Question 4: About Requirements for Entry Into the Kingdom of God
Question 4: All of us have believed in the Lord for many years, and have always followed the example of Paul in our work for the Lord. We have been faithful to the name and way of the Lord, and the crown of righteousness surely awaits us. Today, we need only focus on working hard for the Lord, and watching for His return. Only thus, can we be taken into the kingdom of heaven. Because it is said in the Bible, “for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me” (Isaiah 49:23). We believe the Lord’s promise: He will take us into the kingdom of heaven at His return. Could there really be anything wrong with practicing in this way?
Answer: In watching for the arrival of the Lord, most people believe that they need only work hard for the Lord, and follow the example of Paul, thus can be directly taken into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord arrives. They think it is quite right to practice in this way, and no one disagrees. Yet we who should seek the truth in all things. Though practicing in that way is in keeping with people’s conceptions, is it in keeping with God’s wishes? I think we should know: God’s words are the principles of man’s actions, they are the standard by which all people, things, and matters are measured. If people practice according to the words of God, they will surely receive God’s approval. If they go against the words of God, and practice according to their own conceptions and imaginings, then they will surely be detested and rejected by God. As to whether or not people can be directly taken into the kingdom of heaven by watching and waiting and working hard for the Lord, let us look at what the said in Matthew, “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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23). In the words of the Lord Jesus we see that the Lord Jesus only said “but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” He did not say that all those who are faithful to the Lord Jesus’ name and work hard for the Lord will be rewarded, and enter into the kingdom of heaven. Is this not fact? If, as in people’s conceptions, all those who keep the Lord’s name and work hard for Him will enter into the kingdom of heaven, why did the Lord Jesus say that those who preached and cast out devils in the Lord’s name committed evil? This shows that working hard for the Lord is not necessarily the same as doing the will of God. Many people work hard for the Lord so that they might be blessed, and not for truly obeying God. Their satanic disposition is still there. They still have conceptions about God, and still disobey, oppose, and condemn Him. Some even hate the truth, like the Pharisees. No matter how hard they work for the Lord, how could such people do the will of God? Such people oppose God in nature. To enter into the kingdom of heaven simply by working hard for the Lord, this is intolerable to Heaven! Don’t you agree?
So how do we do ? Doing God’s will means that people obey the work of God, view putting God’s word into practice as above all else, and obeying God as above all else. Thus, they can abide by God’s commandments, perform their duty as required by God, and truly dedicate themselves to God, without thought of what they might gain in return. All they do is to put the truth into practice and to obey God. Only then are they doing God’s will. We have seen many people though they work hard for the Lord and make great sacrifices, they do so to be rewarded, and to enjoy rich blessings. It is not to love God and obey Him. Such devotion to God is nothing more than making a deal with Him. Despite working hard for God, many people have never put the truth into practice, nor do they exalt or testify to God. Instead, they often make an idol of themselves, and make others worship and follow them. Everything they do is to maintain their own position and income. Are such people those who put God’s words into practice and obey God? Are they those who do the will of God? Such people serve God yet oppose Him, they are the hypocritical Pharisees. It can be said that they are evildoers. How could people like this be qualified to enter into the kingdom of heaven? From this we see that those who work hard on the surface for the Lord, but have never put the truth into practice, are not exalting and testifying to God for loving Him and carrying out His will. Can such people do the will of God? Those who work hard for the Lord in order to receive His blessings and enter the kingdom of heaven, but have no change in their life disposition and still oppose God are the ones like the Pharisees, pretending to be good and will be cursed by God the Lord! Almighty God says, “I decide the destination of each man not on the basis of age, seniority, amount of suffering, or least of all, the degree of misery, but on whether they possess truth. There is no other choice but this. You must realize that all those who do not follow the will of God will be punished. This is an immutable fact. Therefore, all those who are punished are so punished for the righteousness of God and as retribution for their evil acts” (“You Ought to Do Enough Good Deeds to Prepare for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words make it very clear. Whether or not people will ultimately enter the kingdom of heaven is not based on how much work they do, or how much they have suffered. It is based on whether or not they put the words of God into practice, abide by God’s commandments and whether or not they do God’s will. Such are the criteria and principles of entry into the kingdom of heaven. There are those who blindly hold to the words of Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness …” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). They take Paul’s fallacious views as the theoretical basis for entry into the kingdom of heaven. So regardless of how much they suffer, or what sacrifices they make, these people are still incapable of receiving God’s approval, much less can they enter the kingdom of heaven!
