Summary: Israel expected the Messiah to appear in external pomp and power, not only to free the Jewish nation from the Roman yoke, but to make it have dominion over all its neighbors.
The Way Into The Kingdom of Heaven
Israel expected the Messiah to appear in external pomp and power, not only to free the Jewish nation from the Roman yoke, but to make it have dominion over all its neighbors, but Jesus tells them, in the prospect of that kingdom approaching, they must repent and
believe the gospel. They forsake their sins, and by faith receive the forgiveness of them.
The apostle Paul writing to the Romans said, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” The way into heaven is not observing the Old Testament laws concerning meat and drink offers or the distinction between clean and unclean meats as large numbers of the Roman Christians were doing. They were not only observing these laws themselves, but were forcing the same laws on all new converts. Objecting to this, Paul declared true religion does not consist of observances of religious rituals. It does not lie in any out ward thing or anything outside of the heart. The whole essence of true religion is in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
It is true no man or woman can enter the kingdom of heaven and be guilty of vicious immoral acts. Who does to others that they would not want others to do to them. They can not enter the kingdom if they know how to do good and do not do it. It is also true if
men and women can abstain from outward evil and do good and still not enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who enter the kingdom acts toward their fellowman is out of love and not the love of praises. It is the love the Lord has filled the heart of those who
have repented and turned from their wicked ways that is the source of the good works of those who enter the kingdom of heaven.
We will not be confused about the way into the kingdom of heaven if we remember what Paul told the Roman Christians, “The kingdom of heaven is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” We will not be confused about the way
into the kingdom of heaven if we remember what Jesus told the scribe who asked Him “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus told the scribe, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all
your strength.” The second great command is similar to the first, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Is not this love the fulfilling of the law? Is it not the the sum of Christian righteousness? Is it not the sum of all inward righteousness? It does not merely imply humility of mind, gentleness, meekness, and longsuffering, but a way of life. Outward righteousness comes from inward righteousness, because love works no evil toward one’s neighbor, either by
word or deed. Love does not willingly hurt or grieve anyone. Love is zealous of good works.
The peace in the Holy Spirit is the peace which God only can give and the world can not take away. It is a peace which passes all understanding, all rational thinking. It is a peace natural man cannot know because it is not of this world. He cannot know this peace in his natural state because it is divinely given and spiritual discerned. It is a peace that comes
from the Holy Spirit bearing witness to the spirit of the child of God. It removes the fear that carries with it torment. It removes the fear of the wrath of God, the fear of hell, the fear of Satan, and the fear of death.
Joy in the Holy Spirit follows this peace. It is the Holy Spirit who puts this joy into the heart of the child of God. It is the Holy Spirit who works in the child of God a calm, humble, rejoicing in God, through Jesus Christ.
It is Jesus by whom we receive the atonement and reconciliation with God that enables us to enter the kingdom of heaven. It is Jesus who enables us to confirm the truth, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”
The moment the Lord sets up His throne in our hearts we are filled with this righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. It is called the kingdom of heaven,
because it is a part of heaven that has come into our heart in this life. Whoever experiences this work of the Holy Spirit can testify in this life and the life to come, “Everlasting life is won, glory on earth has begun.”