Entering the Kingdom

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”

Matthew 7:21

Entering into the Kingdom of heaven is possible only by consistently doing the will of the Father in heaven, not by merely claiming to be a disciple. It is the doing of God’s will that provides entrance, not the hope of entering at some future point. God’s kingdom is here and now.

When we are being faithful to God’s word, and doing his work in this world, we have entered his kingdom and are lighting the way for others to join, also. As we faithfully serve him now, the evidence of God’s kingdom continues to touch and transform the lives of others, By living in the kingdom through our righteous actions and example, we are expanding the reach and influence of heaven on earth.

Be Compassionate

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

Matthew 5:7

Extend mercy and compassion to others and you will be blessed, receiving mercy in return.

From the Outline of Bible Usage, the word here for mercy has its root in the following meanings:

  • to have mercy on
  • to help one afflicted or seeking aid
  • to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched
  • to experience mercy

Additionally, the specific form of the word used in this statement of Yeshua is used in only one other place in the New Testament:

“Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

Hebrews 2:17

This unique sense of the word in both of these passages implies an active quality of mercy and compassion, one that never slumbers nor relaxes its guard. The compassionate believer is one who is always ready and prepared to provide help and assistance at the slightest indication of need.

Introduction to the Core of the Bible podcast

As the introductory episode, I wanted to provide a little background on myself, my motivation for the podcast, and a brief overview of the Core of the Bible principles.

My name is Steve, and as a husband and father of four, I have been searching for a way to summarize and condense the main teachings of the Bible into a simple yet comprehensive unit for ease of teaching and for ease in recalling for everyday practice.

I am creating this podcast to provide further insights into the  seven principles which I am calling the Core of the Bible. These principles are, I believe, the main categories contained within the summarized teaching of Yeshua (Jesus) which has come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount: Kingdom, Integrity, Vigilance, Holiness, Trust, Forgiveness, and Compassion.

You’ll notice on this podcast that I also prefer to use the name Yeshua instead of Jesus. Jesus is the English version of the Greek name Iesous, which in itself is a version of the Hebrew name Yeshua. However, if we were to take the name Yeshua and bring it straight over into English, it would not be Jesus, but it would be Joshua. In Hebrew, a name is not only a personal identifier, but also carries the meaning behind the name. In this case, the name Yeshua means “salvation,” or “deliverance.” That name was given to him to demonstrate his purpose, and we should always keep the purpose that God has in mind. I am not dogmatic that everyone call him Yeshua; if you want to call him Jesus, that’s just fine. But this is some of my reasoning behind doing so.

Be sure to check out other episodes by clicking on the podcast category link.

Intro and Outro Music:
Brittle Rille by Kevin MacLeodLink: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3460-brittle-rilleLicense: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Do Peace

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Matthew 5:9

Make peace; do peace, and you will be blessed, being recognized as a child of God. It is our obligation as believers to be the vanguard of peace among the lives of those around us. Forgiveness is the basis of all peace.

When wrongs are committed between individuals, the faithful believer must look beyond the immediate injury to the larger objective of peace and unity. There is no denial a wrong has been committed, just a positive affirmation that is intentionally offered to overcome the sting of the injustice.

However, if we become caught up among the stirrers of dissent and factionism by pressing our righteous indignation at every offense, we are denying our heritage as makers of peace in the character and likeness of Messiah and his kingdom.

“…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this [way] serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”

Romans 14:17-19

Trust in God

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:34

Do not be anxious about what hasn’t happened yet; let the future carry its own anxieties. If we continue to be anxious about every aspect of our life, can we, as believers, truly be considered to be trusting God? If we are trusting him, aren’t we trusting him for everything?

“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out,” (1 Timothy 6:7). If we have come with nothing and will be leaving with nothing, what is the value of what remains? “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content,” (1 Timothy 6:8).

Instead, let’s replace our anxieties of an unknown future with gratefulness for what we do have. God has not provided us the ability to foresee the future, but if you are reading these words right now, he has given us today. Let’s live for him and his kingdom in the here and now.

Holiness

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Matthew 5:8

Have a pure and blameless heart at all times, and you will be blessed, seeing God. The heart, in this sense, is the wellspring of who you are physically and ethically.

Your heart needs to be continually purified, as if through the cleansing effect of fire on precious metals, refining them until they have no contrary elements left.

It is like a vine that is pruned of dead, unproductive branches so that the plant has the energy and room to bear more fruit.

It is the state of being free from a mixture of false and true until only what is sincere and genuine remains.

Living in this way is what sets you apart from the rest of humanity; this is what holiness is.

Vigilance

“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

Matthew 5:29-30

All stumbling-blocks to righteousness must be removed from your life with extreme diligence. If you desire to be righteous and holy in God’s sight, then you must be relentlessly severe in removing those things from your life that stand between you and him. There are no other options. It is a matter of life or death, not just a self-improvement program. You MUST die to yourself and your own selfish ways if you are to live for him.

Living with Integrity

“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses [that] of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:20

This principle is summed up by its paraphrase: “Demonstrate virtue and purity that exceeds those who are merely following external commands.”

A life of integrity is one that is not driven solely by a list of do’s and don’ts. Right actions should spring from a willing heart, not from a grudging sense of obligation. It’s not just a matter of doing the right thing, but doing the right thing for the right reasons, with the right attitude.

Once the heart is sincere and motives are pure, actions of true integrity will follow.

The beginning of the Kingdom of God

Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and [how] I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”

Exodus 19:3-6

This is the first mention in the Bible of a physical, identifiable kingdom related to God’s purpose and will among men. At Sinai, God was setting apart a people for himself. The Kingdom would become a theme and pattern woven throughout the rest of the biblical narrative.