Receive the Kingdom

Dear Brethren,

It is our hope and faith that we will be with Jesus Christ at His return.  What percentage of those people that we count as brothers and sisters in Christ will actually receive the Kingdom of God?  We have often reflected on the attitudes and mannerisms we must possess to be counted worthy to receive the Kingdom of God.  Indeed, Jesus said that unless we become converted, and become as little children, we will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3).  This verse is speaking specifically of our need to revert back to the humble, innocent and unpretentious ways of thinking and behaving as entreatable young children.

“Truly I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”  (Mark 10:15)

As we go into the long winter months following the Feast of Tabernacles it is prudent that we take stock of the state of our spiritual endurance. It is apparent that the Church is not as prepared as it should be to meet Jesus Christ at His return.  This unsavory circumstance must be addressed by the overall Church of God which does not recognize its lapsed state.  It is extremely dangerous that as a people, the Church is self-satisfied with its Laodicean spiritual condition.  We must make every effort to grow stronger in Godly character as the end approaches.

"He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."  (Mark 13:13)

We need to ask ourselves what Jesus Christ meant by ‘endure.’  It speaks to our ability to undergo spiritual persecution and hardships while having the fortitude to persevere till Christ’s coming.  We see this reflected in Matthew 10:22:

“You shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)

Over and over, Jesus demonstrated that there is a selective qualifying process that the brethren must meet the requirements of in order to be in God’s Kingdom.  Even the brethren in God’s Church must make the cut between the good and the bad.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.”  (Matthew 13:47-48)

Has Satan convinced way too many members that since they are in the Church—they have got it made?  Brethren, we  do not have it made—that is not the case at all!  We are being judged right now on how we are living our Christianity (1 Peter 4:17).

Are we striving with all our might to attain to the Kingdom?  Jesus likened the Kingdom of heaven, to a treasure, or a pearl of great price.  He advises us to let nothing stand between us and that cherished prize.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.”  (Matthew 13:44)

Repeatedly, Jesus gives us examples to warn us of the dire consequences that await us if we fail to measure up to His high standards.  It is not enough to meet with friends on the Sabbath or go to the Feast every year.  There is so much more to being a true Christian.

Study the warnings that Jesus presents to us in His renditions of the Wheat and Tares; the Sheep and Goats; the parable of the Talents; the Children of the Kingdom; and the Wise and Foolish Virgins.

"Put on therefore, as the elect [chosen] of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."  (Colossians 3:12-15)

We must remain faithful until the end.  It is not enough to stand in the Truth for a while, and then let down.  "Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."  (1 Corinthians 10:12)

"Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."  (Hebrews 4:11)

"Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"  (Hebrews 10:29)

Brethren, we do not wish to wait until the tribulation to wake up!  Let us be thankful for the tremendous and unique gift that has been set before us.  Let us remain faithful and endure until the coming of our Lord.

"Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  (Galatians 6:9)

Sermon:  "Receive the Kingdom"