How does a person enter the Kingdom of God? Is it limited to one group of people such as the Jewish people? Is it limited to people who live in a certain part of the world? Is there a group of people that can be called God’s chosen people? In the following parable Jesus the Christ (Messiah) talks about the Kingdom of God being taken from the children of Israel and given to another nation. What was He talking about? Let us take a look at this powerful parable now:
“Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen (farmers), and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen (farmers), that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen (farmers) took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen (farmers) saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen (farmers)? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen (farmers), which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.” (Matthew 21:33-46)
Plain and simple, the parable describes the rejection of the servants of God (the prophets) which were sent to the children of Israel over the course of their history. The son in this parable is speaking of Jesus the Christ (Messiah) who was ultimately put to death by the people of Israel. So the Lord Jesus Christ was actually prophesying of His own death in this parable, at the hand of the unfaithful farmers (Israel). Jesus the Christ (Messiah) asked the Jewish people what should be done to the unfaithful husbandmen (farmers) who killed the servants and the son. They responded by telling Jesus that those wicked men should be destroyed, and the vineyard given to others who would bring forth fruit. Then the Lord cut to the chase and told those who stood before Him the very point of the parable. Jesus told them that the Kingdom of God would be taken from them and given to a nation that would bring forth the fruits thereof. The religious Pharisees soon understood that Jesus had spoken this parable about them. They would have grabbed Jesus right then and there but they did not because many still held Jesus to be a prophet, and that would have created a great problem.
How Do You Enter The Kingdom Of God?
The Lord Jesus Christ told the people of Israel that the Kingdom would be taken from them and that is exactly what He meant. The Kingdom of God is presently made up of people that are both Jewish and Gentile, and who have been born again of the Spirit of God. Jesus made that so clear to Nicodemus, a Jewish religious ruler, when he came to Jesus during the night:
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 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. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 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. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:1-8)
Jesus was not impressed with this religious ruler named Nicodemus, and He got right to the point with him. Jesus told this man that he needed to be born again in order to see and enter the kingdom of God. Jesus the Christ (Messiah) went on to tell Nicodemus, that his physical birth (born of the flesh) was one thing, but the spiritual birth (born of the spirit) was an entirely different thing. Jesus made it clear to Nicodemus that he MUST be born again, and then He compared this new birth to the wind that a person can hear but they cannot see. It is most important that a person understand that the Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom that stretches forth around the world, and touches people from every race and language in the world. The Spirit of God will always point a person to Jesus Christ and not to Himself. Jesus also told us that the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) would testify about Him:
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26)
Jesus also referred to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of truth:
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:13-14)
If a person is truly part of the Kingdom of God, then you can rest assured that they will testify about Jesus Christ and glorify His name. If a person has not been truly born again then you are not going to hear them testify about Jesus and they will think it absolutely ludicrous that you would dare to say that He is the only way to Heaven. Why? Because they have never come to the knowledge of their own lost condition and their need for salvation in Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of God is made up of people from all over the world who recognize that Jesus the Christ (Messiah) is truly their Lord. This is the only true unity that there will ever be in this world. Any true born again believer will listen to the politicians call for unity and know in their heart of hearts that it is nothing but a counterfeit unity, because it is not based upon the truth of God’s Word and the Spirit of truth is not in charge.
The Only True Nation Under God
The only true nation under God is that group of people, which I have been describing, who are followers of Jesus Christ, the one who was sent by the Father to redeem our wicked souls. Jew and Gentile alike are part of this one nation under God which is described below:
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
The gospel message has not changed one drop since the time of Jesus Christ, and that message is exactly the same for the Jewish person as it is for the Gentile person. The Bible tells us that there is a spiritual veil that remains upon the mind of a person (Jew or Gentile) which will not be removed UNTIL they turn to the Lord. The verse below is speaking about the Jewish person who reads their Torah but fails to recognize the Lord Jesus as their Messiah:
“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.” (2 Corinthians 3:14-16)
This spiritual veil that remains upon the mind of a person can only be removed when that individual, Jewish or Gentile, repents and believes the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the message that Jesus told His followers to preach around the world, starting at Jerusalem, after He rose from the dead. (Luke 24:47). That message has never changed and it will not be altered for anyone. Paul the Jewish follower of Jesus the Christ (Messiah) said this:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
Do you see that? The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for both Jew and Gentile. It is the same gospel for all! The apostle Paul was arrested and put in chains for preaching the hope of Israel, who is Jesus Christ. (Acts 28:20) The apostle Paul preached the grace of God and he preached the kingdom of God, which is the very same thing. Do not be fooled by those who twist the scriptures and try to tell you that they mean different things. Listen to Paul here:
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.” (Acts 20:24-25)
In the space of just two verses Paul declared that he testified the “gospel of the grace of God” and also that he had gone “preaching the kingdom of God”. Paul was preaching his heart out wherever he went, and he was constantly under the threat of death from the Jewish people who refused to believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah.
