PROMISES

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GREAT PROMISES FOR GOD’S KINGDOM CITIZENS:

The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-12

For Sunday 02/03/2002

Minister Mengue M. Eka-Abila

Definitions

Beatitudes: perfect blessedness or happiness (contentedness). (Webster’s New World Dictionary, generic viagra ampoule 3rd College Edition, 1988)

Promise: basis for expectation; indication of a successful future.
(Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition, 1988)

Blessed: favored by God, made content by God.

Meek: gentle, kind, patient, and mild. (Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition, 1988)

Merciful: refrain from harming offenders or enemies; forgiving.
(Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition, 1988)

Persecuted: being harassed, case being ill-treated or slandered (make malicious or injurious statements about
a person) because of one’s religious or political beliefs.
(Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition, 1988)

Mourn: feel deep sorrow or regret for a loss or a past event.
(Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition, 1988)

Context

The Lord was just beginning His public Ministry. His private ministry was over once He had passed the Great Temptations Test. He had been teaching in synagogues and preaching throughout Galilee. He had picked a few disciples: 4 according to Matthew 4 (Peter, Andrew, James, and John). We do not know if by the time the events of today’s text were taking place, He had made more disciples or not, but the text says, “And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain, and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him: And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying,” From this, I gather that He was exclusively talking to His disciples. Why did the Lord choose to differentiate between His disciples and the crowd here? One possible answer could be that, while certain blessings are for everybody under the sky (e.g., rain, sunshine, emotions, natural laws, etc.), other blessings, such as The Beatitudes or the Great Promises he was just about to establish, are for the exclusive benefit—after some endurance—of His People, citizens of His Kingdom. Notice the prerequisite here!

Now that we know that we know that The Beatitudes are exclusively for God’s Kingdom citizens, you may want to ask yourself some questions pertaining to your citizenship, such as, “What kingdom am I a citizen of?” To help you a little, I’d like to say that there are only 2 kingdoms: God’s Kingdom and the Sinful Kingdom (this World System). It is impossible to hold dual nationalities.

What exactly was promised? If you boil it down, the Lord basically promised blessedness (peaceful contentment) and a great reward in heaven to His followers, after that they have endured some hardships and injustices in this world for His sake. You cannot be a true child of God without first enduring these things. The Lord established it so because of the stark realities of this sinful world.

The Heavenly Kingdom: The Kingdom of God

Promise

Who qualifies

Specific nature
of the blessing

Blessed

The poor in spirit (lacking in spirit, lowly in spirit, humble, modest in spirit)

Theirs is the Kingdom of heaven

Blessed

They tat mourn (feel deep sorrow or regret for a loss or a past event)

They shall be comforted

Blessed

The meek (gentle, kind, patient, and mild)

They shall inherit the earth

Blessed

The hungry and thirsty for righteousness (a yearning for things to be done the right way)

They shall be filled (satisfied)

Blessed

The merciful (refrain from harming offenders or enemies, forgiving)

They shall obtain mercy

Blessed

The pure in heart (single -hearted, sincere)

They shall see God

Blessed

The peacemakers (listen to others’ grievances and actively work on honestly and fairly settling disagreements)

They shall be called children of God

Blessed

The persecuted for righteousness’ sake (being treated harshly, lose friends or family, get hurt killed for Christ’s sake)

Theirs is the Kingdom of heaven

Blessed

The wrongly reviled, persecuted, and slandered for Christ sake The ancient prophets.

Great is their  reward in heaven.

The World System: The Sinful Kingdom

This world system is characterized by promises and rewards that are antithetical to God’s Kingdom’s. Anyone more than 6 years of age knows that most people live by the following principles:

“Blessed are the cocky, for they shall be admired!”

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after pleasure, for they shall feel good!”

“Blessed are the sly, the sleek, and the cunning, for they shall not get caught!”

“Blessed are the grim, the tough, and the vindictive, for they shall crush their enemies and intimidate the weak!”

“Blessed are the power hungry, for they shall lord it over everybody else!”

“Blessed are the bullies and the manipulative, for they shall they shall have their way!”

“Blessed are the cantankerous (bad-tempered, quarrelsome), for they shall be left alone!”

“Blessed are the impatient and intolerant, for they shall not tolerate nonsense!”

What is your Nationality?

Now, which one of these 2 kingdoms best describes you? Are you the “here-and-now” kind of girl/guy? If yes, then you belong with the world kingdom. If not, then you are a citizen of God’s Kingdom. There is no dual nationality! The good news is, you can change kingdoms! You don’t have to remain in the world system! Only recognize your sin, ask the Lord to forgive you, and accept you in His heavenly Kingdom, and you’ll become His child. The Lord explains in Mark 8:34-36 that no one can be His true disciple unless he/she first deny self, take up his/her cross daily, and then follow Him. For whoever will want to save his/her life (egocentrism) will lose it, but whoever loses his/her life for Christ’s and for the Gospel’s sake shall find it. What shall it serve a man/woman if he/she always wins an argument or a battle, and lose his/her soul in the end?

God bless you!

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