NOT ALL THAT BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST
WILL ENTER HIS KINGDOM GATES
Chapter1: The Kingdom of Heaven: A Kingdom Within the Heart
And it came to pass, as Jesus concluded the Sermon on the Mt, the people were astonished at his doctrine: (Mat 7:28) and no wonder they were all amazed, for not only did Jesus show great authority when he changed the ten commandments, (Mat 5:21-Mat 7:12) but he told them to keep all the new ones, if they want to enter his kingdom gates; (Mat 7:21-27)
As we look closer at this famous sermon, we don't find the plan of salvation, but we see a teaching on righteous living. For Jesus didn't use this sermon to preach to unbelievers about his death on the cross, but he taught his disciples about the kingdom of heaven and the kind of righteousness that it takes to enter in; Now I would like to show you that these are two separate truths; for heaven (eternal life; John 6:47; John 3:36) is a gift that is freely given to those that believe in Jesus Christ; (those that are saved by faith) but an entrance into the visible kingdom of heaven comes with a price; not only does it require righteous living, but it costs us everything we have:
"For the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hidden in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field." Mat13:44
The kingdom of heaven is just like a treasure hidden in a field: so in other words, it's something very special, and not obvious for all to see; and those that are not seeking to find the kingdom, or to understand the mysteries of the kingdom will pass right over this great treasure and not even know what they're missing; and in this case, the treasure isn't buried in a field, for it is hidden in the parables; and instead of using a pick and shovel, those that seek to understand the mysteries of the kingdom must find it by revelation. So with that in mind, let's look at the conclusion to the Sermon on the Mt. and see what Jesus had to say about this mysterious kingdom of heaven, and who will enter in:
"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. 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?" Matthew 7:21-22
Now once again, this is talking about a future event; an entrance into the kingdom that takes place when we see Jesus face to face. ("many will say to me in that day") So even though we have been translated out of darkness, into the kingdom of his Son, (Col 1:13) this is talking about an entrance that is yet to come. For there is a day coming when we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ; In that day many will try to enter his kingdom gates; but not all that say Lord, Lord are going to enter in. You see, the kingdom of heaven has yet to appear. (Luke 19:11) But when it does, we are going to see a glorious city with gates on every side; (Rev 21:10-13) gates that are going to separate those that made Christ their savior, from those that sought for the treasure, found the treasure, then gave up everything they had to do the will of the Father. (Mat 7:13; Mat 8:11-12; Mat 22:1-14; Mat 25:1-30; Luke 13:24-29; Rev 21:9-13; Rev 22:14). So if we want to walk through the gates of his kingdom, we need to make Jesus the Lord of our lives by doing the things he said; for not every believer that says Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of the Father: and his will is actually very simple: we must keep all of his commandments; not the ten commandments that are found in the old testament, but the two commandments that Jesus preached to his disciples: the ones that fulfilled all else by love. (Rom 13:
"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46
"Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us. Luke 13:24-25
"They that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut... Afterward came also other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us." Matthew 25:11
For in that day, many are going to say Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? And did we not cast out devils in your name? And didn't we do wonderful works in your name?? For you see, these are believers that ministered in the name of Christ; but even though they did all these things, they didn't do everything they were commanded to do, and to their surprise, it was enough to keep them outside the kingdom gates: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matt 7:23) In other words, Jesus tells them to depart because they worked unrighteousness. For this isn’t a matter of whether or not they believed in Jesus Christ, but rather a matter of whether or not they knew him and lived righteously; for those that know him and love him keep his commandments and they do the things he said:
"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whosoever keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him."
1 John 3-5; see 1 Cor 8:3
"He that hath my commandments, and keepth them, he it is that loveth me... Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me he will keep my words; and my Father will love him; and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings." John 14:21 (He that loveth not knoweth not God.@ 1 John 4:8; see 1 John 5:1-3)
You see, not everyone that believes in Jesus Christ knows him and loves him; for those that do keep his commandments and they do the things he said; and for this reason, many believers are going to find themselves outside his gates knocking, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us, let us in:
"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. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock." Matthew 7:24
Now this is probably one of the most important therefores in the Bible; Therefore... because he is going to tell us to depart.... (not into the lake of fire, but outside his kingdom gates) we are wise if we keep his sayings and foolish if we don't. In other words, we can prophesy, cast out devils, and even do miracles in his name, but if we don't keep his sayings and live righteously, we are likened unto a man that builds his house on the sand; and in that final day when our works are tested, our labors for Christ will crumble, and we are going to suffer loss. (1 Cor 3:13-15) And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and he floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. Mat 7:26-27 And great will be our loss, when we find ourselves outside his glorious kingdom.
