Kingdom Truth - What is the Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible?
Chapter 8, Introduction
The Character of Kingdom Personnel
In the discussion on the basic requirements for Kingdom personnel in Chapter 5, we have mentioned that even though some can preach, cast out demons and work signs and wonders, it is possible that they might not be partakers of the Kingdom! The reason is that they are "lawless" (ανομια is formed by 'without' and 'law'). When Christ returns, their reward will be no other than the statement, "Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness"! In these days of heavy emphasis on evangelism, may the church focus not only on the worker's service but not neglect the worker's character. From 1986 to 1988, there were several disgraceful exposes of famous church leaders. This can be attributed to an overemphasis on one's service and oversight of the worker's life. Many think that once they have believed in Jesus, no matter how rotten they become, they will not perish! So, they fall prey to Satan's trap! They do not know that salvation is intended to save people from committing sin. The reason that Jesus is the Lord of Salvation is because He can become our life, our wisdom, righteousness, holiness, etc. As a result, we would naturally love righteousness and hate sin. If we do not, salvation in Christ is no different than that offered by other religions! Therefore, grace is not for living a wanton life but through grace, people can become a new creation and gradually become good. Otherwise, Christianity is a lie and good for nothing, only deceiving oneself or the masses. In other words, grace is not a passive talisman for sinners but is for the active building up of one's character. This type of spiritual design is intended not only to provide salvation through grace at the beginning but progressively transforms and renews one into the likeness of Christ and thus to be Kingdom personnel. This is why He gave the Sermon on the Mount to those who are willing to strive physically to be Kingdom personnel. As for those who are not the citizens of the Kingdom, they are certainly excluded and have no part of Matthew, chapters 5 to 7.
In the Old Testament, God gave commandments, laws and ordinances to the Israelites in order that Moses, the future prophets and priests could teach them. So they were intended for Kingdom training, to influence all the nations (Deut. 4:5-6) and to attract all nations to Jehovah (Is. 2:2-3). In the same way, God has given us the Kingdom constitution so that we can train ourselves in order that we may be qualified to reign with Him in the Kingdom to come. The character of the Kingdom personnel is explained in the following pages. The reader is also reminded that while no training is easy, the Scriptures tell us that "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13) There is also a similar Chinese proverb that says "Nothing is impossible for those whose heart is fully set on it". May all those who desire to be overcomers come and claim the victory!