God’s Kingdom is easily accessible

It is necessary, at the outset, to dispel the notion that accessing God’s Kingdom is difficult. Nothing is as easy as accessing God’s Kingdom. Of course, Jesus spoke in parables to make it appear impossible for ordinary people to access God’s Kingdom. The advice to forsake everything to attain God’s Kingdom makes it sound impossible. But, accessing God’s Kingdom is as easy as appreciating that at death, the person loses everything, anyway. What is it that causes a person to denounce the idea of forsaking everything?

Most people consider God’s Kingdom as too complex. However, complexity arises from not knowing the mechanics of the human mind. The prime solver of all problems is the human mind. But the same human mind also focuses on irrationality, more than it should concentrate on problem-solving functions. Christian Churches are full of people desiring to be in God’s Kingdom, and yet appearing as unrealistic about it, at the same time.

Jesus pronounced being the way, the truth and the life. Unbelievable, though, some people block themselves against God’s Kingdom, by assuming that Jesus’ way of life is unachievable. Alternatively, others block themselves by assuming that God’s laws ought to be radically enforced. But, accessing God’s Kingdom is as easy as following Jesus—the way, the truth and the life. Following Jesus’ footsteps requires avoiding anything else, but following His footsteps.

When analyzing the Prodigal Son parable, could anyone say it was easy or difficult for the Prodigal Son to return to his father? There are two ways of looking at it. The first is sustained in that when assuming to be worth anything, he could not face up to his father. For him to ever contemplate going back to his father would have been the most difficult thing.

His return to his father would have been a matter of biting the bullet. However, if honestly considering himself insignificant, his decision must have been considered simplistically. He would have basically desired to persuade his father to treat him as one of his servants. This life requires avoiding sinning. But how can anyone avoid sinning, as long as living in the flesh?

Strict lawkeepers drive themselves further away from the desired God’s Kingdom, thereby, worsening their condition. Alternatively, indulging in sinfulness, banking on God’s grace, equally alienates those concerned against the same God’s Kingdom. The only workable datum is that God’s Kingdom is as easy as accepting Jesus’ call and trusting Him to finish the struggle.

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men-robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:10-14 NIV)

Such simplicity is also chronicled in Jesus’ guarantee of paradise to one of the convicts on His side. Jesus used that incident opportunistically, revealing how easy it was to access God’s Kingdom. This was at the point of Jesus’ death, but the opportunity enabled Him to grant paradise to one of those convicts. Both those criminals were among the worst, deserving condemnation with Christ, although possibly considered better than the wicked Barabbas.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:39-43 NIV)

The most fascinating exposition is the criminal’s prayer for Jesus to remember him in His Kingdom. This was a criminal, but knowing something about God’s Kingdom, or possibly, uttering those words out of God’s inspiration? He may have uttered those words without knowing what he was talking about. The criminal’s statement was then captured by Luke, for our edification, today. The deliverance of that criminal sufficiently confirmed the simplicity of attaining God’s Kingdom.

Observing why the first criminal could not make it, like his friend in criminality, is not difficult. The first criminal preferred preserving his pride. However, some criminals take advantage of accepting God’s grace, when at the point of death. Many people will be shocked, observing the disdainfully condemned criminals on the side of the Lord. Assuming the pious-looking men of God will be on the Lord’s side, confirms the existence of fallacies gripping humanity.

A physical person is dead, regardless of how admirable he might look to some people. His only hope of resurrection into life is in Jesus. Although considering himself as alive, when living in luxury, the person would not be different from those in graveyards. One can boast to high heavens, unconquerably claiming to be alive, his death awaits him, nevertheless. Rich people may use money to buy their freedom from prison but are unable to avoid death.

Proud people are admired by many. Yet, the humble are commonly not admired by most people, regardless of their achievements. The ostentatiously proud ones can be worshipped, although unable to buy the possibility of remaining alive. Exasperating as it can be to observe boasters, their deliverance is as easy as attaining the criminal’s promised paradise. Nothing else holds.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives” (1 John 1:8-10 NIV).

