the Heavenly Kingdom

Can People Really Enter the Heavenly Kingdom by Having Good Behaviors?

By Jingjie To gain salvation and enter the heavenly kingdom is the common hope of all believers in the Lord. Many of them think that as long as they enthusiastically expend and work hard for the Lord and do good deeds, they can obtain the Lord’s approval and be taken into the heavenly kingdom when the Lord comes. Is that really the case? Did the Lord Jesus ever say anything to this effect? How can we enter the heavenly kingdom? The Lord Jesus said, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). And Jehovah God said, “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). According to God’s words, we can be sure that those who enter the heavenly kingdom must do God’s will, that is, they follow God’s way, obey God, love God and worship God. They are the ones who have been freed from sin and been cleansed. Take a look at us. Although we practice outward good behaviors, and have cast aside everything to labor for the Lord, it’s undeniable that we are still controlled by our sinful natures and live helplessly in the vicious cycle of sinning and repenting, and that what we reveal is satanic corrupt disposition such as arrogance, selfishness, despicableness, and deception. For example, though we believe in the Lord, we still give in to our fleshly desires to lie, commit fraud, deceive, pursue vanity, covet money, and follow evil worldly trends; while we follow God, we worship and follow men; when encountering tribulations and trials that harm our personal interests, we blame and even betray God; our work and preaching is merely to barter with the Lord and ask for His blessings; we scramble for fame and profit with our co-workers, and even establish our own kingdoms by engaging in jealousy and disputes; when God’s work and words don’t accord with our notions, we carelessly judge, resist, and betray God. This is just like what the Jewish chief priests, scribes and Pharisees did. On the outside they appeared humble and patient, donated and helped others, and even traveled far and wide to spread the gospel—exhibiting some seemingly good behaviors. But when the Lord Jesus came to work, they frantically condemned and opposed Him in order to protect their own status and livelihood. They even colluded with the Roman government to nail Him to the cross, committing a grave sin and thus being cursed and punished by God. The Lord Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever” (John 8:34-35). God’s words say, “You must know what kind of people I desire; those who are impure are not permitted to enter into the kingdom, those who are impure are not permitted to besmirch the holy ground. Though you may have done much work, and have worked for many years, in the end if you are still deplorably filthy—it is intolerable to the law of Heaven that you wish to enter My kingdom! From the foundation of the world until today, never have I offered easy access to My kingdom to those who curry favor with Me. This is a heavenly rule, and no one can break it!” God’s words make it clear. God is holy and righteous. The kingdom of God is under His dominion. He will never allow the impure or corrupt into His kingdom, and this is decided by His righteous disposition. As for us, our sinful natures have not been resolved and our satanic dispositions have not been cleansed. For instance, we act based on our own desires instead of God’s words; when confronted with things that are not in line with our notions, we have no obedience to God; when we sacrifice something, we start asking God for blessings. So, no matter how much we suffer or work, and no matter how many good deeds we appear to do, how can we become people who do God’s will and enter God’s kingdom? Those who follow God’s will are undoubtedly those who obey God absolutely. They are definitely of the same mind as God. They surely will not disobey or resist God. These people are the ones who are qualified to enter the heavenly kingdom and receive God’s promise. As the word of God says, “A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.” The Lord Jesus once prophesied, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth”…

Can Man Enter Kingdom of Heaven by Laboring for the Lord?

I believe that all true believers in the Lord expect the Lord Jesus to come to take them into the heaven soon. Some firmly believe that they will surely be taken into the kingdom of heaven by the Lord when He returns, if they work hard for Him, shepherd the church believers, and even give up their family and marriage, dedicating their all to Him. In fact, such thought is wrong. Man’s sacrifice, expenditure, hard work do not mean that he is cleansed, because he is possessed of satanic dispositions of arrogance, self-conceit, self-rightness and self-importance and can still resist God. To trace the root, originally when in the heaven, the archangel was the greatest of heaven’s angels and God authorized it to govern millions of angels. After God created mankind on earth, its ambitions were so inflated that it even desired to stand equal to God and rule over mankind on earth. In the end, it was cast into midair by God. As man was corrupted increasingly deeply, his nature became that of the archangel: arrogance and self-conceit, self-rightness and self-importance and having no place for God in his heart as well as no respect for others…. With such corrupt dispositions, man can contend with and fight against God at any time. When he first believes in God, he produces conceptions about God when seeing God’s work conflicts with his will, and even talks about and judges the Lord Jesus and His work carelessly. After he does services for a period of time, he can often testify how much work he does or how much he suffers, even regarding himself a holy man and one that pleases God because he can expound on the Bible, support the believers, work and preach for the Lord. And in the end, he thinks that he has finished his course and cast away what he should, thus he asks God for the glorious crown and a place for him in the kingdom of heaven just like Paul. … The more work one has done, the more easily he thinks highly of himself, feeling that he has the capital. As a result, he becomes more arrogant, self-right and unreasonable. The Jewish Pharisees are typical examples. They served Jehovah God in the temple for generation after generation. Considering themselves to be well versed in the law, they frequently interpreted the law amongst the Jewish people, and thus often sat in the first place of the synagogue to receive people’s respect and worship. When the Lord Jesus came to do His redemptive work, their arrogant and self-right nature was completely exposed. They did not know God’s work, and used their brain and religious knowledge and theory to resist the Lord and His work. They thought that the One to come should be called Messiah rather than Jesus, and should be born in the royal palace or a noble family rather than in a poor carpenter’s. Therefore, they regarded the Lord Jesus as a man instead of God and thus spared no effort to condemn and slander Him. Even though they listened to the Lord’s preaching, they didn’t mean to seek the truth, but just tried to find a handle to hand Him over to the Roman government for condemnation. At last, they incited and deceived the Jewish people to nail the Lord Jesus onto the cross. When the Lord Jesus did His work, the Pharisees not only refused to seek His work themselves, but deceived and controlled the Jewish people and forbad them to convert to Him, fighting against God for His chosen people as well as status. Therefore, the Lord Jesus cursed them, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matthew 23:15) “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13). The Pharisees’ evil deeds of condemning and resisting the Lord Jesus, deceiving and controlling people reveal their devilish substance of antichrists thoroughly. Eventually, they paid the due price for their maleficence and were subjected to destruction of their nation. We can see that if man does not get rid of the corrupt dispositions of arrogance, self-rightness, self-importance and conceit, they will never be able to be purified, much less will they be approved into the kingdom of heaven by the Lord even if they work hard and spend for the Lord all his life. In Leviticus 11:45, Jehovah God says, “you shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” As God is holy, if the Lord receives man with satanic dispositions to His place, will He still be a God of holiness? It is also said in Hebrews 12:14, “without which no man shall see the Lord.” The Bible says that man can see the Lord Jesus only if he is cleansed. It doesn’t say that all those who can spend and throw things out for the Lord will see Him. Therefore, to be purified is the target that man should pursue in believing in the Lord. Only when man gets purified by God, no longer lives by his satanic dispositions of arrogance, conceit, self-rightness, self-importance, and can truly do God’s will in everything, can he receive God’s approval and be fit for the kingdom of God.

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