Let’s look at Matthew 11:12. It say’s, “From the days of john the baptist until now the kingdom of earth suffers violence and the violent take it by force.” Right? Look at it again. Look at it closer. It really says, the kingdom of HEAVEN suffers violence and the violent take it by force.
What on earth does that mean?
Is God up in heaven telling the angels to load up the artillery; “We’ve got another attack coming because the kingdom of heaven is suffering violence and the violent take it by force!“ It would make mores sense if he said “The kingdom of earth,” because that’s what we see all over the earth today.
Nations go up against nations, they fight each other and violent men take nations by force. But not so in the kingdom of heaven, correct? There’s not a battle going on in heaven right now, is there?
So what is he talking about here? How does heaven suffer violence? How do you take heaven by force?
He’s talking about faith, because faith is what allows you to storm heaven. It allows you to take heaven by force, to get what you want from God.
Over and over Jesus told his disciples they can have whatever they want from God. He said you can say to this mountain “Be though removed and be cast into the sea and it will be done.” He said, “Say to this mulberry tree, be plucked from the roots and be cast into the sea and it will be done.”
He was telling the disciples that you can have whatever you want from heaven if you have the faith or it. If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can say anything to the tree or the mountain and it will be done.
He was giving them the key to getting whatever you want on earth, by storming heaven with your faith. The disciples proved this.
When Peter and John were at the Temple, they went up to the man laying there begging for alms. They went up to him and said “stand upright on your feet” and he did.
When you read through the book of acts you find some interesting stuff.
Paul is on the island of Cyprus and is trying to share the gospel with the pro council on the island. There’s this man name Elymas who is a sorcerer and he is trying to convince them that everything Paul is telling them is wrong and crazy.
What does Paul do? Does he say, “Listen, Elymas, I’m just trying to have a friendly conversation with your boss here, can you please just step aside and let me talk to him? Look, I’m a minister of the gospel and I’m trying to do my good deed of the day and be of services to your island.”
Is that what he says? NO. He calls him a wicked person and commands him to be blind. It says that immediately a mist came on to his eyes and he couldn’t see. He went around groping and asking for someone to lead him.
Paul caused a man to be blind. Is that a Christian thing to do? Apparently! Apparently our perspective of Christian things to do is a bit different from what the bible actually says.
You see, there is a difference between someone who doesn’t believe in the Gospel (which is a sinner) and a person who opposes the Gospel. That’s proven here.
Look at Ananias and Saphira, who conspired against the Holy Spirit. What happened to them? Was it “If you repent for your sins” or “If you repent for doing this thing God will forgive you.” Right?
Wrong. “You’re gonna drop dead.” Boom. Drops dead. Wife comes in, “Is this the price you agreed on?” The same people the buried your husband are coming to bury you. Boom. Drops dead.
That’s not a Christian thing to do! It’s not good church growth to kill people in your congregation.
So, we have a different perspective of what Christianity is compared to what Christianity actually was in the Bible.
But, the point of that is that God told the disciples you can have whatever you want and violent men are taking the kingdom of heaven by force.
Storming heaven with your faith is the only way you’re going to get anything out of heaven.
Here, what John the Baptist was facing is doubt.
Doubt will stop you. Faith will propel you forward.
It’s no longer time to sit around and hope that God does something. It’s time for us to get up and do something. That’s the thing that too many Christians are missing.They’re waiting for God to do something in their life.
Jesus has already done everything in our lives that he is able to do. He died on the cross for us and sent us the Holy Spirit. He’s waiting for us to draw close to God.
He’s waiting for us to say “God, fill me up with your Holy Spirit, empower me by your spirit, and then use me to share the gospel. Use me to impact this generation. Use me to be a witness to my family. Use me to bring healing, not just to my body but to those who are sick around me. Use me to bring prosperity into my family sot hat I can be a blessing to those around me.”
Not “God I’m waiting on your timing to get healed. I’m waiting on you Lord to prosper me. I’m just waiting on you.” That’s what too many Christians are doing, they’re just waiting on the Lord for the Lord to just somehow do everything in their life.
As I’ve said before, that’s why in most churches, in the bulletin, there is a list of sick people that never gets any shorter. That list starts out as 3 people. Five years later it’s a full page. 10 years later it’s pretty much the whole bulletin.
When you go on Facebook (it happens all the time, I just got a message last night), they say “A situation is going on please pray,” and everyone comments on it saying “praying”. Similarly someone has cancer and they are in the hospital and you share on Facebook “Okay, let’s get a prayer circle going” and everyone comments ‘praying’.
I don’t believe it! What are you even praying about?
What are you going to pray at home? “Lord, I pray that you send angels to go heal that person?” or “Holy Spirit, go heal that person?” Where in the Bible did Jesus EVER instruct the disciples to do that?
He said go out and lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. Not sit at home typing praying with the little hands emoji. Amen?
Sitting on your butt waiting for God to do something and typing ‘praying’ isn’t accomplishing anything. The proof is right in front of us! People don’t get healed like that today. People don’t experience prosperity like that.
I see it all the time, people saying “Praying for my rent to go through this month,” or “Praying for a better job.” Blah, blah, blah. Month after month after month nothing improves.
God blesses the works of your hands. So, until you get up and go out and apply for a job or until you go out and lay hands on the sick; until you get up and DO something about it, nothing’s going to happen.
Jesus said the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent men TAKE it by force. They take the kingdom of heaven by force. they don’t sit there and wait for the kingdom of heaven to come to them. They go out and they take it by faith.
They go out and lay hands on the sick, just like peter and John at the temple, and tell them to get up and walk.
We’re not to sit around and wait for heaven to happen to us and hope that Jesus comes soon so that we can all go to glory and finally end our suffering here on earth.
God has called us to greater than that. And the same anointing that was in the new testament on that early believer is the same anointing that can be on you and me today.
In the old testament, it was only prophets predict and kings who had the anointing, today it is all of us.
On the day of Pentecost when there was 120 gathered in that room, how many of those were kings priests and prophets? None that I know of. The Holy Spirit came on all of them and anointed them to be powered and be supernaturally equipped to go out and do the work of Jesus.
We don’t have to wait. We have to storm heaven with our faith and claim what is ours.