Are You Fit for the Kingdom of God?
This section has excerpts from my book with the same title.
Throughout the Scriptures we read about the establishment of God’s Eternal Kingdom at the end of time. The Pharisees (Luke 17:20) ask Jesus, “when the Kingdom of Heaven would come?” That’s the same Kingdom Jesus told us to pray for its coming, “They Kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10). It was spoken about by Daniel 4:3 (NKJV), “How great are His signs, And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And His dominion is from generation to generation.” Mark 1:14b-15, … Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
Then once God has established His kingdom on earth, he will give it over to the ‘Son of Man’ to reign as king over it. Daniel 7:14 (NKJV), “Then to Him (the Son of Man) was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed”. John 18:36a (NKJV), “Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world…” Revelation 19:16 (NKJV), “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
So now we have read that there will be a Kingdom and a King, so all that’s left is that the kingdom needs qualified people to be the subjects of the Kingdom, people for the King to rule over. What are qualifications for that? Matthew 7:21 (NKJV), “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Daniel 7:18 (NKJV), “But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.’” Psalm 27:29 (NKJV), “The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever. Matthew 13:43 (NKJV), “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” And we read that God’s saints, the righteous, will be the subjects of the kingdom and they will inhabit it forever.
Who are God’s saints? The saints of God are those who do His will, and God refers to them as the ‘righteous’. God’s saints are those who at Judgment time will received God’s saving grace and are therefore redeemed from eternal destruction. The subjects of God’s kingdom will be His saints and they will have resurrected bodies, which don’t age, get ill or die – and they will have received eternal life. They will live forever in God’s kingdom, with Jesus as their king. This will be an earthly kingdom, physically residing on the ‘new earth’ and under a ‘new’ heaven.
Perhaps our most important lifetime goal for us to be one of God’s redeemed saints. Matthew 6:33 (NKJV), “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 8:11 (NKJV), “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” John 3:3 (NKJV), “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Eternal life is only given to those who are fit to enter God’s Kingdom.
It’s those who are fit for God’s kingdom that God will redeem from eternal destruction? That’s a core theme in of Scriptures, and that’s why Jesus came, to seek and save the lost that they may end up in God’s kingdom.
Now consider that God is going to establish His kingdom, and He will hand pick the people He knows are fit for His kingdom, what type people do you suppose He will pick? Let’s find out…
God will establish His physical eternal kingdom on the new earth, following the final Judgment. Over ninety times in the New Testament we read the phrase, “kingdom of God” or sometimes called the “kingdom of Heaven”. And unlike earthly kings, God will select those who will be subjects of His kingdom. How does God choose those who are fit to be subjects in His kingdom? God has a test for mankind, and every person will undergo a lifetime test, and then the Final Judgment will reveal the results of that testing and who is fit for the eternal kingdom of God and who is not. That testing is what the Scriptures are all about, we see many people being tested in the Scriptures, from the Garden of Eden to final events in the Book of the Revelation leading put to the final judgment. And please note, there is even a test for us, and indeed, we are currently being tested.
GOD’S FITNESS TEST
Before we even look at the test, let’s try to understand what kind of people we would select for our kingdom, if we were to become a future king or queen, and we had the option to choose our own subjects. We would want those who are meek enough to be willing to humbly submit to our authority. No king or queen would want rebels in their kingdom, who will not obey their commands or instructions. No king or queen would want liars, thieves, or murders in their kingdom, but desire peacemakers. No king or queen would want proud, boastful, even arrogant people in their kingdom. No king or queen would want those who will not do acts of charity and give aid to the poor, and take care of those in need. Selfishness would have no place in that kingdom. No king or queen would want people who are not loyal to them, nor would they want those who dishonor the king or queen. So, I’m pretty sure you’re seeing a parallel with what we see in the Scriptures as to what kind of subjects God would want in His future kingdom. And now we have a pretty good idea what God will be testing for.
There are certain criteria that God’s is looking for in selecting the subjects for His future kingdom. One of those qualities is commitment. Luke 16:62 (NKJV), “But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” To ‘look back’ is to waver on commitment, and not making the pursuit of God’s kingdom number one top priority. Those who will be found fit for God’s kingdom are those who have made a total commitment (pure in heart) to love and serve the King in God’s kingdom. It is the people of faith who are willing to forsake the things of this world for what the King has promised in the world to come, in the Kingdom of God. Those people know that their loyal submission to the King in obedience is the criteria that God is looking for in those who are ‘fit for the Kingdom of God’.
The type of subjects that an earthly king or queen would want in their kingdom is basically no different from what God would want in His kingdom.
So how does God go about finding that kind of people? We are constantly being tested and retested throughout our lives. Those who have "passed" on their final test will receive eternal life in God’s eternal Kingdom. Those who ‘fail’ on their final test will be subjected to eternal destruction in a furnace of fire. (Ezekiel 18:26-28).
WHAT IS THE FITNESS TEST?
The tool used for the fitness test is God’s law.
God will test everyone, we read about many of those tests in the Scriptures. We read how God tested Adam and Eve, God tested Cain, God tested Noah, God tested Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and all of Israel on the eve of the Passover and in the wilderness God tested Job, Kings Saul, and King David. Some passed and some failed, but regardless, God continues to re-test. According to Jesus, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob must have all passed the test because Jesus said they will be in the Kingdom (Matthew 8:11). God is testing our characters and behavior so that God, as well as ourselves, will know our true character and what’s in our hearts.
Our behavior and our words reflect what’s in our heart, whether it is love, selflessness, charity, kindness, servitude, peace, rebellion, hate, selfishness, greed, or whatever. So how does God test our hearts? God has given us the standard by which He wants us to live by, and living by that standard will produce the type of character God required of those who will be the subjects of His future kingdom. God’s standard is His Law. Keeping God’s laws from the heart would perfectly reflect the character that God desires of us. And those with that character will inherit the Kingdom of God. They will be poor in spirit (humble) who repent over their sin, meek who will submit to God’s authority, mourn over their sins because the hunger and thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure at heart who seek first the Kingdom of God, and they are peace makers – who would want trouble makers in their kingdom?
Much, much more in the Book... I can't past all 140 pages here.