Tony Evans - Jesus The King
God has a house. The name of his house is called his kingdom. God's kingdom is his rule over his creation. This creation is called God's house. The earth is the Lord's, the fullness thereof and the world and all they that dwell in it. He calls the creation his abode. God decided that he was gonna run his house a certain way, and the way he was gonna run this house was through a creature he would create who would run his house on his behalf for him and that creature would be called mankind.
And so, in Genesis chapter 1, the Bible says that God created Adam, he created Eve and he says, "I'm gonna let them rule".
In Psalm chapter 8, verses 4 to 6 it says, God created man a little lower than the angels and when he created man a little lower than the angels, he said, "I created them so that they might rule".
Psalm 115, verse 16 says, the heaven belongs to God, but the earth belongs to man.
So, God created an earthbound creature, man, whose job it was to run his house God's way. Adam fumbled the ball because he turned the running of the earth over to the devil when he rebelled against the owner of the house, God. When Adam rebelled against the owner of the house, and he turned the house over to the devil, sin entered into the world bringing chaos to humanity and corrupting God's creation. God wants his house back but because of how God set it up, that he would only run his house through a man, through a human being, he did not cancel that approach.
And so, he says that, "I need another man because the first Adam failed to run my house my way". This led to the unfolding of the Old Testament in anticipating a man who would run God's house God's way, a King, if you will, who would rule on earth from the perspective of heaven. The whole Old Testament is the anticipation of this king. This king would come through the Jews who would sit on the throne of David, who would oversee Israel and from Israel rule the world. And so, the prophets anticipated this king. Abraham's covenant anticipated this king, and David line anticipated this king.
Zechariah 9, verse 9 says, "When this king comes, you will see him because he will be riding on a donkey". So, we shouldn't be surprised that when Jesus was ready to reveal his kingship, he told his disciples, "Go get a donkey. It's time for me to ride". When the magi came when Jesus was born, they said, "Where is he that was born king of the Jews, that we might come and worship him"? So, the whole Old Testament was anticipating the arrival of the king.
When Jesus came, John the Baptist, took the center stage in Matthew chapter 3, verse 2 and John the Baptist says, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand". When Jesus began preaching in Matthew 4:17, he stepped onto the stage of history and he says, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is right in front of you". When he sent out his disciples to preach in Matthew chapter 10, verse 7, he says, "You go out and you proclaim the kingdom of God has arrived because the king is here".
So, when we talk about Jesus Christ and the name that we're talking about today, you may know him as Savior, and that he is, but today I want you to make sure you understand him as King because he is king, he has a kingdom, a house over which he rules. It was this claim to his kingdom as king that got him killed. In John chapter 19, verses 14 to 22, Pilate says, "Here is your king". They said, "Crucify him, crucify him". That's after they had laid our palm branches on Palm Sunday and laid out their coats and says, "Hosanna, the king has arrived". One week later, "Crucify him".
Unfortunately today, there are many people who come to church and say, "Hosanna", but leave and say, "Crucify him", because we don't mind him being king by name as long as he's not king by authority. We don't mind Jesus carrying the title, as long as he's not telling me what to do. Let me explain something about God's kingdom. It's not a democracy. He's not asking you for your vote. He is not seeking your permission. He wants to declare what he wants done. Jesus wants to be your Savior, but he also wants to be ruler. He wants to be the one who has final say so over all matters in your life.
A kingdom is a domain over which a ruler sits in over which he exercises authority. The kingdom of heaven refers to the jurisdiction over which God rules through Christ. The kingdom of God refers to the person God, the kingdom of heaven refers to the sphere. When Jesus says, "My kingdom is not of this world", he did not mean my kingdom is not in this world. He means that the kingdom authority doesn't come from this world. The kingdom authority I exercise in this world comes from the world I came from. I come from heaven down to earth to answer the Lord's prayer, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, where? On earth as it is in heaven. Jesus's prayer was that there would be a good have redeemed people who would sit underneath his rule as they live their lives on earth as he gives instruction from heaven.
So, when we say Jesus's name is the king, you are declaring that Jesus Christ has final say so over my decisions. Now, this is where it gets a little tricky. We want Jesus to have final say so over the decisions we agree with. We want Jesus to have final say so over the decisions we like. We want Jesus to have final say so over the decisions that make me comfortable, but that's not how rulers rule. The idea is not for the ruler to adjust to the rulee. The idea is for the rulee to adjust to the ruler. Jesus Christ wants to be your Savior who takes you to heaven and your King who rules your life in history, which means that your question on every subject in your life should be one.
"What do you want me to do about this"? When you begin asking that question to your King and answering that question in the affirmative, there are only two words you're supposed to give to that question, "Yes, Lord. Yes, King". When you ask that question and answer that question, now you are functioning as a citizen of his kingdom, the non-believer has no obligation. But once you accept Christ and then have the nerve to get baptized because baptism is not just that I've accepted Christ. Baptism is saying, "And now I want you to know that I submit myself to his rule and authority over my life, and I will adjust my decisions to his rule".
