Predictably, someone will state that we can do nothing to earn our "reward"; it is a free gift, they say. Of course, I point out to them that this biblical concept applies to the Grace of God, His free gift which is offered to us, which we must decide to accept or cast off. This gift continues to mature in our lives after freely accepting it, if we don't ignore it, that is! In fact, 2 Peter 3:18 admonishes us "to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord". This "growing" is a verb requiring action! The very acceptance of the gift is an action.
To this day, I'm still surprised when people argue that Yeshua's grace means we can continue to live our lives as we did before accepting the free gift, thereby making grace a license to go on sinning. (Read the Book of Jude) Or, people advocate man's doctrine of "once saved, always saved". Here's a very good commentary on that falsehood.
Daniel 12:4 mentions the increase in knowledge during the end times. It's no stretch to argue that computer technology has helped fulfill this prophecy in a huge way! With this in mind, I did a search in the B'rit Hadashah (New Testament) on the word "inherit". (NKJV used) This blog entry is lengthy, but I think you'll enjoy it.
Matt. 5:5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. - Hopefully, by now everyone knows that words in italics means that the translators added the word, ostensibly to make the sentence more readable and understandable. (the word "are") My blog is set up to publish in italics so you should look up this verse for yourself, as with all of these quoted verses. I am not a teacher or minister. This blog is for open Bible study, commentary, and discussion. I fully expect you to study for yourself!
This verse is so misunderstood! It does not mean we are to be quiet, mild, and agreeable victims. It literally means the people who are meek to Adonai (the Master, the Lord) will inherit the new heaven and the new earth mentioned in Revelation. We have to consider and acknowledge, just what in our lives, are we "worshipping" more than the LORD and be "meek" enough to change. Are we willing to humble ourselves and change because of our love for Him? This takes action on our part! It is something we must actively seek and do!
Matt. 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. - Even if those close to you deny God and life reaches a point where it's them or God - you choose God!
The next one requires more context so it will be more lengthy.
... beginning Matt 25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
... ending Matt. 25:46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Can anyone truly say that behaving like a goat or sheep really doesn't matter? Do you understand the imagery here? Can we say that God's grace, sufficient though it is, does not require us to take action and behave better than the goats? Does it take effort and action to be better than a goat? Can we continue to live as we once did before accepting God's free gift of grace, or must we engage ourselves in a process of change for the better?
... beginning Mark 10:17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: 'DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,' 'DO NOT MURDER,' 'DO NOT STEAL,' 'DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,' 'Do not defraud,' 'HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER.'" And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth." Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!" And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?"
... ending Mark 10:27 But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."
This wonderful passage is one of my favorites! Notice that Yeshua, even in his chastisement of the person, "loves him". God and His Holy Spirit, His Ruach HaKodesh, convicts us to do better, to take action! Some people use this text to condemn riches of any sort. This, of course, is foolishness. Ask Solomon (Shlomo) if the LORD granted him riches! This text is all about what we do with our wealth. Do we share it? Do we use it to help others? Yeshua looked into this man's heart and saw his love for possessions. He was placing them above God. This subject requires additional commentary.
Man tries his best to supplant and replace the worship of the One true God. Nimrod tried it. He was the leader of the known world at that time. He supplanted the true worship with sun god worship. He created a system which controlled money, government, and worship. The control was in his hands, not God's. Nebuchadnezzar did the same. Rome, Hitler, Stalin; history is replete with examples. Today this man-made control is called socialism, communism, one-world government, wealth redistribution, political correctness, "fairness", and yes, Churchianity! (Read 1 Timothy, Ch. 5 to see how poor widows and single women were to conduct themselves) (the false teaching that Yeshua did not want the poor to work for themselves is a modern-day lie) As the above Scripture states, we are to help those truly in need, not those that simply wish to be a burden on others due to their own sin and vice.
Also, If one thing is clear from reading your Bible it should be that God does not force worship! You and I have the free will and right to accept or deny His free offer and our devotion and love towards Him! Forced worship comes from Satan!
