Who will inherit the kingdom of heaven?

December 1, 2008 at 5:02 pm | Posted in Christianity | 10 Comments
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There seems to be a lot of confusion nowadays as to who will inherit the kingdom of God. Many “pastors” talk about bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth. Some talk about how people of other faiths will still go to heaven. Some talk about how a person doesn’t need to believe in Jesus to go to heaven.

 

So, what does it mean to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth? Is this something that Christians can accomplish? To many of those in seeker sensitive and emergent churches, this means doing good deeds and helping the less fortunate. To others, it means “seeing souls saved” and “preaching the gospel”. I put these things in quotes because although this is what many people say, it’s not even close to what they are doing. This is becoming more and more common in churches across the country as pastor after pastor looks to fill the pews in their church instead of preaching the truth and teaching the same things that Jesus taught. They have replaced the gospel with entertainment, topical sermons, and asinine and mocking “sermons” that have nothing to do with the truth and everything to do with the world and ticking the ears of their listeners. Still, many “pastors” are leading their sheep in directions that don’t have anything to do with scripture. There is nothing in scripture that talks about Christians bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth. Many will quote Jesus in Matthew 6 when He teaches the disciples to pray. Jesus only prays that the kingdom would come. It says nothing of His followers bringing it to earth. Others will quote Jesus’ words when He said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Again, this says nothing about the possibility of bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth.

 

Pastors who teach this do a disservice by misleading their flocks and teaching them something that scripture doesn’t say. The sad thing is, that’s only part of the problem. They talk about how the church needs to take action – feeding the hungry, helping the poor, eradicating poverty. They talk about how these things are what the church needs to focus on and that we need to stop worrying about theology and other issues like abortion and homosexual marriage. Many of the people these pastors are trying to “bring heaven to earth for” won’t be able to inherit it because they haven’t been cleansed of their sins!

 

So, who can inherit the kingdom of heaven? Scripture makes it very clear who can and cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:50 says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. It doesn’t matter how many pastors have been in your ancestry. You can’t inherit the kingdom of God through genealogy. The only way that you can inherit the kingdom of God is spiritually. Scripture also says that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God:

 

1Co 6:9  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

1Co 6:10  nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

 

Gal 5:19  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,

Gal 5:20  idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,

Gal 5:21  envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

Eph 5:5  For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

 

Rev 21:8  “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

 

When Jesus, Paul, and John talked about inheriting the kingdom of God, they made it clear that they were sure of what they talked about. The above scriptures make it clear that there are a number of people (in and out of the church) that will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

 

Because of this, the question has to be asked: How does one inherit the kingdom of heaven? Scripture makes this clear too:

 

Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

 

Mat 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 

Eph 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

 

What scriptures say is that for someone to inherit the kingdom of heaven, they must be born again. This happens through two things. First, they must repent of their sins. They must see themselves as a wretched sinner (which is what scripture says we are) and that there is nothing that they can do to inherit the kingdom of God. They need to see themselves the way God sees them. Once they do that, they can understand the cross and the sacrifice that Jesus made for sin. Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t just about love it was a legal transaction. If someone recognizes they’re a sinner and is willing to repent, they can receive the free gift of salvation. I’m not talking about just “saying sorry”. It’s turning from those things that the Bible calls sin. Salvation has nothing to do with “accepting Christ”. We don’t accept Christ. Saying that makes it sound like we have looked at it and decided that Jesus is the way we want to go. That’s not how salvation works. It’s not about a decision, it’s about a change in the way that we live.

 

If you haven’t repented of your sins, then you’re not saved. If you are trying to work your way to heaven like Catholicism and Mormonism teach, then it won’t work. We don’t help Jesus save us. The only way to be saved is to repent of your sins and put your complete trust in Jesus Christ and not in your works or anything else. If you aren’t saved, I urge you to consider your sins and cry out to God to save you. There is no other way beside Jesus (John 14:6). He will save you if you will repent and put your faith in Him…


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