In part 1 and 2 of this series we have looked at some interesting facts about the Kingdom of God. We learned that it is not a place or country, but a spiritual realm where righteousness, peace and joy reign with power, and this all in and through the Holy Spirit. We also learned that, because God’s Kingdom is spiritual, it is within us and at the same time we are in it. We know what it is and where to find it. The logical next question would be: who can inherit this kingdom?
Sometimes, in order to learn what things really are, the Bible teaches us first of all what they are not! It took me a while to get used to that kind of teaching, but more and more I am beginning to see how practical it can be. The Bible clearly states which people cannot enter (or inherit) the Kingdom (unless they repent and change of course!):
- Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God? (1 Corinthians 6:9) In other words, we must turn away from our wicked life styles and receive a new and clean life in Jesus.
- Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50), it is not something that can be grasped intellectually or physically or even emotionally. Although we still walk and live on this earth, we can already enter God's spiritual realm; but only by faith.
- Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies an the like. I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21)
So a degree in theology, a church membership, a certificate of baptism, a life of good deeds... none of those things can qualify us for the Kingdom. There is no way to earn our way in. Jesus pointed to a group of little children, babies even, and said: The kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (Luke 18:16). In a way He showed that the Kingdom belongs to people of innocence and purity, such as we can only become when we receive a new life in Christ. Therefore, let us not make it too hard. Let us not become like the theologians of that time who shut the Kingdom's door in people's faces and hindered them to enter in (Matthew 23:13).
Jesus came to set up His Kingdom among us. He desires for everyone to come in and find that righteousness, peace and joy with power. We must become like the little children and give up on our pre-conceived ideas, on theologies, dogma's and theories. We have to lay down all of our knowledge, all of our pride and all of our human wisdom. Empty handed before God, that's a good place to be. The prayer will be simple: Lord, I am sincerely seeking You and your Kingdom, lead me in.
Anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it (Luke 18:17).