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Can we inherit God’s Kingdom to rule with Christ?
How do we inherit the kingdom of God? Sons inherit that belongs to their father. Sinners will not inherit the kingdom of God. So, we must not sin, but become sons of God to inherit God’s kingdom. Rom 8:13-14 say, for as many as are led by the Spirit of God and mortify the deeds of the body, they are the sons of God. 2 Cor 6:17-18 say to come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters. Rom 8:17 If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. And they inherit the kingdom of God.
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The Transcript of this Message
Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be upon you.
Let me ask you. Shall you rule with Christ in the Kingdom of God?
I am going to show you 10 methods and by any one of these ten you can inherit the kingdom of God. Come to think of it, all 10 methods have just only one way. You may say immediately that the only way is Jesus Christ. The answer is yes and no. Why it is yes and why it is no. Let us find out. Stick with me please.
Method 1. If God is with you, you will inherit his kingdom
From Gen 37 onwards we see the story of Joseph. He was ended up in a prison in Egypt for the crime he has not committed. Gen 39:3 & 23 say the LORD was withJoseph. Acts 7:9… the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, In chapter 41, we see that Pharaoh lifted Joseph from the prison andmade him the ruler next to him in Egypt. Here we see, a prisoner, just because God was with him, has inherited a kingdom. John 8:28 Jesus says I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. So, we see few things here. If we do and say all things as the Father taught us, God will be very pleased with us. If God is pleased, he will be with us. If God is with us, we will inherit eternal kingdom. So, what all we have to do is to do what God says to inherit his kingdom.
Method 2. We must do the will of the Father in heaven.
In Matt 7:21 Jesus Christ says Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. These works are done in his name, but Jesus calls them works of iniquity since they have done these works for their own profit, but not to fulfill the will of the Father. Please listen to the next verse. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: Those who hear the words of Jesus and obey his sayings are the men who built upon the rock. But false preachers do not want you to obey Jesus. But they say Jesus is the rock, Jesus is the rock and rally around the name Jesus, but they will not obey him. They can deceive people but they cannot deceive God. 26… every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 says it fell: and great was the fall of it. That is, those who do not obey Jesus are building on the sand. They will fall and their fall will be terrible. So, living a fake life, or even operating the gifts of the spirit for their own profit, boasting Christ with their mouth, but not doing the will of the Father which is to obey his sayings, will not make them to inherit the kingdom. Jesus Christ says in Luke 6:46 why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?They say Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord but seldom do what he says. But unless they obey him with all of their heart, they will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Principle 3. The wages of sin is death, but not the kingdom of God.
Many doctrines say since God is compassionate, merciful and love, he is our heavenly Father. But the Bible says that sinning people are children of the devil. Their destiny is hell. But, God tells them that they could inherit his kingdom, if they forsake their sins. 1 Cor 6:9 &10 say Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Rom 1:28-32, Gal 5:19-21, Eph 5:3-6, Col 3:5-9, Rev 21:7-8 and 22:15 say that sinning people will not inherit heaven. God gives his grace, power and his spirit to them who desire to stop sinning whole heartedly. If we still desire to enjoy sin, the wages of sin is eternal death. But, if we will stop sinning, God will take us as his workmanship. Then, we will overcome sin and inherit his kingdom.
Method 4. Be born of water and of the Spirit.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Water is the word of God that cleanse those who obey God and the Spirit gives power to stay clean. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. That is flesh and spirit desire diametrically opposite things in godly matters. The spirit men understand the ways of the spirit and they will follow the ways of God and they will enter into the kingdom of God.
Method 5. Enter into the kingdom of God through much tribulation
Acts 14:22… says we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Again without suffering we cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus says in Matt 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate (here strait spells strait, means tight, we must squeeze ourselves through to pass it): for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many go there. 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Just a few people will find the strait gate since it is too small. In Luke 13:23-24 The disciples asked him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at thestrait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. We must strive, that is work hard to enter. Even though a few people see it, most of the fewwill seek easy ways to enter and they will not be able to enter. All who enter into the kingdom of God will suffer, but willingly. All who want to become sons of God must mortify their sinful desires. False preachers preach many techniques thinking that they can cheat God. But, there are no short cuts to the kingdom of God. If we suffer with him, we will rule with him.
Principle 6. The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence
In Matt 11:12 Jesus says, from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. The kingdom of God is not taken by the polite, soft, passive people. Jesus Christ says that the violent people take it by force. Those who strive and squeeze through the tight gate will get there. 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, etc, etc, for we shall see him as he is. 3 every man that hath this hope… purifieth himself, even as he is pure. That is, the sons of God will strive to become like Jesus Christ. But, now people say that it is all Jesus, he is the only one who can be pure, nobody else can be pure, and so on. No, these words are the words of the deceivers. Throw this nonsense out. It is only those who will purify their life as pure as the life of Jesus Christ will inherit the kingdom of God. So, strive to purify your life.
