Many jokes have been written about what is required to pass the pearly gates and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If there really is a condition for admission, and I miss it, then I won’t be laughing, will I?
Words without actions are worthless.
Jesus said it isn’t enough to profess him as Lord (Matthew 7:21). If I really love him, I will surrender what I want so I can enjoy the blessing of doing what he wants (John 14:15). What I do proves whether my faith is real (James 2:17).
If I keep on sinning, I can’t sneak in.
The apostle Paul warns some of Christ’s followers that if they keep on sinning, they aren’t going to be in the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19–21). His words seem to contradict the popular belief that our behavior doesn’t matter, because Jesus paid it all.
Evidently, my citizenship has requirements.
In Matthew 13:45–46, Jesus describes what my attitude should be if I want to be a citizen in God’s Kingdom. I should be like the pearl merchant who sold his entire inventory and put himself out of business. Was he crazy? No, he did that so he could own the priceless pearl, which he would never consider selling.
The Kingdom of God requires total surrender to his will.
Every knee will bow, and the tongues of all legal immigrants will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:9–11). Surrendering to God’s control in everything I am and everything I have is a really good deal, because the benefits of being a citizen are more wonderful than anything I can imagine.
Without a doubt, I consider everything that hinders my knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as a total loss. I have sacrificed everything I had before, seeing it as garbage, so I could have the treasure that Christ has for me. — Philippians 3:8