Matthew 19:23-24 states, “And Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'”
I notice when I read these verses that there are two kingdoms mentioned, the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God. To me, this says there are two kingdoms to attain while here on this earth.
My thinking is, while on this earth, before the glorious return of our Savior, there is a kingdom where every saved person is a citizen, called heaven. But the kingdom of God being a special place of intimate fellowship with Him, where our focus is more towards Him and His interests, to which we strive to be like Him.
What do you think?
Listed below are supporting verses, please leave your thoughts in the reply box below. Please take your time and study, I have been studying this for years.
Heaven: Strong’s #3772, Seat of order of things, where God dwells and other heavenly beings.
God: Strong’s #2316, 3) Refers to things of God, councils, interests, things due Him. 4) Whatever can in any respect be likened unto God or resemble Him, representative, magistrate and judge.
1 Corinthians 6:9, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
These are the most compelling verses to me. The writer is writing to Christians. If we believe in once saved always saved why would these verses indicate that we are in danger of losing our salvation? Some of the most spiritual Christians I know are given to habits such as outbursts of anger, covetous, jealousy and disputes, I would never question their sincerity or their salvation.
2 Thessalonians 1:5, “This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.”
If these are already in the kingdom of God by the righteous blood covering of Jesus Christ, why is there a need to be worthy? The Gospel teaches, none are worthy, that is why we need Jesus.
Acts 14:22, “…strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.'”
This verse indicates they were already in the kingdom, with the words; disciples and continue in the faith. Why then is there tribulations to enter where they already are?
I look forward to your response. Happy Bible studying!