Now, the problem is when we come into God's kingdom, we bring our own rules with us. We bring how we were raised, what mama taught me, what Daddy taught me, what the media taught me, what this taught me. We bring our old way of thinking and living into this kingdom, which means conflict. If you have accepted Jesus Christ, your obligation is to your King, not to the crowd. That is why the Bible says you're not to be committed to this world order. Doesn't matter how many people like it, doesn't matter how many people agree with it, doesn't matter how popular it is, doesn't matter whether they say is legal or not.
The question first and foremost is, "What does my King say? Because he rules, he is my authority". That's why the Bible says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God". Matthew 6:33, "And his righteousness", and then he says, "and then all these things will be added to you". In other words, "Seek my kingdom and the King got your back. Do your own kingdom and my kingdom, and you take care yourself". I like the way Luke puts that same verse because Luke throws in something else. Luke wants you to know that when you seek first the kingdom of God, when you in Luke chapter 12, verse 31 and 32, he says, "When you seek the kingdom of God", I love this he says, "It's my Father's pleasure to give you the kingdom".
See, when you get saved, that part's easy because you go to Jesus Christ, you acknowledge you're a sinner, that you need a Savior, and you trust him for the gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins, and based on his promise, you're given eternal life and you come through the door. "I am the way, the truth, and the life, I am the door". You go through Jesus, and now you enter the kingdom. John 3:3 says, you cannot enter the kingdom unless you're born again.
So, that's getting saved, that's being converted, that's being justified, that's being born again, that's when you trust Jesus Christ, that is entering the kingdom. But what a lot of us do is we enter the kingdom and hang out at the door. We enter the kingdom and say, "Oh door, thank you for letting me in the door. It's so much. It's nice to know I'm no longer outside. I'm no longer under judgment. I am now saved and safe, and I'm at the door". And we come to church every Sunday to celebrate the door. God says, "No, I let you in the door so that you can enter into a kingdom, so that you can enter into a whole new realm of divine rule of my kingship".
But when you do, and you bring your history with you, you bring your background with you. And God is saying, "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, we gotta, no, no, no, you in my house. And I know that's how you used to out there, but you're in my house now and since you're in my house, we're going to have to deal with that". The moment that occurs, then the kingdom suffers violence. In other words, there's gonna be a clash and that's supposed to be because the Bible says the flesh wars against the spirit and the spirit wars against the flesh. So, wham, there's gonna be a clash.
Now, what a lot of people say when they hit the clash is, "Well, I need to get closer to Jesus. I need to get more spiritual", and you do. You do need to get more spiritual, but the first thing you need to establish is who's in charge because until you establish who's in charge you will use getting close as an excuse not to deal with it. See, some of that stuff don't take that long. It only takes long because he is not king. So, folk want a Savior, they don't want a King. They don't want Jesus Christ to call the last shot. And so, you'll want church, but you don't want kingdom. You don't want rule.
The Bible's in Philippians 3, verse 20, you are now, I am now, we are now to view ourselves as citizens of heaven. You are part of the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of heaven means when you're not in heaven, because we're not in heaven right now, that means that right now, we have to carry our passport on the locations of earth that we happen to be because this is not our kingdom. This is a foreign country. We're visiting for a certain limited period of time. Jesus Christ says, "I am King of a kingdom and yes, I want to win you by love". And the proof that he wants to win you by love is he doesn't force you to decide for him. He allows you to decide against him.
God, the King of the house says, "I'm not going, even know you in my house 'cause you've accepted me as your Savior, I'm not gonna make you recognize my rule. I will let you rule independently of me. Now, there will be consequences when you do that, but I'm not gonna stop you from doing that".
It's like my brother, he was the Maryland State wrestling champion, unlimited weight. So, he was a beast. And he won the championship for the whole state in wrestling. And when he was getting all this notoriety throughout the state for that and for playing football, he got the big head. He got the big head. And I don't remember what it was, but my father asked him to do something and he said, "No". My father said, "Excuse me"? He said, "I'm not gonna do that". To which my father said, "Oh, yeah, you are, you're gonna do it".
My brother looked at my father and said, "I'm not gonna do that". It was some simple thing he didn't feel like doing. "I'm not gonna do that", to which my father said, "Let me clarify. If you're gonna stay here, you're gonna do that". My brother insisted, "Well, then I don't have to stay here". My father said, "Well, let's walk upstairs together", and my father took out the suitcase, started packing his clothes in the suitcase. So, my brother was all mad and stuff so he started putting stuff in the suitcase too. My father said, "Bye. If you can't do what I say, I put clothes on your back, food in your stomach, heat in the winter, air in the summer and you gonna tell me you can't do that, you can't stay here".
So, my brother big and bad just walked out of the house. Now, in his anger, he forgot a couple of things. Number one, he forgot he didn't have no job. He forgot he didn't have no money. And he forgot it was 15 degrees outside because it was in the dead of winter. About an hour later, I heard the doorbell ring. He rang the doorbell, apologized, and asked for permission to come back home because it dawned on him even though he didn't like Daddy's request, it's better to be with Daddy with something you don't like, than to be away from Daddy doing your own thing.
