BIBLE STUDY: NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Mark 12:34, “Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

The knowledge of God is very important, it makes us close to the kingdom of God. But being close to the kingdom of God is not enough, and having the knowledge of God is not enough to make us qualify for the kingdom of God. Not far from the kingdom of God is “almost” but not yet, not far but not in.

You can be so close to somewhere and never enter there, you may not be far from a house and never enter in. There is difference between too close and being able to enter. The same is applicable to the kingdom of God. Your knowledge of God and your service unto God are wonderful, they make you close to the kingdom of God. You are now committed to things of God, you read your Bible and pray, you are devoted in your church and working for God, you pay your tithes and go through Bible class; now you know a lot about the things of God, you know your Bible more better and you pray more and preach better. But without practicing what you know, without holiness of life and righteousness of living, being clearly obvious in your life, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Not Far, But Not In
Many Christians of this day are not far from the kingdom of God, that is how Jesus would describe many today. When God showed revelation to people that out of a million of Christians, who are serving God, about very few thousands will make the rapture if it happens now. And what about the rest of the devoted Christians? They are not far from the kingdom! Not far from the kingdom of God is not enough, because it is not how far, but how sure. You may be so committed to the things of God, suffer and sacrifice for the work of God, but you may not be reckoned in the kingdom of God, if your name is not written in the Book of life in heaven .

Whatever you do for Christ or in the name of Christ without your name written in the Book of Life is a waste and totally baseless. The first thing you need to get settled and secured is your name to be written in the Book of Life and to still remain till minutes, without that, all others are immaterial to your life. You can be so busy in your church, so committed to God’s work; you can be performing miracles, teaching, winning souls, doing deliverance, leading, pastoring and praying day and night, if your name is not in the Book of Life till date, all your efforts are total useless.

You may be a well known Christian in your family, among your friends and on the Facebook; you can be a renown Christian minister of this generation, but if your name is not presently written in the Book of Life, you are not recognized in heaven and no place for you there.

Jesus Christ described that man in Mark 12:34 as not far from the kingdom of God, but not yet in at the same time. Your knowledge of the Bible without genuine salvation makes you not far from the kingdom of God, but fall short from entering in. until you have genuine salvation, you will be found wanting to enter the kingdom of God. Until you totally repent from all sins and forsake them at the same time by starting a new life, you are fall short of the kingdom of God.

If you have ever experienced genuine salvation, but you are not walking in total holiness and righteousness of life, you are also fall short of entering into the kingdom of God. When you are saved, your salvation gives you the grace to see the kingdom of God, that is to be so close by reaching the gate, but you need to walk out your salvation in holiness and righteousness by walking with God, it is then you can enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:3, “ Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:5, “Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

There is difference between seeing the kingdom of God and eventually entering there. Without being born of water and Spirit, which is sanctification of life, you cannot enter there. Daily watchfulness in prayer and Bible reading, applying the Word of God into our lives to be fruitful therein are the means to live a sanctified life. Without holiness and righteousness no one can enter into the kingdom of God.

Now, what is the essence of not far from somewhere but never enter there? What is the use of being close to a desired building compound but never gained entrance? What is the benefit of going so far because of something, and at the end fall short of it?

Dear beloved, what is the essence of your being a Christian and at the end you are not qualified to enter heaven? Or rather, what is the use of claiming to be a Christian, being devoted in your church, working for God, paying tithes and offerings, praying and preaching of Christ, and at the end you are not permitted to enter the kingdom of God? What is the use of your Christianity without your name written in the Book of Life? What is the use of your Christian confession and profession without holiness of life?

Have you ever asked yourself this question of why will you do all these for Christ and never make the rapture? Why will you go so far for your Christian faith and at the end go to hell? How tragic will that be? With all your working for God? How terrible will it be with all the knowledge of God and grace and mercy of God you have, and you carry everything to hell, to end up with unbelievers, demons and devil?

I think what worth doing, worth doing well. Why will you not do ALL it will take to make heaven? Why will you not surrender ALL your life to Jesus now and get your heaven settled? Why will you allow that particular sin in your life or that covered sin and unsettled restitution to eventually disqualify you from entering heaven after you have gone so far? Why will you allow the secret sin, common sin, “it doesn’t matter” sin, “my pastor does not oppose it” sin, “we are doing it in our church” sin to block your ears from hearing the sound of the trumpet of the rapture?

Beloved, why will you not settle all at once now and surrender all to get your name secured in the Book of Life, so that whenever rapture or death comes, you will not have cause to cry?

R E P E N T!
Repentance is a matter of urgency now, for all of us. Let’s put aside pretense, realize your self, realize your sins, no cover up. Then renounce and forsake them at once, no procrastination! Confess your sins and shortcomings to God, no excuse; because those excuses will not help on the last day. Ask Jesus to forgive you as you also forsake them. Be determined to start a new of total dedication of holiness and righteousness in Jesus from today, and never turn back or fall back, come what may.

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