So if we want to enter his visible kingdom (New Jerusalem) we need to build our house on the rock; not just by hearing his sayings, but by keeping them and doing them; for those that are wise do everything he commands us to do; not just the old commandments that Jesus fulfilled, (Mat 5:17-19) but the new ones that call for an inward righteousness and an obedience that takes place in the heart: For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:20) For the Pharisees fasted, prayed, tithed, proselyted, went to church, and looked very righteous, but it was only an appearance; for on the inside, their hearts were full of pride, anger, lust, greed, dishonesty, wickedness, iniquity, uncleanness, hypocrisy, and evil speaking; and not only did Jesus reprove them for their lack of love and mercy, but he said they were foolish for ignoring their inward parts. (Matt 12:33-34; Matt 13:32-37; Matt 23:1-28; Luke 11:39-44; Luke 18:9-14)
So let's look at his sayings as found in the Sermon on the Mt. and see what kind of righteousness it takes to enter his kingdom gates; for not only did Jesus tell us to hunger and thirst for this inward righteousness, (Mat 5:6) but he told us to seek after it if we want to be filled: (Matthew 6:33)
"You have heard it said by them of old time, thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment." Matthew 5:21-22 Not only did Jesus speak of the dangers of anger, but he taught us to forgive and to reconcile with any brother that hasn't forgiven us. Mat 5:21-26
"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery, But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Not only did Jesus teach us not to commit adultery, but he taught us not to lust; and he taught us not to divorce (without cause) or to remarry; for if we ignore these things, or marry someone that's been divorced, we become adulterers. Matt 5:27-30
Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all. Not only did Jesus teach us not to lie under oath, but he taught us not to swear or promise to tell the truth: for he wants us to be truthful all the time. Matthew 5:33-34
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you that ye resist not evil. Not only did Jesus teach us not to resist evil, but he taught us to turn the other cheek; and he taught us to love our enemies; and to pray for those that use us; and to bless those that curse us, and to do good to them that hate us. Matthew 5:33-48
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they do their good works to be seen by men; and not only did Jesus teach us to fast, pray and give alms without hypocrisy; but he taught us to forgive those that trespass against us, rather than get even or make them pay. Mat 6:5-15
Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth... but lay up treasures in heaven... for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Rather than storing up wealth, we need to give away our goods, for we can't serve God and money; rather than covet, steal or anxiously seek for money, Jesus told us to seek his kingdom, (for it is hidden in the parables) and to seek his righteousness, for that is meant to be our first and only priority. Matt 6:1-34
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged. For when we despise, think less of others, or speak evilly, it is going to be measured back to us; and Jesus called us blind hypocrites when we criticize others or try to straighten them out before we have cleansed our own sinful hearts. Matthew 7:1-5
And he taught us to be humble, meek, merciful, and pure in heart. Matthew 5:1-8
So if we want to go to heaven when we die, we need to believe in Jesus Christ; for those that do receive forgiveness of sins and will miss the lake of fire; (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9-13) if we also want to enter his kingdom gates once we get there, we need to repent and do the things he said; (see appendix) for even though we are justified by faith, we are going to be judged by our works and all the things we have done; for after Jesus returns, the gates of his kingdom are going to separate the wise from the foolish, or those believers that kept his commandments from those that were lawless or didn’t do all the things he said.
