Part II of:
“…the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence
and the violent take it by force.”
Last week, in looking at the life of John the Baptist, we came to see that Jesus is saying we have to be aggressive, spiritually “violent” or passionate, as the Baptist was, swimming against the cultural stream, and willing to suffer, as he indeed did.
If you just joined us, I encourage you to read the opening of last week’s lesson. Miriam (our own Missy) is such a great example of the kind of passion we need to advance the kingdom. Missy has ministered to kids for the last 35 years in the ghetto of Virginia Beach.
These are some of Missy’s kids who recently came back to visit. Travis (On the left) is one she raised who has turned his back on Jesus. We need to pray for him!Missy writes: Biscuit is sitting on the couch, second from the left. He came to my house every day and rarely talked. He stole from me. I would beg him to consider the claims of Jesus on his young life but he never made a decision to accept Him. It was a very sad day when Biscuit jumped in front of a bullet directed at his younger brother and was immediately in eternity. A victim of gang warfare between the Bloods and Crips. Many of Missy’s kids have died through gang violence or disease.
Heartache has not stopped Missy from reaching out to these children. We have watched her go through a very challenging adoption, both to get him and to raise him. He is the younger boy in this picture below, brother to her adopted daughter, and it has been an uphill battle. I feel we are called to pray for Missy at the very least, for God has brought her to us.
Missy exemplifies our hard saying. She is aggressively spiritually passionate, driven to be what God has called his disciples to be, a true Micah 6:8 woman. She lives our hard saying out.
Here is the sermon if you have not already purchased it.
God Hunt Sunday
- How have you seen God in your life this week?
- I believe we’ve been called to pray for Missy. Please do so here.
Last week we covered the text preceding verse 12, this week we will cover the text that follows it.
3. Read Matthew 11:12-15.
A. What is the hard saying in verse 12?
B. What do you think Jesus means when he says John is the Elijah who was to come?
C. How did John demonstrate the hard saying?
4. Read Matthew 11:16-19
A. What point is Jesus making about the crowds and their desires?
B. What does “wisdom is proved right by her deeds” mean?
Tuesday: Listen to First Half Of Sermon (up to 14:30)
6. What stands out to you from this part of the sermon and why?
7. What happened to John when he got a hold of the news of the Kingdom?
8. Were you radicalized by the Good News?
9. Keller talked about some things this saying does not mean. Explain:
A. Why it doesn’t refer to physical violence against the opposition.
B. Why it doesn’t mean Christian conversion is only necessary for a particular kind of person (like Ted Bundy).
10. True Christians are not passive people — agree or disagree? (Spurgeon said if you don’t have a passion for people to be saved you are not saved. Why?)
Wednesday: Listen Up to 23:12
11. What stood out to you and why?
12. What thoughts do you have on Keller’s comments on the objection that people might say, “I thought you said only God can save you — now it sounds like you have to work hard to get in.”
13. What are the marks of a person of spiritual ferocity?
14. Why is it hard for “busy” people or cynics to get in?
15. Are you willing, as the Baptist is, as Missy is, to take the scorn of other people? To have people see you as arrogant — as a wild man or woman? Why is this important?
Thursday: Listen to the end
16. What stands out to you and why?
17. He quotes Tozer who says “the way you know a real Christian is that the more they know Christ the more they want to know Him.” Is that true of you?
18. How did Jesus exemplify this saying?
Keller often talks about meditating on God’s Word until it sets on fire. He challenged us to pray for two hours. My challenge is to meditate, pray, meditate –for half hour asking him to sense His presence. On the passage we’ve studied or another He leads you too. Then come back and share.
19. What is your take-a-way and why?