Matthew 13:1-32

Here Jesus teaches us about the kingdom. Although God does use intermediaries to proclaim the kingdom, it is the ministry of the Spirit that allows us to understand and enter! It is the Spirit who gets the soil of our hearts ready (13:1-23).

Romans 10:14-15 “How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.’

John 16:7-11 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment—concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”

1 Corinthians 2:11-12 “For who among men knows the things of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God.”

Unfortunately, we live as a part of the kingdom in the midst of a world of unbelievers. It isn’t until the end of the age that the righteous and the unrighteous are separated (13:24-30).

Revelation 20:11-15 “Then I saw a large white throne and the one who was seated on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. Then books were opened, and another book was opened—the book of life. So the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds.The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each one was judged according to his deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death—the lake of fire. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, that person was thrown into the lake of fire.”

But we should not despair. God continues to build His kingdom (13:31-32). We see the literal fulfillment of this parable today. What started out with a few disciples in Israel has grown to millions of adherents around the word today (actually billions who identify as Christians), not to mention the believers throughout history!

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