Chen Zhong began to believe in the Lord when he was a child. When attending meetings, he often heard pastors say: “‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness…. (2 Timothy 4:7–8). Brothers and sisters! When we believe in the Lord, as long as we work hard and give up all to follow the Lord, then there will be a crown of righteousness in store for us. When the Lord comes, we’ll be raptured to the kingdom of heaven.” From then on, Chen Zhong made up his mind: I will follow the Lord all my life, I will labor for the Lord, preach the gospel, and testify the Lord in all places when I grow up.
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
– Matthew 11:12
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
If we want to enter the kingdom of heaven, we should work hard. This is Jesus Christ’s demand of us. How to work hard so as to enter the kingdom of heaven? Some people may say: “We always imitate Paul, forsake everything and labor for Jesus; we devote all our lives to Jesus, never marry; we endure ridicule and abuse while spreading the gospel; we are arrested and imprisoned by the CCP and continue to serve Jesus after being released, and so on. We’ve paid a lot, doesn’t it represent that we work hard?” Does this viewpoint accord with Jesus’ will? I remembered Jesus once said, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23). From Jesus’ words we can see that when Jesus return, there will be many people who spend and preach in the name of Jesus who will not be praised but regarded as evildoers by Him. It can be seen that those who can sacrifice and labor in the Lord’s name are not equal to obeying the will of the heavenly Father. Once I saw a passage in a spiritual book: “So then what really is doing His will? It mainly refers to being able to love God in your heart, to honor Him as great, fearing God and shunning evil, being able to put the Lord’s words into practice, obeying His commandments, frequently exalting and bearing witness to God, genuinely expending yourself for Him, remaining free of any deals or requests, being able to stand witness for God during trials, and obeying God’s sovereignty and arrangements. Only this is doing God’s will. Just as the Lord Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mat 22:37-39). So, all those who do God’s will are those who have cast off evil and achieved purification. They are all people who can put the truth into practice and genuinely obey God. They are all able to frequently put the Lord’s words into practice and keep His commandments, and they all love God in their hearts, and are able to live relying on the Lord’s words. If someone doesn’t love God in their heart, they try to make deals with God while working and preaching, they also frequently resist God and rebel against Him and are unable to put His words into practice, how can this person be called someone who does the heavenly Father’s will? And how could anyone say that they have already cast off sinfulness and achieved purification?” From God’s words and this fellowship, we can clearly know that only by working hard to become someone who does the will of the heavenly Father can we enter the kingdom of heaven. No matter how great our suffering, if we don’t practice Jesus’ words and become people obedient to Him, we are not qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. When seeking the truth, we must be clear about God’s will, find the correct purpose and direction before we get going. If we treat God’s requirements according to our notions and imaginations, we are running counter to God’s demands regardless of how hard we work. Thus, we will easily miss the chance to enter the kingdom of heaven.
From: Grow in Christ
We believers in the Lord all hope to be raptured into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord returns in the last days and enjoy the beautiful life there. So where is the kingdom of heaven? What people can enter it? How can we enter it? These selected Bible verses about entry into the kingdom of heaven and related content will show you the way.
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And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
– Matthew 3:2
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
“Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” said the Lord Jesus when He came to do His work. There’s a very important message: He hopes us to repent and enter thekingdom of heaven. However, there’s still many people paying no attention to it on hearing this news. So what’s the reason? Maybe they don’t understand the importance of repentance or the meaning of entering the kingdom of heaven. Let’s think about it.
God prepared beautiful living environment for us when He created us humans in the beginning. He hopes we humans can be compatible with Him, and live under His blessings and protection. But after mankind was corrupted by Satan, what man did was full of evil and corruption, and against His demands. God wants to save the deeply corrupt mankind, so He did a lot of work, hoping us humans to live in His light. Those who have changed are qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. Moreover, we should grasp the last change to repent in the last days.
Repentance means to turn to God and turn From Evil. Each of us should know our corruption and truly repent to God and no longer do evil, and then we can be qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. For God is holy, those who are filthy are incapable of seeing the face of God. God’s words say, “For I cannot bring My enemies and people reeking of evil on the model of Satan into My kingdom, into the next age.” From this we can understand God’s demands. Everyone who yearns for entering the kingdom of heaven should act according to His requirements.
Oh God, I’m a filthy and corrupt man, but You’ve still done such great work of salvation to feed and nourish me, so that I can understand Your will, and live the likeness of a real man. I’m grateful to You and praise You. May You do more work on me, judge me and cleanse my corruption. Amen!
Wang Wei and three other co-workers, Xiaoliu, Ma Tao, and Hu Zhi, sat together studying the Bible. Then Wang Wei said to them with a smile, “My fellow co-workers, the Lord Jesus said, ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 4:17). ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel’ (Mark 1:15). The Lord told us in order to enter God’s kingdom, we must confess and repent to Him. Therefore, we must clearly know what true repentance is. It is very important for us.”
Sin, as a Christian, is something I couldn’t be more familiar with. It hovers around me every day, it’s always close, and I can’t get rid of it! The constant cycle of sinning and confessing had always troubled me, because if the Lord ever returned, could I enter the kingdom of heaven like this? In my torment, I thought of Paul’s words, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns?” (Romans 8:33–34). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Yes, I am one of the Lord’s elect, the Lord has already forgiven all my sins, and no matter whether they are past, present, or future sins, He forgives them all. He no longer sees me as a sinner, and when the Lord comes, I will be able to enter the kingdom of heaven!