So, we’ve said our little prayer to Jesus and asked him into our lives. We thanked him for the sacrifice that he made when he died on the cross for our sins. We acknowledge that he is God’s only begotten Son. We faithfully believe that he has risen from the dead. And now …. WE ARE SAVED!!! Really? Are we sure?
20Therefore, you will [o]fully know them by their fruits. 21Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. 22Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? 23And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].(C) 24So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a [p]sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock. – Matthew 7:20-24 (AMP)
V21 – Not everyone … WHOA!! Wait a minute! Yep, that’s probably what the people standing around said, v 28 it says,
When Jesus had finished these sayings [the Sermon on the Mount], the crowds were astonished and overwhelmed with bewildered wonder at His teaching,
Let’s break it down by using the Message version of these passages:
21-23“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance— isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’
24-25“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
26-27“But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
I’ve been reading about Kingdom living and it is funny how studying the Bible (not just reading it) can reveal what you already know, but don’t realize. Huh?? Think of it like this, how often do you think about the fact that you can walk? You know you can walk, but do you REALIZE it? I know there are people reading this that may not be able to walk, but I’m just using this to paint a picture. You know things that you don’t take time to realize (be fully aware or cognizant of). I hope reading this will bring someone to a realization.
There are ultimately two Kingdoms we can live in, the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Satan. That’s really all there is. Whether we recognize it or not, we are all residents of one or the other. Let me ask you something … Can you live in one country and follow all the rules of another? Can you imagine someone from Australia being in the US and driving on the left side of the road because that is what they do in Australia? So if we say that we are from the Kingdom of God and still follow the same rules that we lived by before changing Kingdoms, we are going to have some trouble.
Here’s the thing, Jesus is our entrance into the Kingdom of God, there is no other entrance to the Kingdom but through the blood of Jesus the Christ. We say our prayer and we see Jesus for who he really is and we step over the line and move into the Kingdom of God. Yay! We made it! Now what?
We have a few choices:
We can choose to go back, or maybe just to go back and forth. We can play the game of jump the Kingdom line if we want, not really staying in either Kingdom for too long. You are not really a resident of the Kingdom. But what if the King comes to visit and shuts off the boarder? Better hope we are in the Kingdom we really want to be in because we just became permanent residents! Luke 11:23 says,
“This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.
We can choose to stay where we are. Yeah, that seems like a comfortable idea. No major traveling, no struggling to get to a nicer place. No worries about the King thinking we are not with him. We’ll just set up house right here. But God says,
But since you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17You claim to be rich and successful and to have everything you need. But you don’t know how bad off you are. You are pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. – Revelation 3:16 (CEV)
Here’s the thing, God knows there are residences like this. He knows there are those camped out on the outskirts of the Kingdom, not making any real commitments. In Matthew 13, Jesus said,
47Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a [q]dragnet which was cast into the sea and gathered in fish of every sort. 48When it was full, men dragged it up on the beach, and sat down and sorted out the good fish into baskets, but the worthless ones they threw away. 49So it will be at the close and consummation of the age. The angels will go forth and separate the wicked from the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God) 50And cast them [the wicked] into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth.
So, what distinguishes the residences? Who will get to stay and who will be thrown out? It’s important to understand that Faith in Jesus gets us into the Kingdom of Heaven, Colossians 1 says,
13-14God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating. (MSG)
But we have to go further into the Kingdom. We have to show our loyalty to the Kingdom. We have to be willing to serve the Kingdom. We need to head toward the center of the Kingdom and take up full residency. Instead of sitting on the boarder, we need to go through the gate and venture further in, make some commitments, Matthew 7 says,
13Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. 14But the gate is narrow (contracted [k]by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.(A)
But the only way through the gate is to use the key. We have to use the key of Repentance, James 1 says,
22Obey God’s message! Don’t fool yourselves by just listening to it. 23If you hear the message and don’t obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in a mirror 24and forget what they look like as soon as they leave. 25But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don’t just hear and forget. (CEV)
He gives us the formula for using that key and staying on the narrow path and making the journey to the center of His Kingdom in 2 Peter 1. The shortest version of this is probably the Message version,
3-4Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.
5-9So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
10-11So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.
But we can’t miss the requirements for true citizenship in the Kingdom of God listed here. It’s important that we understand what they really mean. It’s important that we study the laws of the land so we don’t find ourselves driving on the wrong side of the road!
Here’s the thing that Christians seem to miss, we miss that it doesn’t matter how much we study the laws of the Kingdom (in the Bible), if we don’t change (from driving on the left side) when we learn something new (drive on the right side), we are heading right for a wreck. And one day, our chance at changing, will be closed off. One day, the King is going to come back and he’s going to say, okay, everyone in this Kingdom that hasn’t been studying and trying to follow my ways, you’re out!
Matt 7:21Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.
We enter the Kingdom of Heaven through the blood of Jesus the Christ. It is only through Jesus that we can be saved, there is no other entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. We get the key to the gate with repentance. Through repentance is how we prove our allegiance to the King, show that we have truly accepted what Jesus has done for us, and that we are ready to follow God’s ways and not our own. Without repentance, we are only giving verbal allegiance.
Once the truth is discovered, we will find that in the Kingdom of Heaven no one puts up permanent homes, because it truly is a Journey and there is always more and more land to discover!
Check out this video: Judgement Seat of Christ
Jesus told many parables illustrating the principles of Kingdom living:
The Two Sons – Matthew 21:28-32 – Teaching obedience is the test of sonship within the Kingdom family.
The Good Samaritan – Luke 10:30-37 – Kingdom principle of love to all.
The Two Debtors – Luke 7:41-43 – Teaches love will be shown by the one who has experienced the love of the Kingdom.
The Pharisee and the Publican – Luke 18:10-14 – Teaches how people should approach God to offer worship, praise, thanksgiving, petition, and intercession in the Kingdom. Teaches humility in prayer and warning of self-righteousness.
The Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8) and the Persistnet Friend (Luke 11:5-10) – Teaches the importance of persistence in prayer.
The Faithful Manager – Matthew 25:14-30 – Teaches wise and righteous stewadship of Kingdom treasures entrusted to believers.
Seats at the Wedding Feast – Luke 14:7-11 – Teaches the importance of humility and that promotion in God’s Kingdom comes from teh Lord.
The Vine and the Branches – John 15:1-6 – Teaches the relationship of Jesus to the Church.
The Laborers in the Vineyard – Matthew 20:1-16 – Teaches eternal rewards are not made on the basis of worldly standards.
The Servant’s Office – Luke 17:7-10 – Teaches our responsibility to serve and do those things commanded by the King.
The King Going to War – (Luke 14:31-33) and the Man Building a Tower (Luke 14:28-30) – Emphasizes the importance of proper understanding of the commitment to the Kingdom.
The Wedding Garment – Matthew 22:10-14 – Teaches the necessity of being clothed in righteousness to REMAIN in the Kingdom. It is through Jesus’ righteousness, not self-righteousness.
The Rich Man’s Meditation – Luke 12:16-21 – Teaches the folly of relying on temporal material wealth.
The Mote and the Beam – Matthew 7:1-5 and Luke 6:41-42 – Teaches that we should judge ourselves rather than others.
The Harvest – Matthew 9:37-38 and Luke 10:2 – Teaches the need for extending the Kingdom.
More information on what 2 Peter 1 says (NIV), put your mouse over the word to see what the original word and meaning; click on it to do further study:
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
See this shocking message delivered at a youth conference. Listen with your heart. Paul Washer – Shocking Message