“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”” (Mark 1:14–15, ESV)
Jesus says that the “kingdom of God is at hand.” What does he mean? What is the kingdom of God?
Here are several things we learn about the Kingdom of God/Heaven [the two terms are used interchangeably] from the Scriptures:
- One cannot enter the kingdom of God unless one’s righteousness is greater than those perceived in Jesus’ day as the most righteous people of all!“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20, ESV)
- One must be born again to enter into the Kingdom of God.
“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”” (John 3:3, ESV)
- We must receive the Kingdom of God like a little child would.“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”” (Mark 10:15, ESV)
- Not everyone who claims to be a follower of Christ will be allowed into the kingdom of God.““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21–23, ESV)
- The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–11, ESV)
By the way, do not hurry by Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 6.11: And such were some of you! Paul is speaking to people who HAD BEEN sexually immoral, thieves, greedy, drunkards, adulterers, etc., but they had turned from their sin and been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus.
These people will inherit the kingdom of God; Jesus’ righteousness is placed upon them/me!