By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
I Found the Way to Enter the Kingdom of Heaven – Spiritual Growth
By Wang Ting
Can I Enter the Kingdom of Heaven Only by Working Hard but Not Being Purified?
Enteringis the goal I will pursue all my life. To this end, I often read , preach the and work hard for the Lord. It pays to pay more price because I can enter God’s kingdom to enjoy wonderful blessings together with the Lord. However, I find that I still often commit sins: I cannot help but judge others if what they did does not conform to my will; I hate my son when I can’t handle him. Gradually, I feel a little bit confused: Can I enter the kingdom of heaven by working hard but not pursuing to be purified? How can I enter the kingdom of heaven?
For this, I often examined the scripture. Finally, I found a way to enter the kingdom of heaven according to one word of the Lord. The Lord , “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). “Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come to me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Only following God’s will and becoming as little children, can man enter the kingdom of heaven. But, another question has arisen: I shouldn’t take “as little children” literally, then what does it mean?
I had searched the answer for a long time. I didn’t find it in a book until very recently. It says, “those who are pure; those who are open; those who are honest; those who are not controlled by any person, thing, or matter; those who are childlike in appearance though they are mature in life, these ones are My beloved, the objects of My blessing” (“The Sixty-ninth Utterance”). “you ought to know that God likes an honest man. God has the substance of faithfulness, and so His word can always be trusted. Furthermore, His actions are faultless and unquestionable. This is why God likes those who are absolutely honest with Him. Honesty means to give your heart to God; to never play Him false in anything; to be open with Him in all things, never cover the truth; to never do that which deceives those above and deludes those below; and to never do that which is done merely to ingratiate yourself with God. In short, to be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man” (Three Admonitions).
I got to know after reading these words, “as little children” in the kingdom of heaven refers to the honest. God’s substance is faithful, so He requires us to be honest. Whether saying or doing, we should act in harmony with God’s will and be an honest person who satisfies Him. Comparing these words with myself in, I displayed many behaviors that are dishonest. God has been wholeheartedly devoted to us mankind and requires us to love Him with sincerity. Thinking back on my years spent following God, I realize that all my sacrifices were paid for blessings and entering the kingdom of heaven, not for carrying out the responsibilities of a created being. Believing in God with making deals with Him is dishonest. Besides, when I get along with others, I also have lots of dishonest behaviors. Seeing that my co-workers are whispering, I guess whether they’re talking about me or have any opinions of me. In the church, I’m usually afraid of giving offense to others. Whenever the pastors and elders say something that doesn’t accord with the Lord’s teachings, I dare not come forward with what I see. Whenever brothers and sisters don’t follow the Lord’s way or live in sins, I won’t point it out but turn a blind eye to them. Even though I speak, I say half of it, and hold on to the rest, monitoring their expressions and then speaking accordingly. When I volunteer for the church, I’m doing it for show. I always have a chip on my shoulder about not having been known by others. All of the above should not be treated as honest actions. Even in my prayers, I don’t speak to God from the heart but promise Him the moon. Isn’t this tantamount to deceiving God? Not purified, how can I enter the kingdom of heaven? Because God is holy, and He doesn’t allow those who are impure to enter His kingdom. I realize that we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven if our sins are not purified.
What Is the Way to Be Honest?
One day, I chatted online with a friend in Christ. We talked about this topic. I got some enlightenment through her fellowship. At that moment, she read me a paragraph of words, “All that you do, every action, every intent, and every reaction must be brought before God. Even your daily spiritual life—your prayers, your closeness with God, eating and drinking of , fellowship with your brothers and sisters, living the life of the church, and your service in partnership—must be brought before God and observed by Him. It is such practice that will help you mature in life. The process of accepting God’s observation is the process of purification. The more you accept God’s observation, the more you are purified, and the more you are in accord with God’s will, so that you will not hear the call of debauchery and dissipation, and your heart will live in His presence. The more you accept His observation, the more ashamed Satan is and the more you are able to forsake the flesh. So, the acceptance of God’s observation is a path people must practice. No matter what you do, even during fellowship with your brothers and sisters, if you bring your acts before God and seek His observation, and if your intent is to obey God Himself, what you practice will be much more correct. Only if you bring all you do before God and accept God’s observation can you be someone who lives in the presence of God” (“God Perfects Those After His Own Heart”). “To be honest, you must first lay your heart bare, so that everyone can see it, and all that you are thinking, and can see your true face; you must not pretend or package yourself. Only then will people trust you and consider you honest. This is the most fundamental practice of being honest …” (To Be Honest, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others).
Then she fellowshipped, “We can see from this, to be an honest person, one must accept God’s observation. No matter whether it’s when you, when you work for the Lord, or when you speak and handle your business, we must often examine whether our thoughts are impure. Through our actual cooperation, we can gradually know the dishonest side deep in our heart. Then we betray our incorrect thoughts through praying. Practice like this little by little, we can walk the way to be honest. Meanwhile, we read more God’s words and experience His words to train to be honest. We should dissect and expose our own contemptible intentions in our business when praying before God. Then try to expose our own ugliness before brothers and sisters who pursue the truth. Ultimately, we can honor God as the greatest in our hearts, be simple and open when speaking, be down-to-earth, not distort the truth and treat others fairly. We are able to considerate to God’s will in our duty without personal intentions and a desire to make an exchange, regaining our reason and conscience. We should practice the truth to exalt and bear witness to God and truly love Him, obey Him and worship Him. When we pursue the truth like this, we will have the desire to satisfy God and fear Him. Thus, we can say and do not for our profit, not for our flesh and selfish desires, but for God’s will. Hence, our thoughts cannot be controlled by corrupt disposition. Instead, the truth becomes our life. No longer selfish and base, we are purified. Only working hard for the Lord in this way, putting the words of God into practice and following His will, can we be approved by God and enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Thanks for God’s guidance, I have found a way to enter the kingdom of heaven. All the glory be to God! Amen!