There are certain things that men can do that will bring about the destruction of a nation or a kingdom.
A kingdom has always been allowed to continue only as long as God would have it to.
God allows a kingdom to rise or fall according to the level of INEQUITY that exists within it. (As a power)
Examples: Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Rome.
We, as the church that Christ died for, ARE a great kingdom.
Isaiah 2:1-4 with Micah 4:1-4
Joel 2:28-32 - fulfilled - Acts 2:1-21.
We truly have a great Kingdom.
No outside forces could ever destroy the church of the Living God.
The Kingdom in its universal sense will never be destroyed.
BUT, we CAN destroy the kingdom that is established in our local area.
In this lesson, let's notice four things that can "Destroy a Great Kingdom."
SELFISHNESS WILL DESTROY A GREAT KINGDOM.
Acts 2:41ff - there were about 3,000 who were not selfish.
They wanted to please God.
They had pleased themselves when they killed Jesus.
They prove their unselfishness by their actions - sharing with one another.
Matthew 5:3 - poor in spirit...
Poor - totally impoverished - (needs something to fill the void).
Spend and be spent for Jesus.
Matthew 18:1-4 - must be humble as little children.
Humility and selfishness are opposites.
Illustration of how to be selfish:
HOW TO BE SELFISH
Think about yourself.
Talk about yourself.
Use "I" as often as possible.
Mirror yourself continually in the opinion of others.
Listen greedily about what people say about you.
Expect to be appreciated.
Be jealous and envious.
Be sensitive to slights.
Never forgive criticism.
Trust nobody but yourself.
Insist on consideration and proper respect.
Demand agreement on your own views on everything.
Sulk if people are not grateful to you for favors shown them.
Never forget a service you have rendered.
Be on the lookout for a good time for yourself.
Shirk your duties if you can.
Do as little as possible for others.
Love yourself supremely.
THIS RECIPE IS GUARANTEED TO BE INFALLIBLE.
Selfishness will destroy the Kingdom of God if it is allowed free course in our lives.
PRAISE SEEKING WILL DESTROY A GREAT KINGDOM.
When someone seeks the praise of men, it blinds him from Jesus.
John 12:41-43. Discuss context related to Isaiah 6.
Our praise should be to God, not man.
I Cor. 1:30-31.
Praise seekers will follow the crowd to destruction.
LACK OF RESPECT FOR GOD WILL DESTROY A GREAT KINGDOM.
"Lukewarmers" are the prime example of a "lack of respect" for God.
Rev. 3:15-16 - Laodicea.
We can show our respect for God by loving Him as we should.
God expects "total commitment."
MAN'S TONGUE WILL DESTROY A GREAT KINGDOM.
James 3:1-12 - 3 illustrations.
Gossip will destroy the church.
Have you ever heard of Gossip Town,
On the shores of Falsehood Bay,
Where Old Dame Rumor, with rustling gown
Is going the livelong day?
It isn't far to Gossip Town
For people who want to go,
The Idleness Train will take you down
In just an hour or so.
The Thoughtless Road is a popular route,
And most folks start that way;
But it's Steep Downgrade; if you don't look out,
You'll land in Falsehood Bay.
You glide through the Valley of Vicious Folk,
And into the Tunnel of Hate;
Then, crossing the Add-to Bridge, you walk
Right into the city gate.
The principle street is called, "They Say,"
And "I've Heard" is the public well,
And the breezes that blow from Falsehood Bay
Are ladened with "Don't You Tell."
In the midst of the town is Telltale Park;
You're never quite safe while there,
For its owner is madam Suspicious Remark,
Who lives on the street Don't Care.
Just back of the park is Slander's Row,
'Twas there Good Name died,
Pierced by an arrow from Jealousy's Bow,
In the hands of Envious Pride.
From Gossip Town, peace long since fled,
But Trouble, Grief, and Woe,
And Sorrow, And Care you'll meet instead,
If ever you chance to go.
Words have more power than anything that we possess.
DEATH OR LIFE IN WORDS
A careless word may kindle strife,
A cruel word may wreck a life;
A bitter word may hate instill,
A brutal word may smite and kill;
A gracious word may smooth the way,
A joyous word may light the day;
A timely word may lessen stress,
A loving word may heal and bless.
These are four of the things that threaten the "Greatest Kingdom" ever established.
Look at your life, are you bringing destruction upon the greatest kingdom, i.e., the church, that Jesus died for?
Are you selfish?
Are you a praise seeker?
Do you have the respect for God that you should?
Does your tongue speak edification or destruction?
I Cor. 3:16-17 - God will destroy those who destroy the kingdom that He established.