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Sabbath School Lessons on Luke
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 11: The Kingdom of God *
Introduction: I often write about the Kingdom of God and I mention it
when I'm talking to others. What, exactly, is the Kingdom of God? You
would hope that I have an idea of what I'm talking about, right?
While I do, our lesson this week showed me I had a lot to learn to
better understand what God has in mind. Let's dive into our study of
the Bible and learn together!
- Kingdom of God Within
- Read Luke 17:20. How do you understand Jesus' answer to
the question of when the Kingdom of God will come? (Jesus
says it is not something that we can see by being alert
- Read Luke 17:21. Why can't we see the Kingdom of God when
it comes? (Because it is inside us.)
- How can the Kingdom of God be inside us?
- Read Romans 14:17. Paul gives us some concrete
examples of things which are external and things
which are internal. How does this help us understand
the way in which the Kingdom of God is inside us? (It
is an attitude brought by the Holy Spirit: joy,
peace, and righteousness.)
- Read Luke 11:14-16. What charge is made against Jesus?
(That His power comes from Satan.)
- Read Luke 11:17-19. What is Jesus' logical argument
against this charge of being in league with Satan? (Why
would Satan drive out a demon? It would defeat Satan's
- Read Luke 11:20. Notice Jesus' reference to the Kingdom of
God. What does this teach us about the Kingdom of God? (It
has come if we use the power of God to drive out demons.)
- Read Matthew 12:24, Matthew 12:28 and Matthew 12:31-32. In
Matthew we find the same charge made against Jesus: He is
working with the power of Satan to drive out demons. We
also find Jesus' statement about the Kingdom of God. What
is Jesus point about the unpardonable sin? (Jesus shows us
that His power to heal comes from the Holy Spirit, not
from Satan. If you call the work of the Holy Spirit
demonic, then you have moved onto very dangerous ground!)
- Consider these two versions of the same story about Jesus
driving out a demon and saying that the Kingdom of God is
present. What does that teach us about how the Kingdom of
God is inside us? (The Kingdom of God in us is nothing
less than the Holy Spirit dwelling in us!)
- Is there any reason to believe that the Holy Spirit
dwells in you? If not, why not?
- If we consider all of our spiritual priorities,
shouldn't the Kingdom of God coming within be our top
priority? (Compare Luke 11:2.)
- Why do you think that Jesus refers ( Luke 11:20) to
the Holy Spirit being "the finger of God?"
- The Kingdom of God Without
- Read Luke 17:22. If the Kingdom of God is within, why will
the disciples long for the days with Jesus? (Jesus says
you will look back with longing at the days when I was
physically with you.)
- Do you have a family member or a friend who has died,
and you would love to re-live a day with this person?
- Read Luke 17:23-25. Jesus just got through telling us that
the Kingdom of God is within. Is it more than that? (The
disciples, who will miss Jesus in the future, can look
forward to the coming of the Kingdom of God. That coming
will light up the sky "from one end to the other.")
- Is Jesus contradicting Himself? (Jesus seems to be
answering several questions related to the Kingdom of
God. The main question is, "Will the Kingdom of God
come now?" The answer is, "yes," it is within you,
but "no," you cannot find it now by looking
carefully. In the future it will come in a way that
is outside of us, but "careful observation" will not
be required to see it.)
- Read Luke 17:26-30. Let's just look at these verses and
not think about anything you know about the background. Do
these things (like eating and drinking) seem good? (Yes,
they are delightful. This is a description of an
enjoyable life and successful commerce.)
- What "outside information" do we have about the days
of Noah and Lot? (Read Genesis 6:11-13 and Genesis
18:20-23. The people were terrible.)
- Why does Jesus talk about the good things in life
when these people were doing so many bad things?
(They were not paying attention to God. They did not
have the Kingdom of God within.)
- Look again at Luke 17:27-29. What is the common outcome
for the people of Noah's time and Sodom's place? (They are
- What is the timing for their destruction? (When the
"good guys" leave. "Noah entered the ark." "Lot left
- Preparing the Kingdom Within
- Re-read Luke 17:30. Given the background we just
considered, how do you understand this? (The Kingdom of
God is within the righteous. When they leave, the wicked
will be destroyed.)
- Do you recall Jesus said in Luke 17:20 that the
Kingdom of God does not come by watching carefully
for it? If the Kingdom of God is within the
righteous, and God transports them to heaven at the
Second Coming, the Kingdom is always with them! Why
would anyone need to watch?
- Read Luke 17:31. We have one person in the house and one
in the field. Why are we told not to try to go get our
stuff? (If the Kingdom of God is in you, why do you need
- Read Luke 17:32-35. Two people are working, two people are
sleeping. What makes the difference whether they live or
die? What made the difference with Lot's wife?(We have a
picture of people engaged in normal activity. This is
just like the prior reference to eating, drinking and
marrying. The question is whether your primary focus is on
the Kingdom of God or on your stuff and the activities of
- What does Luke 17:33 mean when it says that if we try
to keep our life we will lose it?(The specific
example ( Luke 17:31) is going back to get our stuff.
But, the larger example is being focused on our
current life. All of the normal activities of life
are taking place, the question is whether the Kingdom
of God is within you and is your primary concern.)
- Read Luke 21:34-36. Notice that this tells us to "watch!"
Let's give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and say that
the worst thing in our life is being "weighed down" with
"the anxieties of life." Everyone has anxieties of some
sort. What is the cure for this? (If we turn these
problems over to God, if we focus on the Kingdom within,
our hearts will not be weighed down.)
- This idea of the Kingdom of God being inside, and being
our focus, may be a new idea to you. Why does Jesus use
good things, like eating, drinking, buying, selling and
getting married to describe the terrible things going on
in Sodom and the time of Noah? Why not just mention the
sins? (The cares and concerns of life tend to take our
focus away from what the Holy Spirit has in mind for us.
If we focus on the Kingdom of God within, we will not
wander into the terrible sins of Sodom and Noah's time.)
- Read Revelation 21:1-3. What is the announcement made from
the throne of God? (God will live with humans!)
- What has not changed? (If the Holy Spirit lives in
us, that is if the Kingdom of God, the "finger of
God," is currently within you, then God dwells with
you now! The difference is the external has changed.
The wicked are gone, and we have a new heaven and a
- Friend, would you like to join the Kingdom of God now?
Would you like to dwell with God now? If so, ask
forgiveness for your sins, and ask God to send His Holy
Spirit to live in you. From this day forward, make your
focus on the Kingdom of God living in you!
- Next week: Jesus in Jerusalem.
* Copr. 2015, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.