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All four gospels of the New Testament share the news of Christ and his life on Earth. Simply, this news is that through Jesus Christ, those who believe in him can eventually enter the kingdom of God. Jesus states that the commandments from the Old Testament no longer apply, but now there are a new set of rules. These commandments are that one must love God and that one must love their neighbours as they love themselves. If one follows these two laws, and acknowledge that Jesus died for their sins, they may enter the kingdom of God. While this may seem effortless, it can be very difficult for some people. To do this, one must be very hardworking. Jesus shares that one should let go of their earthly possessions and focus on him. Through following these laws one is inclined to follow the original ten Mosaic commandments. If one loves God they would not have any idols or take his name in vain and so on. If one loves one’s neighbours, one will not murder or steal from them. Learning how to enter heaven is important to the people of Jesus’ time because that was the ultimate goal of the Christian people. While it appears that entering the kingdom of God is uncomplicated, one must be disciplined, let go of worldly goods, and follow Jesus’ commandments, as The Holy Bible shares.
Entering the kingdom of God isn’t as simple as getting baptized or just stating one’s belief in Christ; there is much more that one must understand. Loving God and being as Christ-like as one can take a lot of discipline and strength. The Gospel of Mark reads, ”truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10.15). God is seen as a father to humans and one needs to treat him as such. This can be a strenuous idea for adults to desire. Adulthood gives humans freedom and ability to make choices for themselves. It is hard for an adult to admit that there is someone who has control over them, making this aspect of entering Heaven a difficult one to grasp. Those who give their souls for Christ can enter the kingdom of Heaven, but this can also be hard for many people; “blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5.10). It is a lot to ask of someone to be persecuted for their Lord, but it is something like this that a Christian should be willing to do. Becoming a Christian and the eventual promise of everlasting life comes with hard work and customs to follow. The text reads, “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16.16). The significance of belief is extreme in the journey to paradise. Mark Chapter One says, “‘the time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” (Mark 1.15). One’s belief in Christ and recognition that Christ died for humans’ sins is the core of the Christian religion. Without genuine belief, Heaven is a tough goal to achieve. Courage and strength are required to enter the kingdom of God and also to be peaceful with one’s self on Earth as a Christian.
It takes so much dedication and hard work to let go of the bonds of the world and focus solely on the Lord. One large thing that separates God from humans is the worldly goods that surround them. Some people let the things of the Earth get in between them and their relationship with God. Earthly riches mean nothing to God. One may be financially wealthy but without that spiritual wealth, one will not be able to reach heaven’s gates. Jesus says, ”how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10.23). Jesus recognized the problems that being wealthy can bring forth for humans. The task that a wealthy human must complete is to know that this wealth is only temporary. This knowledge will help those who are wealthy see the true wealth they will gain from a relationship with God. While Jesus was talking to his disciples he said, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God”(Mark 10.25). This shows the importance that God has placed on Earthly riches, which is no significance at all. When it comes to entering Heaven, the objects of the world mean absolutely nothing. Giving up one’s self and personal possessions can be difficult but this is something that one is asked to do, “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8.34). Denying who one is and to devote everything to God are hard to define as simple tasks. The book of Matthew reads, “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5.3). When reading this passage one must acknowledge that those who are poor in spirit are meant to be in poverty. These people don’t need their possessions, they are easily content being in the hand of the Lord. Knowing what comes first is how one reaches the kingdom of God, and that is one’s relationship with the creator.
While following two commandments would seem easier than following ten commandments, this isn’t necessarily true for Christians. With Jesus’ coming, he introduced a smaller list of commandments for his people to follow. These new laws are, simply put, love God and love your neighbour. Someone asks Jesus what the greatest commandment is, and Jesus answers, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12.30). Jesus is stating that out of all the commandments the one that people should revere the most is to love God. Jesus saying this emphasizes the importance of having a relationship with God. Having that relationship and belief is so important for Christians as it gives them hope and something to look forward to even after life is over, “everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9.23). While following this law, one is inclined to follow the original commandments. If one loves God they would not worship another God, they would not make any idols, and so on. Jesus makes the word more accessible. He simplifies the original words for those to understand for he wants everyone to enter the kingdom of God. The second most important commandment for Jesus is, “love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22.39). Jesus knows that if one loves their neighbour they wouldn’t steal from them, they wouldn’t commit adultery, murder them, or hurt them in any way. This shows a strong connection between the Old and New Testaments. Anyone can enter the kingdom if they follow Jesus and focus on love and not hate.
To get into the kingdom of God is no simple task. One might wish to enter Heaven but it comes at a price. There is a question that remains, is it worth it? Having a disciplined soul can be straining on the body and mind. Receiving the gift of Heaven will give one great joy for eternity, but without the proof of a God, is the effort put in on Earth worth it? This is where faith comes in. Being graced with the ability to enter Heaven is acquired by faith. There is a lot more to it, but without faith it is nothing. Through discipline one can work towards refining their soul for Heaven. Through the knowledge of the importance of worldly objects, one can see the true importance of God and a relationship with Him. Through the love of one’s neighbours and one’s creator, Heaven can be attained. Through faith, one can obtain hope for eternal life in paradise.
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