Method 7. We shall become the sons or daughters of God.
Matt 18:3 Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. We must become children of God to enter the kingdom of God. Here, we are going to see two sets of scriptures. The first set explains what must we do in response to the word of God and the next explains how shall we respond with the Spirit of God.
Let us see first what must we do in response to the word of God. 2 Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? That is, if you are a believer you should not be closely knitted with unbelievers. If you desire to become righteous you should not have fellowship with unrighteous people. And if you desire to be the light you must not commune with people of darkness. I am not saying this, but Jesus Christ says these. 15 what concord hath Christ with Belial? 16 what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for God hath said, ye are the temple of the living God; That is, God says that Christ has no agreement with Belial and so also you, who being the temple of God, must not have any agreement with an idol. An idol is a counterfeit of God and it replaces God from you. The main difference of an idol from God is that an idol neither has life nor can it give you life. God says that you must not have any agreement with an idol. It is a counterfeit. An idol most Christians worship is another Jesus. They think that they worship Jesus. No, they say the name Jesus, but worship entirely someone else. It is explained in 2 Cor 11:4. After telling what you must do, God tells in vs 16 I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (It is they God is with, not you. Then he says in verse) 17 Wherefore (that is, I am living with them but not with youtherefore you better do this if you want me) come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (that is the condition) 18 And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Here God tells you to cut off your fellowship with sinning people and to forsake the idols. Then he will accept you as his sons and daughters. If you become his sons or daughters, then you will inherit the kingdom of your Father.
Let us see the next set of scriptures. How should we respond with the Spirit? Rom 8:13 if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Many Christians talk about the leading of the spirit. They say stories after stories. The spirit lead them to a nice parking spot, the spirit lead them to purchase the most profitable stock, and so on. But here, we see that the spirit of God leads people to mortify the deeds of the body. What are the deeds of the body to be mortified? Col 3:5 says Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: vs6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: vs8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. v9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; (again kill the deeds of the body completely and throw it out) vs10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: that is to put on the man who is in the image of God the creator in the place of the one who was similar to the devil. This new man is spirit of adoption. Rom 8:15 ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; Since they are sons, they inherit the kingdom of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.
Principle 8. Sons pray to the Father for his kingdom to come.
Jesus Christ was teaching his disciples to pray. Matt 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Notice, the prayer is to the Father. That is the sons pray to the Father God. If you are not a son to God, your prayer is in vein. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Their prayer is to bring the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Then Jesus says in Luke 17:20-21 The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. That is, God’s kingdom is not governed as the worldly kingdom, but it is governed from within the hearts of his people by the Spirit. So, the kingdom is in the people of God even when they are living on this world. However, these people and the kingdom are not of this world. Jesus said in John 17:16 they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. John 18:36 My kingdom is not of this world: So, the kingdom is in this world, but it is not as a worldly kingdom but it is ruled by his spirit. His children has inherited the kingdom of God here and in time they will move on to eternity to rule with Jesus Christ.
Method 9. Overcome and keep God’s works unto the end.
Rev 12:5 she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. Jesus will rule the nations with a rod of iron. But he came to John at Patmos, and gave messages to his churches. Rev 2:26 Jesus Christ says, he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. Jesus Christ is seated on the throne of the Father. He turns around and gives it to the overcomers who has done his works unto the end. False preachers preach against overcoming sin and the works of righteousness. Here, Jesus Christ gives his throne to those who overcome sins and do righteous works unto the end. So, be an overcomer and do his works. Please don’t be intimidated because of ignorant and blind men.
Fact 10. God’s pleasure is to give his kingdom to the little flock.
Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. God is interested to give his kingdom to his little flock. Are you in the little flock? Most Christians have no interest in a kingdom. They would rather enjoy sin, escape hell, and enter a small place somewhere in heaven. But, there is no such place. If you have inherited his kingdom, you got it. Or else you are in hell. So, if you are little, desire his kingdom. God want to give it to you.
Let me summarize all of them.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is that a common sinner can inherit the kingdom of God. But, everyone who say Lord, Lord, shall not enter into his kingdom. So, don’t try to boast him, but worship him. The wages of sin is death and so quit sin using grace. In other words, if we mortify the sinful deeds of our body through the Spirit we will live eternally. The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence. So, enter the kingdom of God by striving even through much tribulation. If we become sons or daughters of God, we will be joint-heirs with Jesus Christ in the kingdom of God. The kingdom begins in us even while we are yet living on earth. So, let us submit ourself and let God rule our hearts, let his kingdom come and let his will be done on us while we are on earth. If we are in his kingdom now, we will automatically enter his kingdom in heaven for eternity. Jesus Christ is seated on the throne of the Father. He says that he will give his throne to those who overcame and work until the end. He also says that he want to give his kingdom to little flocks and children.
