18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm;
19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them,
20 because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned."
21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear."
22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,
23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
God has called us and chosen us to a place which is described as
* Mount Zion
* Heavenly Jerusalem
* City of the living God
* Where thousands upon thousands of angels joyfully assemble
* The Church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven
* Where God, the judge of all men is there
* Where the spirits of righteous men made perfect are there
* Where Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant is there
* Where sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel is there.
Imagine the scene that you have called by God to enter such a place. We may rejoice with trembling. It is absolutely the grace of God that can take us to heaven. We don't deserve it.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
But still God has given us an opportunity to taste His kingdom. How are we entering into His Kingdom? Are we entering through the right entrance? Are we entering with right attitude? Are we helping others to enter such wonderful place?
1. Enter With Thanksgiving.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name .
We need to enter with thanksgiving. Today when we go to God in prayer how do we enter? Can God see us with thanksgiving, gratefulness or with lot of complaints and grumbling? If we know that we are going to die tomorrow how would we feel? Would we be grateful for the life so far or would we be worrying?
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
2. Enter Through The Narrow Gate
13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
We need to enter the right way. There are several entrances. Question isn't whether we enter, but where the entrance leads in the end. Many enter through one entrance that leads to destruction. Which road are we traveling? If we take a wrong route, most of the time, we may have to travel all the way back to enter through the right route. Are we one among many or one among few? Only a few find it. Let us make every effort to enter through the narrow door.
3. Enter With Humility
3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
We need to enter with humility, like a little child. One thing we can see in a child whether in good times or bad times they wanted to be with their parents, they reconcile themselves with their parents. Today do we reconcile with God on a daily basis. Are we humble in front of God?
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
For whom it is hard to enter
a. For rich man
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
b. For those who believe in their own righteousness
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
c. For those who don't do the will of God
Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
d. For those who are wicked (sinful)
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
e. For those who are hypocrites
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
f. For those who are not born of water and the Spirit
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. "We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God," they said.
We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God. Let us preach the good news in our cities, win large number of disciples, strengthening them and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.