Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Strive to enter in!!

"The Kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field."  Matthew 13:44

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he has and buys the field."   Matthew 13:45

Jesus Christ is speaking here in the gospel of Matthew and He is of course, talking about Himself as the treasure and the pearl of great value. These verses speak about a heart condition, a heart condition that we should have about Jesus. How do we feel about Jesus Christ - do we have joy? Are we happy that He has provided salvation for us? are we Joyous that He has freed us from the dominion of the devil and demons?

The Christian walk is a walk of realization. A walk of discovery.  In this walk we come to know bit by bit, degree by degree, what it is Jesus has done for us, a realization in our hearts put there by the Holy Spirit. A transforming realization.  Jesus says in John 16:14 that the Holy Spirit will take what is mine and declare it to you. Unless the Holy Spirit testifies to us who Jesus is, and what He has done, it will not be transforming knowledge, and Christ will not be a treasure or a pearl of great value to us.

When Christ becomes that pearl of great value in our hearts, we realize that He is our all, He is worth our very life. We become like the ones in Luke 13:24 who strive to enter into the kingdom. John MacArthur says this striving means fighting against your sin, against relationships, against the devil, against demons, against your own sinful lusts, fighting against anything that stand between you and the kingdom that is through the narrow door. This is what it becomes - when the Holy Spirit puts Christ in your heart. It is a battle of repentance MacArthur states, a battle of self-denial, a fight that signals the end of your desires, your dreams, your will dominating, you give up everything - because your realize that Christ is that great.  The true gospel calls for self-denial, the true gospel tells you that firendship with the world makes you an enemy of God. MacArthur talks about John the Baptist's ministry in Luke 3:4-6 where it states that he is preparing the way of the Lord to make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low and the crooked shall become straight and the rough places shall become level ways and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. John the Baptist preached confession of sin and repentance. To see the salvation of the Lord, we have to get our hearts right,  all the crooked paths must be made straight, all the rough places must become level. That requires confession and repentance.

True religion reguires repentance and contrition, a broken heart, a broken will is what God will accept, and when Jesus tells them and He is also telling us to strive to enter in, He is telling us to fight against everything that would hinder entrance into the kingdom, to get rid of everything that would hinder the development of a intimate relationship with Him.

When Jesus said strive to enter in, He was answering the question; "Lord, will those who are saved be few? He did not answer as far as yes there will be few, but His answer is more in line with you need to make sure you are in, so strive to enter in.  That is in line with the sentiments of Matthew 11:12 which states: from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and the violent take it by force. Also Luke 16:16: The law and the prophets were until John since than the good news of the kingdom of God is preached and everyone forces his way into it.  These all are saying earnest endeavor is required, vigorous people are entering in.

If you have not found out that Christ is that pearl of great value and you are not pressing into the kingdom, I would encourage you to get into the word and pray for the holy Spirit to give you understanding so that Christ becomes that pearl of great value in your heart, because if you continue without it, you cant develop a intimate relationship with Christ, and the your worldly friends will cause you to deny Christ, your attachment to the world will make you deny Christ, the devil and demons will make you deny Christ, and your own flesh wanting its lustful desires satisfied at all cost will cause you to deny Christ. You will have many, many things that are more important to you than Christ. You have to come to the realization that you can not continue in that way. There is urgency in Christ's command to strive to enter in, we dont know how much time we have, we know that there is a limit, and Christ is warning us to get on with the business of establishing a intimate relationship with Him. The kingdom is only for those who will strive to enter in, it is not for those who are caught between the world and Christ. To strive means to oppose the world.  Jesus says "Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Even worse, are the word that Jesus will say to those who have not taken the time or the effort  to strive to enter in: But He will say, "I tell you, I do not know where you come from, Depart from me, all you workers of evil! Luke 13:27.

Those will be terrible words to hear, and my prayer is that all who may read this the Holy Spirit may comfort all hearts and let them know that the Lord is a God that forgives, Peter denied the Lord and He was restored when He repented, please I pray bow your heart before the mercy and grace of Christ, if you have anything that is between you and Him and pray for the strength, the boldness, to forsake it and allow the Holy Spirit to put Christ in your heart. We all must strive to enter in.

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