Who gets into the Kingdom of God?
Everyone wants to see the kingdom of God but Jesus points to some qualification on getting there. Let’s look at those verses:
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
“I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
According to Luke account the poor are among those who get into God’s kingdom. Of course, this verse is taken out of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus had a lot to say about living on earth and it’s resulting consequences.
Ok, the second verse says that we must be like little children or we will not enter into the kingdom. There is a lot of discussions around about just what it means to be like children. To me, it means we must throw off the earthly kingdom mentality that we have learned. When we try to equate the kingdom of God to any earthly kingdom we are completely misguided. It is quite impossible for any earthly kingdom to reflect the kingdom of God. There is no kingdom in this world that even remotely resembles the kingdom of God. NONE. God does not favor one earthly kingdom over another; as is the case for us sinners there is no earthly kingdom that meets God’s expectation; in fact they are all radically different than the kingdom of God. We must throw off this mentality if we are to ever understand the kingdom of God.
The third verse talks about the “rich man”. He seems to come up frequently in Biblical text. I think this goes along with the previous one in that when we relish things of this world we are jeopardizing our place in the kingdom of God.
The last reference verse is quoted often for a number of different occasions. Some say being born again happens when you are baptized; for many of us that means when we were little babies. Others believe that being born again is that instant in your life when you consciously accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. I won’t get into that battle here. But Jesus does say that being born again is a requirement for getting into the kingdom of God.
One thought on “The Kingdom of God Study 3”
Always keep in mind that the Kingdom of God is centered on Jesus. Wherever Jesus is, there is the Kingdom. It’s too bad we don’t have a video record of Jesus’ gestures and body language, for whenever he talked about the Kingdom, he was most likely pointing to himself.
I have a book you might want to read on the Sermon on the Mount. The author, a Fort Wayne seminary prof, posits that the Sermon is first and foremost Jesus speaking about himself.
Someone once pointed out that Jesus spoke more about finances and money than any other subject. Wow, Jesus spoke more about that than salvation and redemption and forgiveness? And it might surprise many that many of the parables Jesus told were about himself, not a superficial talk about money. For example, the Good Samaritan is not about how to be a good neighbor. Read the context and look at what question Jesus is answering. He’s saying that NO ONE can make their way into heaven by living according to the Law. “Unless your righteousness EXCEEDS that of the Pharisees. . .” which may have been a back-handed compliment to the Pharisees.
There, that’s my three cents. 🙂