We just fellowshiped that people can only enter the kingdom of heaven by doing the will of the heavenly Father. So what are God’s requirements for watching and waiting for the arrival of the Lord? Many people believe that they need only work hard for the Lord, suffer as they bear the cross, and be faithful to the Lord’s name, by doing this they’re watching and waiting, and when the Lord arrives He will surely not forsake them. In fact, Jesus spoke very clearly about watching and waiting, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). The Revelation says, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15). “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). In the Book of Revelation there are also several mentions that “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches.” In these prophecies we clearly see that when the Lord Jesus returns, He will speak to the churches. Thus, the Lord asked us to be wise virgins, and pay attention to hearing His voice. People need only hear the Lord’s voice to come out and welcome Him then will they be those who watch and wait for the Lord’s return and who go to the wedding feast of the Lamb and are taken before God’s throne. The wedding feast of the Lamb foretold in the Book of Revelation refers to accepting God’s judgment and chastisement during the last days, and delighting in the water of the river of life that flows from God’s throne, that is, accepting all the truths expressed by of the last days, and finally being purified by God to become an overcomer. Only these overcomers will enter the kingdom of heaven. Today, Christ of the last days, Almighty God has expressed all truths for the salvation and purification of man. The words of Almighty God have been published online for people in countries and territories around the world to seek and examine. By seeking and examining the words and work of Almighty God, those clever virgins have recognized the voice of God, and have returned before the throne of God in succession. Only people such as this are attending the wedding feast of the Lamb, and are the overcomers whom God will make before the disaster. It can be said that only these people are the ones who will enter into the kingdom of heaven. But many people believe that watching and waiting for the coming of the Lord only involves working hard for the Lord. They do not seek the truth in the big issue of the coming of the Lord. They blindly cling to their own conceptions and imaginings, and refuse to hear God’s voice, and never behold the appearance of the Lord. Watching and waiting in this way is neither real nor meaningful. In fact, watching and waiting has nothing to do with people’s actions. What’s key is whether or not they can hear the voice of the Lord, whether or not they can accept the return of the Lord, and whether or not they can achieve this effect. This is key. Let’s read another passage of the words of Almighty God, “The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for and seeks the truth; only in this way will you benefit. I advise you to tread the path of belief in God with care. Do not jump to conclusions; what’s more, do not be casual and carefree in your belief in God. You should know that, at the very least, those who believe in God should be humble and reverential. Those who have heard the truth and yet turn their nose up at it are foolish and ignorant. Those who have heard the truth and yet carelessly jump to conclusions or condemn it are beset by arrogance. No one who believes in Jesus is qualified to curse or condemn others. You should all be someone who is rational and accepts the truth” (“When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Today, the incarnate Almighty God does the work of judgment of the last days. Through expressing the truth, Almighty God reveals every kind of man. God’s sheep will hear the voice of God. All those who seek and examine the true way and accept the truth are saved by God. At the same time, God reveals those wicked people who are arrogant and do not accept the truth, as well as the antichrists who condemn and blaspheme against Almighty God. These people are all condemned and eliminated by God. Today, the work of God become flesh has almost reached its end. Which is to say, the work of judgment beginning from the house of God has basically finished. So, the work of the church’s rapture will finish very soon. The clever virgins shouldn’t waste any time in examining and accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days, otherwise the doors of salvation shall close. If you wait until the Lord publicly appears whilst riding upon a cloud, you might be thinking of the Lord’s words, “because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). I don’t know whether these words mean receiving God’s approval or being condemned by God.
from the movie script Waiting