Pride is entertained by those assumed to be alive when surviving in the flesh. If ever having listened to a proud person boasting, one observes a person appearing as would never die. That condition makes God’s Kingdom unattainable to such people, as long as they remain in that position. But through a sudden penitence, that person could be accepted, as if nothing happened before his repentance.

This is what makes this life quite funny, if not unpredictable. The people we condemn might be in God’s Kingdom, ahead of us, while the approved ones might fail to make it. What an irony! This comes from a datum that God’s Kingdom is easily accessible to anyone in this world.

The prophet Jonah contemplated suicide after failing to grasp God’s marvellous ways of dealing with humanity. He had assumed that God judges according to human standards. However, God’s ways cannot be likened to anything in this world. This is why humility is the only answer to attaining salvation.

But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the LORD, ‘O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

But the LORD replied, “Have you any right to be angry?” Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was pleased about the vine.  But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered” (Jonah 4:1-7 NIV).

Jonah’s story is one of the legendary chronicles in the Old Testament Bible. Unbeknown to some people, includes truth in that similar stories can go untold or ignored, assumed to be ordinary. Zimbabwe could be carrying stories, such as those depicted in Jonah’s story, but more amazing than Jonah’s story. Understanding anything that needs accurate comprehension is possible only when taken from the beginning. A person easily gets confused when failing to start from the beginning.

Some people hope to repent someday when failing to confront their current luxuries. Unfortunately, the fate of those associated with physical luxuries can be very unpredictable. Those people might die in their luxuries, without having repented from their sinful lifestyles. When things appear good, the idea of repentance is always shelved for another day. The lucky ones could eventually come out of that slumber. But the majority perish in that condition. Consider the rich man, outsmarted by poor Lazarus, yet having lived a luxurious life that must have been admirable to Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).

The Pharisees always aimed higher than necessary, on matters of God’s Kingdom. They could not understand the simplicity of it. They harassed a man born blind, for having been healed by Jesus. They could not understand how a considered sinner could receive healing, without having repented. They were bereft of knowing that they were in the same boat with the man they were harassing. This created some unnecessary commotion before the man was eventually ejected from the temple courts. This is fascinating, but revealing the condition of the human mind, when operating under some form of aberration.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped him. Jesus said, “For judgment, I have come into this world so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains” (John 9:35-41 NIV).

Jesus’ simplest statement, concerning reality, when dealing with those assuming to see, affirms the simplicity of attaining God’s Kingdom. This is possible for those not influenced by pride. Although commonly assumed to be wisdom, pride is another definition of stupidity. The condition of humility is unattractive and considered stupid by most people, due to pride. Ordinary people seem stuck on assuming that pride projects wisdom.

A human being was created in God’s image, according to Genesis 1:26-27. The first pertinent question concerns the meaning of God’s image. Without first realizing the meaning of God’s image one gets so confused and be wildly out of communication. However, when fully appreciating that God’s image means being like God, one sees everything with clarity. As long as created in God’s image, humanity cannot be viewed as different from God.

Adam’s formation was not God’s idea of creating man in God’s image. Most people take that story as confirming the art of creating humanity in God’s image. Those dwelling on that falsity, cannot observe the past tense in that statement, “God created,” as revealed in Genesis 1:27. What is narrated as taking place in Genesis 2:7 cannot precede Genesis 1:27 narration. That is common sense, undeserving of theological exposition.

When cognitive, it becomes impossible to look down upon other fellow humans. A despicable fool of all fools remains in God’s image, nevertheless. What one sees in that fool, impels doing something to handle his stupidity. Although unaware, the fool needs direction out of foolishness. Who can do that, except one observing from God’s viewpoint? A wise person bears the responsibility to help the ignorant understand truths about wisdom.

A person behaving in that manner is wiser than those boasting of university degrees. This does not suggest being knowledgeable of everything. But wisdom enables one to know and control everything. Diplomacy can be suggested, but the problem with diplomacy is its tendency to avoid maintaining the truth, due to fear of offending. Jesus never exercised diplomacy, in His dealings with the pompous Jews. He maintained His truth-telling but remained with the humility, displayed in washing His disciples’ dirty feet.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those who have witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

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