YOU AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

MAY 05 2024

TOPIC: YOU AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD

BY T. O. BANSO 

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21 New King James Version).

Nobody can inherit or possess the kingdom of God without being born again. Giving your life to Jesus brings you into the kingdom. Jesus told Nicodemus, a Pharisee, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 New King James Version).

Nicodemus didn’t understand what Jesus said and sought to know the meaning. Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’” (John 3:4 New King James Version).

Jesus addressed Nicodemus’ ignorance: Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8 New King James Version).

Despite this, Nicodemus didn’t understand how what Jesus said could be possible, and asked, How can these things be?” (Verse 9b New King James Version). Jesus went further to enlighten Nicodemus. Jesus’ explanation was not for Nicodemus alone. He spoke to educate everyone about the kingdom of God. Nicodemus represented every sinner who may be priding himself on his religion or righteousness.

Nicodemus was a teacher of Israel, yet he didn’t know about being born again. When he asked Jesus, Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?’” (Verse 10 New King James Version). What you don’t know, you don’t know!

Nobody comes into the kingdom of God just because he is a leader in a particular church or denomination. Otherwise, Nicodemus would not need to be born again, as Jesus told him. Nobody comes into the kingdom of God because he was born in a church or into Christianity. Nobody is born a Christian. One becomes a Christian because he is born again. Having a baptismal name from the Bible does not make someone a Christian. He must be born again or born anew.

Jesus said, And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:14-17 New King James Version). Note the phrase “whoever believes in Him.” This means whoever believes in Jesus Christ. Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

Whoever will inherit the kingdom of God must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He must accept Him as his Lord and Saviour. Romans 10:9 says that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Have you been saved? Jesus said, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18 New King James Version).

Jesus came to die for the sins of the world, for all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Nobody is righteous enough to be saved. All our righteous deeds are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Anyone who does not believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of His sins cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

To inherit the kingdom, one must stop living a sinful life. We cannot continue in sin that grace may abound (Romans 6:1). 1 John 3:6 says whoever abides in Him does not sin; whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Verse 9 says whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. Similarly, 1 John 5:18 says whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.

The phrase “does not sin” is not talking about sinless perfection. It refers to not deliberately, knowingly, or habitually practising sin. Whoever will inherit the kingdom of God doesn’t engage in wilful or habitual sins. Jesus didn’t die for us to continue to wallow in sin. The more a child of God grows spiritually, the more hatred he has for sin, and the less he sins. But if someone claims to be a Christian and continues to sin deliberately, knowingly, or habitually, it is doubtful if he was genuinely saved.

2 Corinthians 5:21 says for He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Those who will inherit the kingdom of God embrace a life of righteousness. They don’t practise sin. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 New King James Version). Note the phrase “The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.” The unrighteous are not born again. They are not the children of God. They cannot inherit God’s kingdom.

A child of God is born again and has been washed from the sins mentioned in that scripture and other sins. He has been sanctified and justified. He must not return to the sins he has been cleansed of. He must not return to his vomit like a dog (Proverbs 26:11a).  

Those who practise the works of the flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God. What are these works of the flesh? They are sins similar to the sins mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Galatians 5:19-21 says, Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (New King James Version). Those who will inherit the kingdom of God don’t sin wilfully, and when they sin, they repent and ask for God’s forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Also, to enter the kingdom of God, you must continue in the faith and endure persecution and tribulation. All the good things Jesus promised that those who have given up house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or property, for His sake and the gospel would enjoy on earth are with persecution (Mark 10:29-30). Persecution is part of the promise. Those who will inherit the Kingdom of God cannot escape persecution. Thy must endure persecution.

As Paul said at the end of Acts 14:22, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (New King James Version). You must continue in the kingdom until Jesus comes despite persecution or tribulations. Jesus told His disciples, And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 10:22-23 New King James Version). You will endure to the end and be saved in Jesus’ name (Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13).

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You must join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to endure to the end in the Christian race. I believe in Jesus Christ, and I am not condemned. I am born of God; I shall not deliberately, knowingly, or habitually practise sin. I live in victory over sin in Jesus’ name.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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