See, a lot of us say, "God, I don't like what you saying". But God said, "But this is what I'm saying". "But I don't like it and I'm gonna go the way of the world". God says, "I'm not gonna stop you, but when it gets hot enough, cold enough, broke enough, trouble enough, I'mma hear the doorbell ring". In fact, that's why some of us are in church now, 'cause we heard the doorbell ring and God got our undivided attention by letting us get tore up from the floor up. Jesus's name is King. He is ruler, he is the final authority and therefore he says, "Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand". He's not just talking about going to heaven. He's talking about experiencing God's rule, which starts off with accepting the Savior, but the kingdom of heaven is his sphere of authority and rulership.
Jesus says, Matthew 28:19-20, "All authority has been given to me, not only in heaven", but he says, "on earth. I'm in charge of what finally happens at work. I'm in charge of what finally happens in your house. I'm in charge of what finally happens in your relationships. I'm in charge of all that. So, if I'm in charge all that, it is in your best interest to let me rule all of that". And so, he says your job is to repent, for the kingdom of God is in hand.
Repentance is the internal determination to turn, proven by fruit that is visible demonstration you are serious. God's not taking your word for it. You just could be in any emotional high right now so he says, "No, I want to see some fruit on this tree. You've got to show me something. I'm from Missouri", God says, "You got to show me something". In other words, "Let me see you're serious by your decision, not just by your church attendance". You must now say, "Whatever you want me to do, I'm going to do it even though I don't want to do it", that's called faith because faith has to operate against emotion sometimes.
He is King, and I will give you the final designation of his name in Revelation 17:14 where it says, "These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with him are the called and the chosen and the faithful". And then in chapter 19, verse 16, "And on his robe and on His thigh, he has a name, a name within King of kings and Lord of lords". It says in verse 19, "And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies assembled to make war against him who sat on the horse and against his army".
He's not only King, he's King of kings. Okay, don't miss that. He's not only King, he is King, but he's also King of kings. When it talks about him being King of kings, it says the kings of the earth go against him. That means all the other chief people who think they in charge are gonna come against him. Jesus is gonna show the kings that he is not only the King, he is the King of all the other kings. The folk who think they in charge, who thinks they have the last word, he's king over the top of the them.
The folk you are afraid of, the folk who got more money than you, the folk who have more clout than you, the folk who have a higher position than you, Jesus said, "I'm King over them. I'm not only King over you, I'm King over the folk who you think are king over you. So, I cannot only overrule you, I can overrule the people you think can't be overruled because I'm King of kings, and I am Lord of lords that's why no human being has the last word over me. No human being has the last word over you because no human being is King of kings. They may be a king, but they're not the King".
You know, that King, and the King is king over all other folk who think their king because he's King of kings. And in the book of Revelation, when he comes then, he's not just coming to be nice. He's coming to show up and show off. It's like the man who saw the wagon run away with a little boy in it, and he saw the wagon, a horse was dragging the wagon. The boy would be killed. The young man ran over, and he was able to get to the horse and he stopped the horse. And he stopped the horse and he saved the young man's life.
The young man grew up and the young man became a very terrible boy. He became a terrible young adult, and he began to commit all kind of crimes. He was finally found for committing a dastardly crime. He was brought before the judge. When the young man looked up, he noticed, he noticed that the judge was the same man who had saved him when he was a boy. It was time for him to be sentenced, that's when the young man said to the judge, "Your Honor, I don't know if you remember, but I'm the boy you saved when I was young. I'm the boy you delivered when I was young". What he was hoping was because he reminded him of that, that he would get a less sentence.
That's when the judge said, "Well, back then, I was your Savior. But right now, I am your judge". Right now, God is your Savior. When you stand before him, he's gonna be your judge and he's gonna want to know then, "What did you do with my salvation in ruling your life as a member of my kingdom when you stand before me at the judgment seat of Christ"? Don't let him just be a king, let him be the King. Don't just let him be a king, or the King. Make him the King of all kings so that you can see what it looks like when the King takes over the rule of all of your life.
One of the great offers of our Savior Jesus Christ is life plus abundant life, that means a fulfilled life. So many people are existing because they don't possess the life of God. If you don't know that you possess the life of God, let's get that fixed right now. Jesus Christ is offering you his life. The Bible says he that hath the Son, hath life.
So, if you want life, not existence, the forgiveness of sins, the guarantee of heaven, and having Jesus Christ involved with your life on earth, all of that is in this package called life, and he's offering it to you for free. Well, not a lot is for free today, but this is. Life for free, how do you get it? You simply go to Jesus Christ and trust him alone for it. You don't work for it, you don't earn it. You don't go to church for it. None of that can give you life. Only the person of Christ can give you life. So, I'm gonna pray a prayer, you pray it after me. You just have to mean it for yourself.
Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner. I know I can't save myself, but you've offered me the free gift of eternal life in exchange for my sin so I place my sin next to your cross, believing you died as my substitute and I receive now the eternal life that you said you would give me for free if I came to you for it. So, I receive that now. And thank you for my new salvation. In Jesus's name, amen.