Who Are God’s Chosen People?
Who are God’s chosen people? They are simply those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, and that includes both Jew and Gentile.
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29)
Please do not miss what is being said here. Who are the children of God according to this passage of scripture? The answer is those who have faith in Christ (Messiah) Jesus. Does it make a difference whether a person is a Jew or Greek (Gentile)? Male or Female? No. The scriptures tell us that if a person belongs to Christ then they are Abrahams seed, which basically means that they are the true spiritual descendants of Abraham.
God Must be Worshiped In Spirit and Truth
The Lord Jesus Christ, told a “pagan” Samaritan woman that God must be worshiped in Spirit and in truth, and then he told her that he was the Messiah (John 4:21-26). The Jewish apostle Paul declared that the only circumcision that mattered, was the circumcision of the heart, and he wrote this:
“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Romans 2:28-29)
The true Jew in the sight of God is that person who has been regenerated on the INSIDE, and that is obviously a SPIRITUAL regeneration which includes all people (Jewish or Gentile) who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls.
“But God forbid that I should glory, save (except) in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature (creation). And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:14-16)
The Jewish apostle Paul was bold in his defense of the truth, and he made it clear that it did not matter at all whether a person was circumcised or not. Paul made it clear that the only thing that mattered was whether or not a person was a new creation in Jesus Christ. If a person has NEVER been regenerated by the POWER of the Holy Spirit, then they are as lost as the worst sinner in the world , and that is the gospel truth. Those same people who have NEVER been born again of the Spirit remain OUTSIDE of the kingdom of God, and will die in their sins (John 8:24) if they NEVER turn to the Lord Jesus Christ before they die (John 3:18, 36). Jesus Christ made it abundantly clear that his kingdom was not of THIS world!
“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. ” (John 18:36-37)
Jesus Christ declared that his kingdom was NOT of this world. I want you to remember that because Jesus was talking about the entire physical world, as well as the unregenerate “spiritual” world which continues to reject him. Jesus Christ made it clear that he came into this world (from Heaven above) to bear witness to the truth. Jesus Christ was born “King of the Jews” (Matthew 2:1-2) so he is the only King of Israel, and he made no bones about it either. A man named Nathanael also recognized Jesus to be the King of Israel:
“Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” (John 1:49)
The King of Israel was also spoken about in the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah:
“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)
Could it be that the Lord (Jehovah/Yahweh) who is also the King of Israel, and the redeemer is Jesus Christ? Could it be that the first and the last is Jesus Christ? Could it be that there is no other God beside him? The answer to all of those questions is an absolute YES! Here is what the risen and ascended Jesus Christ told the Jewish apostle John in a vision, when John was exiled to the isle of Patmos:
“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. ” (Revelation 1:17-18)
The bottom line is this. Either a person wants Jesus Christ or they do not. Jesus made it clear that his kingdom was not of THIS world and that includes the present day idolatrous State of Israel. The patriarchs of the FAITH were not looking for a kingdom that was of “this world” but they were looking for a “kingdom” which was above! What was Abraham looking for?
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:8-10)
Good old Abraham was looking UP for a city whose builder and maker is God!
What was Sarah and the rest of the FAITHFUL patriarchs of the FAITH looking for?
“Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:11-16)
They were ALL looking UP for a HEAVENLY country, and they confessed that they were STRANGERS and PILGRIMS on this EARTH! Why did they confess that they were strangers and pilgrims on this earth? They did that because they knew with every fiber of their being that this TEMPORARY evil world (Galatians 1:3-5), was NOT their eternal home!
Dear friends I do have some good news for you today. I do not care if you have never cracked open a Bible in your life. I do not care if you have never darkened the doorway of a church in your life. The good news is that God wants YOU in his kingdom, and the good news is that Jesus Christ died for YOU as much as any other person in this sin cursed world. After Jesus Christ rose from the dead he said this:
“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. ” (Luke 24:44-47)
Jesus Christ declared that the scriptures POINTED to him. Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms all testified of the coming redeemer, and his name is Jesus Christ. The Jewish apostle Paul was one of the worst persecutors and murderers of Christians, and yet the Lord Jesus Christ still showed that man mercy, and Paul wrote this:
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Romans 5:6-9)
Get on board the gospel train before it is too late!