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The Hidden Treasure I. There are four things that need to be understood in order to understand the parable. The Kingdom of heaven; the treasure; the field; the man. A. The kingdom of heaven is where God reigns. 1. We realize that the universe is divided into two opposing forces that could be described as the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. a. Satan reigns in the kingdom of darkness. b. God reigns in the kingdom of light. 2. These powers are mutually exclusive, and in constant conflict with each other. It is a battle of good against evil. 3. The battle is over the control of man who was created by God and was endowed by God with the power of choice. 4. You are in the heat of the battle, it rages around you. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the spirit forces that are in high places." 5. Satan uses lust and greed and seeks to lure men into his ranks. Once in his ranks, he holds you by force, so that you cannot escape except by divine intervention. a. The scripture describes the three pronged attack, as the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. b. These are very powerful motivators, and the world has succumbed to the enticements, so that the world is marked by the lust and greed of man. Thus to announce yourself as a citizen of the world is tantamount to saying that you are in the kingdom of darkness. c. God's word says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for he that hath the love of the world in his heart, has not the love of the Father." 1Jo 2 6. In contrast, God uses love as the main motivator to woo men to a voluntary surrender to Him. He alone has the power to set you free from the kingdom of darkness. When the disciples asked Jesus, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus responded, "With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible." B. You this day are living in one of the two kingdoms. You are there by choice. 1. If you have surrendered to Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life, then you are in the kingdom of heaven. If you have not surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus, then you are in the kingdom of darkness. 2. It should be noted that Jesus declared that the reason that men are in darkness is because they love the darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil. 3. You need to know that one day the kingdom of darkness will be cast into outer darkness forever. A place so far beyond the farthest galaxy that no light has ever or will ever reach there. 4. When this takes place it will leave only one kingdom in the universe, and that is the kingdom of heaven. The Bible describes it as a utopia that it calls heaven. No death, no pain, no sorrow, no sickness, no sin, the chief characteristics will be righteousness, peace, and joy. II. The field. In the other parable of the kingdom of heaven the field is identified as the world. This poor fallen mass of humanity fraught with wars, crime, violence, hatred, wrath, envy, strife. Living under the power of darkness. A. In the beginning this earth belonged to God, for He had created it. The psalmist cried, "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." B. When God created man and placed him on this earth, he gave the earth to man with the command to take care of it, to dress it as a garden, to bring it to its full potential. 1. In this the environmentalist are out of their tree when they try to blame the Christians for the environmental damage done to the earth because of their biblical perspective. 2. It is the greed of man that is destroying the environment. Those who are destroying the jungles of the Amazon are not Christians, but great industries interested only in profit for themselves. The Christians that went into those jungles were only interested in bringing the natives into a better life by introducing them to Jesus Christ. C. In the beginning Adam lived in perfect harmony with God and enjoyed the earth which was as a garden and produced abundantly for his every need. D. One day however, Satan came into this paradise to seduce man to leave the kingdom of God, by disobedience to God, and to join the kingdom of darkness which was in opposition to God. He promised him that he could be like God. 1. When man obeyed the suggestion of Satan to violate the commandment of God, he passed from light into darkness. 2. That was the beginning of the worldly system that took control over the earth and has since been in control. E. Now the field is the world. III. The identity of the man who discovered the treasure and gave everything in order to buy the field is discovered by the question. Who gave everything to purchase the world? We realize that the answer to the question is Jesus. A. The scriptures declare that we are redeemed, not with corruptible things such as silver and gold, from our former empty lives, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, who was slain as a Lamb without spot or blemish. 1. Jesus declared that His mission was to seek and to save that which was lost. 2. He then called to all those who were bound in the darkness of this world, who were tired of the misery, pain, and suffering that was brought about by man's sin. He said, "Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." 3. Jesus said that He had come to give His life as a ransom for man. We were being held hostage by Satan, but Jesus through His death on the cross paid the ransom. 4. Paul speaking of Jesus to Timothy declared that He gave Himself as a ransom for all. B. Jesus then is the man who for the joy of potential treasure gave His all to purchase the field. 1. We are told in the book of Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame. 2. The joy of possessing the treasure. C. That leaves but one unresolved issue, what is the treasure that He valued so highly that He was willing to give everything to obtain it? IV. The treasure must then be the church which we are told He purchased with His own blood. A. Paul told the elders of the church in Ephesus to feed the church of God which He had purchased with His own blood. B. The Lord wants you to know just how much He treasures you. 1. It was the prayer of Paul for the church in Ephesus that the Lord might give to them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, that having their eyes thus opened that might know the hope of their calling and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. 2. Basically that they might understand how great God loves them and treasures them. C. Jesus by thus purchasing the earth can now free all who desire from the kingdom of darkness, and they can come into the Kingdom of heaven. They can come under the rule of Jesus Christ. The invitation is to make Him the Lord of your life. D. Are you happy with the direction the world is going. Do you delight in all of the exploitation of others to pander to the lusts of men? Do you thrill with the violence in the streets, the possibility of being mugged while going to your car in the parking lot mall? 1. Do you sometimes find yourself seeking to escape from this rotten world? 2. Jesus Christ has paid the price to ransom you from the kingdom of darkness. All you have to do is to yield to His love, and submit to Him as King, and you will enter the kingdom of heaven.

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