When the Lord returns, how can we recognize His voice and welcome Him?
Dear brothers and sisters,
May you share in the Lord’s inner peace! Since I believed in the Lord, I have believed that so long as I expend and work hard for the Lord, I will be raptured into the kingdom of heaven. But recently I feel distressed because of often failing to practice the Lord’s requirements. Although I confess my sins to the Lord after committing sins every time, I am still unable to break away from the bondage of sin after all. I feel very sad about this. Especially when I seesay: “And you shall be holy; for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44), I’m somewhat worried that, when the Lord arrives, if I still live in sin without being purified and can’t meet God’s requirements, will I be ineligible to enter the heavenly kingdom? And won’t I be abandoned by the Lord? So I want to seek for fellowship and get your help.
Poster: Zhang Xun
This question is worth looking into! These years I also have been living in a sin-and-confess state, unable to escape the bondage of sin. Externally, I can sacrifice for the Lord and spread the gospel, but my corrupt disposition remains unchanged. I often indulge in self-admiration because of having spent a bit for God, and feel that I am better than everyone else, unable to be humble as required by the. When moved by the Holy Spirit, I pray before the Lord to repent my own rebelliousness and corruption, and determine in my heart to lead a new life to satisfy God. Yet because I am not able to forsake the flesh, I frequently give empty promises to deceive God. When encountering something that is incompatible with my own notions, I become negative and complain, and it is so hard for me to obey all God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Ah, according to the Lord’s words, it’s hard to say whether I can enter into the kingdom of heaven through this type of sacrificing and expending.
Brothers and sisters, we need to have faith in the Lord. Brother Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Today, as long as we keep the Lord’s name and work painstakingly for the Lord, we can enter into the kingdom of heaven. So we don’t have to worry about not being able to enter the kingdom of heaven because we do not wash ourselves of our sins.
I agree with Brother Tang’s viewpoint! The Bible says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Even though we still sin often and have not yet been cleansed, our sins have already been forgiven because we believe in! And we are no longer under condemnation even if we commit sins. As long as we sacrifice everything else to work hard and spend for the Lord, we will be brought into the heavenly kingdom.
I don’t agree with both of your views. If, as you say, as long as we work hard for the Lord, we will enter into the kingdom of heaven, then why did the Lord Jesus say this, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23)? From these words, we can see that not every one that believes in the Lord, and works and expends for the Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Yes. If those who labor for the Lord can enter into the kingdom of heaven, then why did the Lord Jesus call them evil-doers? It stands to reason that they were pardoned for their sins by believing in the Lord, but why did the Lord Jesus still condemn them? This shows that, the Lord Jesus was crucified and has absolved us of sin, but He didn’t say as long as our sins are forgiven and we work tirelessly, we can enter the kingdom of heaven. With regard to this critical issue, we cannot ignore it.
Hello everyone! I happen to see that you are discussing the issue of how to enter the kingdom of heaven. It’s truly a top priority that believers of the Lord all need to understand. Thanks be to God! The brothers and sisters of our church also had a discussion about this issue a few days ago. Now, I’d like to share the enlightenment we gained with you.
Thanks be to the Lord! Sister Yi Hui, please tell us! We really need to understand this problem.
OK! We all know that, our sins have been forgiven by believing in the Lord, but in real life, we still live in a cycle of sinning and repenting and are unable to extricate ourselves from it, we still involuntarily lie and engage in deception, when confronted with natural and manmade disasters, the refinement of illness, or tribulations and trials, we blame and betray God, etc. Can we enter the kingdom of heaven after all in such a sorry state? I once saw a spiritual book say, “When people leave behind the filthy, corrupt things of Satan, they gain God’s salvation. But if they remain incapable of divesting themselves of filth and corruption, then they will still be under the domain of Satan. People’s conniving, deceitfulness, and crookedness are things of Satan; by saving you, God separates you from these things and God’s work cannot be wrong, and is all in order to save people from darkness. When you have believed to a certain point and can divest yourself of the corruption of the flesh, and are no longer enshackled by this corruption, will you not have been saved? When you live under Satan’s domain you are incapable of manifesting God, you are something filthy, and shall not receive God’s inheritance. Once you have been cleansed and made perfect, you will be holy, and you will be normal, and you will be blessed by God and delightful to God.