The kingdom of heaven is a separator of those that believe in Jesus Christ
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.... after a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them; (Mat 25:14) When he does, his good and faithful servants will enter into joy to rule and reign with him, while his wicked and slothful servants will be cast out; (Mat 25:30) just like those that made light of the wedding invitation, and were found to be unworthy. (Mat 22:13)
"And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Mat 8:11-12 (for there will be a time of sorrow when we see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets inside the kingdom of heaven, and we are asked to leave)
"For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard..... So when even was come, (judgement day) the lord of the vineyard saith unto the steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first." Matthew 20:1,2,8 Those that labored for Jesus Christ with good motives will receive a just reward, while those that labored with evil motives are told to go their way; (vs 14) For the gates of the kingdom are going to separate his laborers, and his servants; (as opposed to believer from unbeliever) for the kingdom of heaven is a separator of those that believe in Jesus Christ.
"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding; and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatling are killed, and all things are ready. Come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise.... Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy." (Mat 22:2-5,8) For if we want to be worthy of Jesus Christ, (Rev 3:4) we need to take up our cross and become disciples that follow him (Matthew 10:37-38) not only must we forsake father, mother, houses, lands, but even our own life; (Luke 14:26-35) for eternal life is a gift, (Romans 5:18) but an entrance into the gates of the kingdom of heaven costs us everything we have. (Mat 13:44-46; Mat 16:24) AAnd he said unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither (into this place) not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; (outside the gates of New Jerusalem) there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen. Mat 22:13-14
"Then (at the return of Jesus) shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins which took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish... and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door (or gate) was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man cometh." Mat 25:1-13 For the kingdom of heaven is going to separate the wise from the foolish, or those that were ready and watching for his return, from those that were not. (Matthew 24:48-51) For not everyone that says Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven; (enter in with him to the marriage) but he that actually did what he asked us to do.
"Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh." Mat 24:42
So if we don't want to stand outside his gates knocking, we need to get ready by doing the things he said; for in the Sermon on the Mt, Jesus taught us to be humble, merciful, meek, forgiving, and pure in heart; and he taught us not to be hypocrites that judge or condemn others; not only does he want us to love those that love us, but he wants us to love our enemies; and he wants us to resolve our anger, our lust, and overcome money as the treasure of our heart; and he wants us to fast, pray, and give without hypocrisy, and to forgive the trespasses of others; and he taught us not to deceive or bear false witness, but to only speak words of truth; and he taught us not to commit adultery, divorce or remarry; for these are his sayings, and the things we must do to enter his kingdom gates; for when we don't, we are likened unto a foolish man that builds his house on the sand; even though we go to heaven, all of our works will come to nothing, and we are going to hear him say, depart from me, (outside the gates of the city) you that work iniquity:
"Strive (labor) to enter in at the strait gate: for many will seek to enter in, (on the day we see Jesus) and shall not be able. When once the master of the house (Jesus) is risen up, and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last." Luke 13:24-30
For in that day, many will come from the north, south, east and west, and go to a specific location, and go for a specific reason: to try to enter into one of the gates of the kingdom of heaven, or the gates of New Jerusalem; for the two are one and the same!! But not all that believe in Jesus Christ will be allowed to enter in, for those that continued to work iniquity or those that lack a righteous heart will be told to go their way.
"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.... and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and the names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; on the west three gates." Rev 21:2,12-13
"Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end; the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, (as found in the Sermon on the Mt) that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:12-14
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love him;" (those that love him keep his commandments) 1 Cor 2:9 Not only will they enter in through the gates of his city and partake of the tree of life, (Rev 2:7: Rev 22:14) but they will inherit his kingdom (James 2:5) and receive a crown of life. (James 1:12) and he will make his abode with them forever more. (John 14:23) see 2 Pet 1:5-11
Promise of eternal life for those that believe:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." John 6:47
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hearth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life." John 5:24
“But the fearful and unbelieving.... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
Entrance into the kingdom of heaven for those that live righteously:
"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. 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? And then will I profess unto them I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:21-22
“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are... depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Luke 13:24-27
"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20
"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things which offend, and them which do iniquity....Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 13:41-42
© 2006, Thomas Roselius, All rights reserved.
The author grants permission to copy this material
for noncommercial purposes intended to further the
spread of the Word of God. If you copy material from
this website into any medium readable on the internet,
you must include a link to the page or pages copied
as specified on each page.