Luke 10:25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" So he answered and said, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND,' and 'YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'" And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live." Luke 10:29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
Yeshua then goes into the good Samaritan story for the benefit of this self-serving "lawyer". BTW, the term lawyer here means, teacher of the Law (Torah), a Levite, most likely a Pharisee. These folks despised and hated Samaritans. Obviously, the "good Samaritan" is the hero in this parable, pointing out the "lawyers" hypocrisy. Jesus purposefully went against man's created rules and "religion". Do we do the same? Do you question your denomination's views and square them with the Bible? Or, do you just accept what man tells you? This takes effort, folks - and action!
Luke 18:18 - similar to Mark 10:17. Have you noticed that the four gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have much of the same history contained in them but are told from different men's perspectives? It's a must to be well-versed in ALL four gospels to get the full picture.
1 Cor. 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
How can it be any clearer folks? BTW, you should read this entire chapter. Being under grace does not mean we can keep on sinning. So much for folks who think the Big 10 are dead and nailed to the cross! Your actions and behavior DO MATTER! Yes, there are things we must do to inherit the Kingdom. We must control our vices. Listen please, if you're a person who disagrees with the quoted verse, then you have a disagreement with Yeshua, not me. I'm just a sinner like you! However, I happen to agree with the quoted verse and do my best to live by it.
1 Cor. 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Cor. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
God only has the ability to change us from corrupted, mortal flesh to uncorrupted immortal.
Gal 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Another one of my favorites! Many will use this statement in Galatians to argue "we are not under the Law and never will be". But, is this what this statement really means? If I'm driving through a school zone marked for a 20 mph speed, and I'm driving 20 mph (led by the Spirit), then I do not come under the school zone speeding law (because I haven't broken it). If I drive over 20 mph I come under the law because I have just broken it. If I drive carefully on Monday, but then get careless on Wednesday; oops! - I'm guilty! This is how sin is. Is their anyone out there who has kept the Law perfectly throughout his entire life? No, didn't think so. There has only been one, Yeshua our Messiah. The "unblemished Lamb". The only one who is worthy.
The Law has never been done away with. The school zone law is still on the books for those who break it. Sin is the transgression of the Law. The Law will always be there, whether you believe it or not!
... sorry, I had to quote the whole chapter on the next one!
Heb. 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say: "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU"? And again: "I WILL BE TO HIM A FATHER, AND HE SHALL BE TO ME A SON"? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM." And of the angels He says: "WHO MAKES HIS ANGELS SPIRITS AND HIS MINISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE." But to the Son He says: "YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER; A SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE SCEPTER OF YOUR KINGDOM. YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS MORE THAN YOUR COMPANIONS." And: "YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS. THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN; AND THEY WILL ALL GROW OLD LIKE A GARMENT; LIKE A CLOAK YOU WILL FOLD THEM UP, AND THEY WILL BE CHANGED. BUT YOU ARE THE SAME, AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT FAIL." But to which of the angels has He ever said: "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, TILL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES YOUR FOOTSTOOL"?
Heb. 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
What does it mean to hate LAWLESSNESS? It means to hate that which is without Torah, the Law!
Heb. 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Sounds like work doesn't it? For we are judged by our works! (conduct a word search in the N.T. on "deed" and "work")
Heb. 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.
Heb. 12:17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
Our sorrow and tears for sinning must not simply be tears reflecting our sense of guilt just from being caught. The repentance must be heart-felt and true contriteness.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For "HE WHO WOULD LOVE LIFE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, LET HIM REFRAIN HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL, AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. LET HIM TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; LET HIM SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT.
1 Peter 3:12 FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE ON THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ARE OPEN TO THEIR PRAYERS; BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL."
Indeed, these are things we must DO!
Rev. 21:7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
For me and mine, it is without any doubt I can say, there are things we must do to inherit the Kingdom of God.