Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kingdom come

"I can't believe you dedicated the review to an entire post!" -A paraphrasel of a friend of mine. I was indeed entertained. =D Since the previous post was such a letdown, this post would be something worth reading.

The Kingdom of God. Sometimes rendered the Kingdom of Heaven. What is a kingdom? A rule or realm; dominion of a king. So the Kingdom of God means the rule and realm of God in the heavenlies. Essentially, the Kingdom of God somewhat equals heaven, more or less.

We do hear about the Kingdom of God time and time again. But, is hearing about it good enough? A lot of people say they would like to enter and inherit the Kingdom. Why?

"For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule generation after generation."

~Psalm 145:13a

Indeed it's because that's where we want to be after we die. In His presence, forever, in eternal bliss. Plus, there is an added bonus here on earth when we seek his Kingdom, for the famous verse in Matthew 6:33 states, "...and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern."

The 'what' and 'why' of the Kingdom of God is pretty much known to the majority of Christians. The question is, how do we enter or/and inherit it?!

Resist the desires of your natural, human, sinful nature.
Originally this was third in order but I decided to move it up to first because it's one of the most difficult, yet necessary things we have to do. It's telling you to go against your natural instincts. It requires you to exercise and exert immense will power to overcome the natural desires and temptations you have. Yet it's a prerequisite to ensure a place in the Kingdom of God.
Now, we're all familiar with the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. But what about the verses right before verse 22?

"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God."

~Galatians 5:19-21

I would like to place emphasis on the last sentence. It means that when your life has even one of the many results listed above, you will not inherit the Kingdom of God. So don't get involved with any one of them.

Realize you need God.
The early portion of Matthew chapter 5 records Jesus teaching his disciples the beatitudes. And in verse 3 he says, "God blesses those who realize their need for him(Greek the poor in spirit), for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them." Coming to the realization of needing God may be easy and obvious to some, but not so for others. Not much room for self-sufficiency here.

Live a life that pleases God i.e. directed by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:17 tells us, "For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Being a peacemaker, following the rules, promoting justice and being happy are what pleases God, according to this verse.

Don't get rich. Don't be greedy either.
"What?! I can't be rich? Do you know what you're saying?" Yes, I am well aware of my words. And I'm serious, contrary to my characteristically playful self, about this. Here's why:

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"

~Luke 18:25

Guess who said it? You got it, it's Jesus again. Now that statement is one worth quoting. Let's analyse this statement. You don't need me to tell you or show you pictures of camels to know what is their size. Bigger than us human beings, that's for sure. And an eye of a needle; unless you've not seen that little hole at the top of a needle before, you should know how small that is. So tell me, is it even possible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle? It is impossible. Yet Jesus said it's even harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God in comparison to that. So how should I put this? It is doubly impossible for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God. If I had a superlative for the word impossible I would use that word. What about greed?

"You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world."

~Ephesians 5:5

I can't put this any clearer than how this verse has already put it. And it also reaffirms what is written in Galatians 5:19 about immorality and impurity. This itself is significant because it shows that the Bible is consistent throughout.

Well, quite a lot have been said already. I would like to remind you guys that all these are merely my interpretations and logic, so they're not absolute and may be subject to inaccuracy. But I have tried my best to stick to the scriptures, and I hope all of you have benefited from this. =)

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