“Some people will end up saying, ‘I’ve done so much work for You, and though there may not have been celebrated achievements, still I have been diligent in my efforts. Can’t You just let me into heaven to eat the fruit of life?’ You must know what kind of people I desire; those who are impure are not permitted to enter into the kingdom, those who are impure are not permitted to besmirch the holy ground. Though you may have done much work, and have worked for many years, in the end if you are still deplorably filthy—it is intolerable to the law of Heaven that you wish to enter My kingdom! From the foundation of the world until today, never have I offered easy access to My kingdom to those who curry favor with Me. This is a heavenly rule, and no one can break it!” (“Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks”).
From these words, we can see that God has the substance of righteousness and holiness. No matter how much work we have done, and no matter how much of a price we have paid, as long as we can still sin and still have corruption, it shows that we still live under Satan’s influence, and still belong to filth. So we can’t enter the kingdom of heaven. God hates sin, so all filth and corruption can’t exist beneath His gaze. Remember the Pharisees at that time: They walked throughout sea and land spreading the gospel. It could be said they worked hard and expended everything. But when the Lord Jesus came to do the work of redemption, they didn’t study and seek God’s work based on their arrogant nature, and even slandered and condemned the Lord Jesus. They nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross, and were finally cursed and punished by God. It is clear that, if we only work hard, but do not practice God’s word, and we have not been made clean, then we can’t enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, if we want to attain salvation and enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must throw off the corrupt disposition of Satan—deceit, arrogance, selfishness and so on, act in accordance with, and no longer rebel against or resist God, and we must truly love God, fear God and shun evil, and live according to God’s words in all things. These people are the ones who can enter the kingdom of heaven, and are qualified to enter the beautiful destination which God has prepared for man. Just as the Lord Jesus said, “Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever” (John 8:34-35).
That’s true! God is holy and righteous. His disposition is inviolable. He will not allow a person who resists and betrays Him to enter the kingdom of heaven. Although the Lord Jesus no longer sees us as sinners, if we want to enter into the kingdom of heaven, our satanic corrupt disposition must change. This is an unalterable truth! No wonder the Lord Jesus said, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Now I come to gain some understanding of these words, “Only those who practice the Lord’s word, follow the Lord’s way, cast away the corruption, and thus obey, can enter the kingdom of heaven. If we just journey to and fro for God’s work, sacrifice, and expend, but do not follow God’s way, if we still often sin, do evil, and resist God, then we definitely cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
Thank the Lord! Sister Yi’s fellowship is entirely in keeping with the truth. Two thousand years ago, the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross for mankind to forgive their sins. All that can be said is that we are pardoned of our sins, but the standard for entering the kingdom of heaven is achieving change—casting off satanic corrupt disposition and attaining purification. In the past I believed that so long as I adhered to the name of the Lord, sacrificed, expended, and worked hard for the Lord, I would enter the kingdom of heaven and gain everlasting life. Now it seems that it won’t work! Sister Yi, how then can we get rid of these corrupt dispositions? Would you mind communing with us a bit more?
Thanks be to the Lord! If we want to get rid of our corrupt disposition, we still need God to come to work and save us. We all know that when the Lord Jesus became flesh to come to earth, He was personally crucified on the cross and made a sin offering for all mankind, saving them from sin. From then on, as long as we believe in the Lord Jesus, confess our sins and repent to Him, He will forgive all of our sins without expectation of recompense. So we are qualified to continue to survive. But this does not mean that all the work of God has been done, because God will express truth and do a stage of work of casting out sin, and also the work of purification and transformation. The Lord Jesus once prophesied, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:12-13). 1 Peter 1:5 says, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” The Lord Jesus has already told us that He would return to express truth to save man. Now we are already in the last days, and we should be the wise virgins, and wholeheartedly behold the return of the Lord. Only by following the Lamb’s footsteps and accepting God’s new work of the last days can we find the way to be free from sins, and thus our corrupt disposition can be changed, and we can attain God’s approval and enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Thanks to the Lord! Now I understand: While we follow the Lord, we still live in a sin-and-confess state. Because our thought, idea, words and actions are manipulated by our satanic nature, we can still constantly disobey and resist God and even betray Him when we meet something against our liking, and from beginning to end, we are unable to achieve change though we also loathe ourselves. It is all because the Lord Jesus did the work of redemption, but not the work of cleansing us. So today, only by accepting the work and words of God in the last days can we cast away our corruption and be made pure. If we only stop with the Age of Grace and are only pardoned for our sins, if we are merely satisfied with working hard, casting away and spending, our corrupt disposition cannot achieve change at all, and how then can we enter the kingdom of heaven?
Right. It is now near the end of the last days. The prophecies of the advent of the Lord have basically been fulfilled. Therefore, we must search for God’s new words and new work, and only then will we have hope of entering the kingdom of heaven …