It’s an old question many ask… Some don’t even bother asking the question but simply assume they know the answer to it.
‘How do I enter the Kingdom of heaven’, or ‘How do I make it into heaven?’
A question asked on the day the Church celebrates today – Pentecost (outpouring of the Holy Spirit) ““Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:36–38)
Many think they know the answer They know their Scriptures back to front, attend church regularly and yet thinking they have their ticket into the Kingdom may well be in for a surprise… ““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21–23)
Jesus through His Word and Spirit calls us to attention and commands we take note… “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”” (Luke 18:16–17)
- THAT AGE OLD BIG QUESTION
- MESSED UP ADULTS & WRONG ASSUMPTIONS
- CHILDLIKE ACCEPTANCE OF GOD’S GIFT IN CHRIST
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Matthew 18:1–14 (NIV84)
1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2He called a little child and had him stand among them.
3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
7“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!
8If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.
9And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
10“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
12“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?
13And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.
14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.
Luke 18:9–30 (NIV84)
9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:
10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.
12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
15People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.
16But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
17I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
18A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.
20You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”
21“All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.
24Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
25Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
27Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
28Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”
29“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God
30will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”