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4/1/15 – It is hard to enter the Kingdom of God

Written by Carlton L. Arnold

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”  At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.  Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”  The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!   Mark 10:21-24

This is one of the many difficult sayings of Jesus Christ.  A man had approached him and asked how he could enter the kingdom of God.  Jesus told him those of the 10 commandments that concerned human relationships.  The man said he had obeyed them.  But there was something else lurking in the heart of the man and Jesus knew it.  Jesus asked him to sacrifice the one thing that he loved – his wealth.  The man went away sadly because he was very wealthy.  Jesus goes on to tell his disciples how hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  Jesus does not stop with the wealthy, because he added that for everyone, “how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God.”

 As a true Believer, what did you have to sacrifice to become part of the kingdom of God?  Walking the aisle, repeating a rote prayer, speaking in tongues, and being baptized are not included in Jesus’ requirements to enter God’s kingdom.  Jesus knows what is most important to you.  It is that something that Jesus says to sacrifice to God. The number one obstacle to sacrifice of your self is your own pride.  You enter the kingdom of God having nothing of your own; that is why Jesus said it was hard. 

Jesus’ sacrifice is much greater in defining who you are than anything you know, own, or belong to that puffs you up with thoughts of being better than others.  To enter the kingdom of God you must sacrifice yourself – your whole self and all of what you think is important in this world.

Finally, please note that the Bible passage says that Jesus loved the man before the man was told what it meant to become a member of the kingdom of God.  Jesus loves you just as you are.  He will continue to love you and will wait patiently for you to discover what you have placed as more meaningful to you than the sacrifice of Christ for your sins.  Do not assume that belief comes easy in God’s plan of salvation.  It comes with a high price – the sacrifice of Christ, God’s only Son, on the cross.  God expects you to sacrifice the all of “you” to enter the kingdom of God.  My prayer is that you have done this hard sacrifice, and, if you have not, you will make that sacrifice today and continue making it the rest of your life! 

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