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Advancing the Conversation of Jesus

Get your Daily Encouragement with the 180

The fourth reference Jesus made concerning what it takes to enter or not enter the Kingdom of God has a couple of dimensions. Both of these dimensions here contain direct warnings toward the religious. The first dimension is in Matthew 21:32: Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”

Beware of being so religious and self-righteous. Jesus became most disturbed and angry with those who didn’t see their need for God-those who thought they were right and righteous because of their beliefs and practices. In this dimension Jesus points out that those who see their need most are the ones who are actually entering the Kingdom right now ahead of the religious and the righteous. In fact, he is not just saying that the most despised tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the Kingdom someday, but that they are entering right now!

The second dimension is in Matthew 23:13: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” Note the specifics of what Jesus is saying here. He is clearly saying that these religious leaders in positions of authority are not entering the Kingdom. He has made several observations at other times about the reasons why they will not enter the Kingdom, primarily the leading one is their religious pride-that they know it all and know they are right.

Now Jesus points out that these religious leaders who are not entering the Kingdom are also stopping others to enter by shutting the door of the Kingdom of heaven in their faces. How is this done? I think it’s done by continually setting up certain restrictions and limitations on who can get in and who will not.

It boils down to this: 1. Those who don’t have it together will enter the Kingdom first. 2. Those who think they have it together through what they know/believe and what they do, may not enter the Kingdom at all. 3. And these religious “know-it-alls” tend to shut others out of the Kingdom, too.

Two things to beware of: FIRST: Don’t deceive yourself into thinking that your belief system or your behavior will get you into the Kingdom.

SECOND: Don’t divert others away from Jesus, because of your dogmatic belief system.

Be careful to follow Jesus and put your trust in him and him alone. He is the only way you’ll ever get out of this world alive! That’s why he said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

The fourth reference Jesus made concerning what it takes to enter or not enter the Kingdom of God has a couple of dimensions. Both of these dimensions here contain direct warnings toward the religious. The first dimension is in Matthew 21:32: Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”

Beware of being so religious and self-righteous. Jesus became most disturbed and angry with those who didn’t see their need for God-those who thought they were right and righteous because of their beliefs and practices. In this dimension Jesus points out that those who see their need most are the ones who are actually entering the Kingdom right now ahead of the religious and the righteous. In fact, he is not just saying that the most despised tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the Kingdom someday, but that they are entering right now!

The second dimension is in Matthew 23:13: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” Note the specifics of what Jesus is saying here. He is clearly saying that these religious leaders in positions of authority are not entering the Kingdom. He has made several observations at other times about the reasons why they will not enter the Kingdom, primarily the leading one is their religious pride-that they know it all and know they are right.

Now Jesus points out that these religious leaders who are not entering the Kingdom are also stopping others to enter by shutting the door of the Kingdom of heaven in their faces. How is this done? I think it’s done by continually setting up certain restrictions and limitations on who can get in and who will not.

It boils down to this: 1. Those who don’t have it together will enter the Kingdom first. 2. Those who think they have it together through what they know/believe and what they do, may not enter the Kingdom at all. 3. And these religious “know-it-alls” tend to shut others out of the Kingdom, too.

Two things to beware of: FIRST: Don’t deceive yourself into thinking that your belief system or your behavior will get you into the Kingdom.
SECOND: Don’t divert others away from Jesus, because of your dogmatic belief system.

Be careful to follow Jesus and put your trust in him and him alone. He is the only way you’ll ever get out of this world alive! That’s why he said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

 

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