God explains it in so many ways how you shall inherit his kingdom. If we put them all together, it boils down to one thing, obey God. We say that Jesus is the way. Yes, but it is not to rally around the name Jesus to make it a cliché. But it is to obey the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you obey him, God will see that you rule in his kingdom along with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you for listening. God bless you.
God Bless You
|I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
Eph 5 Matthew Henry Commentary
Verses 3-20 These verses contain a caution against all manner of uncleanness, with proper remedies and arguments proposed: some further cautions are added, and other duties recommended. Filthy lusts must be suppressed, in order to the supporting of holy love. Walk in love, and shun fornication and all uncleanness.
Fornication is folly committed between unmarried persons. All uncleanness includes all other sorts of filthy lusts, which were too common among the Gentiles. Orcovetousness, which being thus connected, and mentioned as a thing which should not be once named, some understand it, in the chaste style of the scripture, of unnatural lust; while others take it in the more common sense, for an immoderate desire of gain or an insatiable love of riches, which is spiritual adultery; for by this the soul, which was espoused to God, goes astray from him, and embraces the bosom of a stranger, and therefore carnal worldlings are called adulterers: You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Now these sins must be dreaded and detested in the highest degree: Let it not be once named among you, never in a way of approbation nor without abhorrence, as becometh saints, holy persons, who are separated from the world, and dedicated unto God.
The apostle not only cautions against the gross acts of sin, but against what some may be apt to make light of, and think to be excusable.Neither filthiness (v. 4), by which may be understood all wanton and unseemly gestures and behaviour; nor foolish talking,obscene and lewd discourse, or, more generally, such vain discourse as betrays much folly and indiscretion, and is far from edifying the hearers; nor jesting. The Greek word eutrapelia is the same which Aristotle, in his Ethics, makes a virtue: pleasantness of conversation. And there is no doubt an innocent and inoffensive jesting, which we cannot suppose the apostle here forbids. Some understand him of such scurrilous and abusive reflections as tend to expose others and to make them appear ridiculous. This is bad enough: but the context seems to restrain it to such pleasantry of discourse as is filthy and obscene, which he may also design by that corrupt, or putrid and rotten, communication that he speaks of,ch. 4:29 . Of these things he says, They are not convenient. Indeed there is more than inconvenience, even a great deal of mischief, in them. They are so far from being profitable that they pollute and poison the hearers. But the meaning is, Those things do not become Christians, and are very unsuitable to their profession and character.
Christians are allowed to be cheerful and pleasant; but they must be merry and wise. The apostle adds, But rather giving of thanks: so far let the Christian’s way of mirth be from that of obscene and profane wit, that he may delight his mind, and make himself cheerful, by a grateful remembrance of God’s goodness and mercy to him, and by blessing and praising him on account of these.
Note, 1. We should take all occasions to render thanksgivings and praises to God for his kindness and favours to us. 2. A reflection on the grace and goodness of God to us, with a design to excite our thankfulness to him, is proper to refresh and delight the Christian’s mind, and to make him cheerful. Dr. Hammond thinks that eucharistia may signify gracious, pious, religious discourse in general, by way of opposition to what the apostle condemns. Our cheerfulness, instead of breaking out into what is vain and sinful, and a profanation of God’s name, should express itself as becomes Christians, and in what may tend to his glory. If men abounded more in good and pious expressions, they would not be so apt to utter ill and unbecoming words; for shall blessing and cursing, lewdness and thanksgivings, proceed out of the same mouth?
I. To fortify us against the sins of uncleanness, etc., the apostle urges several arguments, and prescribes several remedies, in what follows,1. He urges several arguments, As, (1.) Consider that these are sins which shut persons out of heaven: For this you know, etc., v. 5. They knew it, being informed of it by the Christian religion.
By a covetous man some understand a lewd lascivious libertine, who indulges himself in those vile lusts which were accounted the certain marks of a heathen and an idolater. Others understand it in the common acceptation of the word; and such a man is an idolater because there is spiritual idolatry in the love of this world. As the epicure makes a god of his belly, so the covetous man makes a god of his money, sets those affectations upon it, and places that hope, confidence, and delight, in worldly good, which should be reserved for God only. He serves mammon instead of God. Of these persons it is said that they have no inheritance in thekingdom of Christ and of God; that is, the kingdom of Christ, who is God, or the kingdom which is God’s by nature, and Christ’s as he is Mediator, the kingdom which Christ has purchased and which God bestows.
Heaven is here described as a kingdom (as frequently elsewhere) with respect to its eminency and glory, its fulness and sufficiency, etc. In this kingdom the saints and servants of God have an inheritance; for it is the inheritance of the saints in light. But those who are impenitent, and allow themselves either in the lusts of the flesh or the love of the world, are not Christians indeed, and so belong not to the kingdom of grace, nor shall they ever come to the kingdom of glory. Let us then be excited to be on our guard against those sins which would exclude and shut us out of heaven.