends neglect the gospel forever; but he thinks he has some valid excuse for his present delay

2.when we find ourselves stripped of our excuses, and feel that we have no excuse, and are no longer willing to make excuses; it may be said we are not far from the Kingdom of God

3.whether such a one will ever enter the Kingdom is still unknown; but they are certainly now not far from the Kingdom of God

4.if we see our excuses going up in smoke, it is because the truth has found us out, and the Spirit of God has enlightened us; He had enlightened this Scribe

D.when pleasure no longer fully occupies the mind; when pleasure no longer seems to be pleasure because of the conviction of the conscience; such an individual is not far from the Kingdom of God

1.when those things which have formerly enchanted and fascinated our mind, lose their hold upon us; we are not far from the Kingdom of God

2.when the heart quivers under the lashes of the conscience day and night, and the great truths of salvation are weighing upon the spirit; that individual is not far from the Kingdom of God

3.when a transgressor's heart is continually agonizing within himself, filled with conviction and distress about sin; rest assured such a one is not far from the Kingdom of God

E.when spiritual darkness gives way, and a person comes to understand the gospel and the way of salvation, so that they see their need of a Saviour, they are not far from the Kingdom of God

1.this was the case with the Scribe, and has been the case with many people

2.when we see the motives and necessities of the plan of Salvation, and its suitability to our wants; we stand within one step of the Kingdom of God

3.a single act of committing our self in confidence to these truths, will bring us into the Kingdom of God

IV.the nearer a man comes to the kingdom of God, the greater his responsibility

A.the man to whom the words of our text were spoken had already advance beyond the other people

1.the law was revealed to him in all its spirituality; it was perceived in his intellect; it was as near as possible to his heart

2.the more a person is enlightened, the nearer they are to the Kingdom of God

3.Christ did not say that he was any better for being so near; if he never entered, he was not a Christian

4.he saw what God's law required; and for it to take possession of his heart, would be the "Kingdom of God" within him – Luke 17:20-21

B.the more a person is enlightened, the greater his responsibility

1.if this man did not ultimately accept the light given him, he would be the worse for it, instead of better

2.every sinner who is brought near, if they fail to enter in, the greater the wickedness

3.the better someone understands the truth, and refuse to yield to it; the worse they are, and the more dreadful will be their final account

4.if someone decides against the Kingdom of God, after being brought near to it, their guilt will be greatly increased

a)the consequences of such a choice, will be more fatal, than under any other circumstances

C.Satan is continually watching for men who are brought near to the Kingdom of God

1.the Bible represents him as being ever ready to take the word away, as soon as it is sown in the heart we see the subtlety of Satan, he is able to keep them in a state of carelessness, when they are on the verge of making the right decision

3.Satan tempts man to defer his decision until later, and by this awful procrastination, Satan prevails is it with you today, dying sinner

1.will it be said of any of you, that you were not far from the Kingdom of God, and yet you would not enter into it

2.if there is rejoicing in the presence of God, over one sinner that repents, what quivering there must be over your present indecision

3.dying sinner, will you dare to say today, "I accept Christ, and will enter into God’s kingdom forever”