The Lord Jesus used the phrase “The kingdom of heaven” and “The kingdom of God”interchangeably or alternately. It has two meaning: One is literal heaven where God the Father dwells and the other one is spiritual heaven here on earth. (Matthew 6:9), “Our Father in heaven Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The Lord’s invitation to all people to enter the kingdom of heaven has a requirement; that is to repent first from all our sins. (Matthew 4:17) From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The Bible said that the whole world is under the control of the devil (1 John 5:19). Satan is the ruler and the god of this world who blinded the minds of all people. Wickedness is rampant in this physical world. (2 Cor. 4:3—4) (Eph. 2:1—3).
While true born again Christians are living in this wicked world, we have to seek God’s kingdom here on earth and in entering the kingdom of God, there are requirements. Let us study the Scripture:
[1.] Unless you become like a little child. Matthew 18:3, Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Notice the Lord said “Never”. A little child is innocent, harmless, devoid of pride and arrogance.
[2.] Those that are rich, their money and material things in this world are their gods cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 10:23, Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
[3.] Luke 6:20, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” This is not necessarily poverty but humbleness in spirit.
[4.] Unforgiving spirit is also a hindrance from entering the kingdom of God. Matthew 6:14—15, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Notice that Jesus says, “Your heavenly Father” that means you are already a child of God yet you still harbor resentment in your heart towards someone. If you do, you will suffer physical consequences. Matthew 18:32—35, “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” (I suggest you read the whole context from verse 21 to 35).
If here on earth we cannot enter the spiritual kingdom how are we going to enter the literal heaven?
Mark 9:1, Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” This is a very difficult single verse which almost all Theologians is discussing with confusions. I studied their diverse interpretations but I do believe they misunderstood what the Lord Jesus here is saying. Some of His disciples were still alive when Christ’s church experienced living godly lives with the power of the Holy Spirit in the midst of severe persecutions that lasted for more than three hundred years. And then generally, it ends when the Harlot church become idolater.
Acts 14:22, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
2 Timothy 3:12, “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
Luke 17:20—21, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is’, or ‘There it is ‘, because the kingdom of God is within you.”
There’s a man here in the Philippines who claimed to be the modern Messiah. He said he is the Son of God. He has the ability to preach, touching peoples emotion. With long hours of singing Christians songs to stimulate emotions that people cry while singing. By fleecing his own flock, rich or poor, he built his kingdom here on earth enclosed with high wall with a large gate. One can be amazed to see the manicured lawn with beautiful gardens. He has his own private jet and helicopter with beautiful mansion and church building inside his compound. He has his own radio and television network. He sets himself in a pedestal where people serving him enthusiastically. He was interviewed and was exposed by the National Geographic reporter. In YouTube you will see that everywhere he goes he has two servants holding large umbrellas for him. He tried to show the world a literal God’s kingdom here on earth. But it is a total contradiction of what the Word of God says.
Luke 17:20—21, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is’, or ‘There it is ‘, because the kingdom of God is within you.” That means it is in our heart.
Mark 10:42—45, But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority oven them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of you. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
1 Peter 5:2—3, “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”
This very rich well known Pastor which built his kingdom here on earth contradicts what the Lord says.
God’s Word, (the Bible) says that there are requirements in entering the kingdom of God.
I’ll say it again: How are we going to enter the literal kingdom of heaven where God the Father dwells when we cannot enter the Lord’s kingdom here on earth?
For those who will try to abuse God’s grace of salvation and will disagree with what God has given me the privilege to write; visit my website and read with an open mind the topic “Arminianism versus Calvinism”