16 The law and the prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. [People were entering the kingdom then, two thousand years ago; for to enter the kingdom is an inward, personal experience; and it does not come with outward signs to be observed. Matthew reports the same: "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven is forcibly entered, and forceful men lay hold of it." Mat 11:12. ]
|Matthew 11:12,21:31-32 |
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven is forcibly entered, and forceful men lay hold of it.
31 Which of those two sons did the will of his father?" And they said to him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that the tax collectors and prostitutes will enter into the kingdom of God before you.3 [The Pharisees did not repent because they thought they were righteous. The prostitutes and tax collectors knew they were not righteous, so they responded to Jesus' calls to repent. Christians of today also think they are righteous with no need to repent; they presume that they are excused by grace from all the Bible's stated exclusions, requirements, and qualifying conditions of salvation; and they overlook that every man will be judged on his works and words. When they listen to the words of the scriptures, they hear them like a beautiful song that is sweet to their ears, but they fail to apply the commands to themselves — always thinking the warnings and commands apply to bad people, not righteous believing people like themselves; so they do not obey the commands of repentance from sin that they hear or read, remaining slaves to sin; and so they are banned from heaven when they die. From the Word of the Lord within: "Do you agree with any who in their arrogance have stated that God excuses evil in believers? It's not fair, but they don't care. See myself — thus no sin has a place in me. Sin in believers is intolerable. Those who are immoral have no inheritance in God's kingdom."]
32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. But you, after you had seen it, [the way to righteousness by repentance], you did not repent afterwards and believe him. [The way of righteousness is by repentance. The Lord commands your repentances, (of behavior, of speech, and even your thinking), as you sit and wait on Him, listening, watching, hearing, believing, and obeying. What you hear is always, "first pure, then peaceable, fair, gentle, easily accepted, full of mercy and good fruits, immediately understood, and sincere." James 3:17.]