Sunday, March 27, 2016

Retracing Wesley #10: Kingdom Door


“The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced.  “The Kingdom of God is near!  Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”    
Mark 1:15(NLT)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day opens for every person the possibility of the door to the Kingdom of God. 

There are keys which open this door:

The first Key is the Kingdom itself

Literally the Kingdom is the reign of God in the hearts of those who receive him.  Jesus announced that the Kingdom had come near

And that word indicates more an opportunity than a period of time.  The opportunity for restored relationship with God, where God would dwell in the hearts of those who choose to love and obey him was available.

Wesley called this …the immediate fruit of God's reigning in the soul[2] because having God on the inside brought righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.[3]

The Second Key is Repentance

To “repent” is to think, and then act differently.  When you are headed in the wrong direction, repentance means understanding that you’re going in the wrong direction, and then acting on it to turn in the right direction.

The Third Key is To Believe the Good News

To “believe” is to have faith.  Now this is not the kind of “faith” you have in your college football team to win the championship.  Rather it’s the kind of once-for-all trust that places your past, present and eternity in God’s hands.  

Believing the Good News, or the Gospel means that you are choosing to count as true the birth of Jesus as entirely true; you’re saying Jesus lived a sinless life, and died your sinner’s death, taking your place on the cross.  You’re saying you believe that on the third day he arose from that hole in the ground where they buried him, ascended into heaven to the right hand of the Father, and is coming again one day to make all things new.

To cap it all off, you’re saying you stake everything you are and hope to be on this fact that the Gospel is true – it’s a one-way-door for you!

These are the keys to God’s Kingdom door, His reign in your heart, you repenting of your sin, and believing the Gospel.

Did you know that all three of those keys are already yours?  They’re in your heart…which also has a door.  And this door’s key God has chosen to never violate; it’s known as free will

God has already opened the door to His Kingdom.  But the door to your heart is closed against the pathway to God’s kingdom, and unless you open it you will stay on the outside forever. 

Here’s what God says about that door to your heart:

“Look!  I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.    Revelation 3:20(NLT)

The keys are all in your hands; what will you do?

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

[1] Title Image: By Athena Lao from Bulgaria, via Wikimedia Commons
[2] The Way to the Kingdom, John Wesley, Sermon #7, Christian Classics
[3] Romans 14:17

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