By Bingke, China
“Oh, Yingying’s back. Does your school break up during National Day?” said Sister Wang with a smile.
“Thanks be to the Lord! Yingying has been keen on seeing the Bible since childhood. She can remember a lot of Bible verses, and she is thoughtful. This’s all the Lord’s grace. Okay, let’s turn to our meeting. First, let’s quiet down, and offer a prayer to the Lord,” said Feng Yue. After that, Feng Yue began to pray to the Lord, “O our merciful heavenly Father, Lord Jesus! You were nailed to the cross for our sin. Your children are sinners. We truly owe You too much. Please forgive all the sins we have committed, and deliver us from all the evil and temptations….”
As soon as Feng Yue finished her prayer, Yingying, who are frank and straight, put forward an unexpected question. She said, “Mum, there is something I’m not quite clear on. Just now, while you were praying, I was thinking. In our prayers, we always confess our sins to the Lord and repent, and beg Him for forgiveness. However, we still sin every day, and moreover, we don’t act according to the Lord’s words. Could the Lord love us? Just like when I do something wrong at ordinary times, you will teach me to correct it. If I merely say without doing so, will you like me?”
Yingying’s query took Feng Yue by surprise. Feng Yue looked embarrassed. After a short silence, Sister Wang seized Yingying’s hands with a laugh, and said, “You don’t say, what Yingying said is true. This is how we are now—sinning then confessing our sins and then sinning again. When encountering adversities in our , we don’t say anything, but in our heart we feel angry and complain. Sometimes, we cannot restrain ourselves but quarrel with others. We cannot even practice tolerance and patience. Even if we confess to the Lord after that, yet we still can’t let go of it. Much of the time, we fail to act according to the Lord’s teachings and we cannot glorify His name. When thinking of this, I feel ashamed of praying to the Lord. Well, the coming of the Lord draws near. But we even cannot keep the Lord’s teachings. If this continues, can we be taken into of heaven by the Lord? Whenever I think of this, I feel worried.”
As soon as Sister Wang finished her words, Feng Yue responded, “Although we frequently sin and then confess, yet the Lord Jesus has redeemed us through His being nailed to the cross. The sin offering of the Lord Jesus is forever effective. As long as we confess our sins to the Lord and repent, the Lord will forgive us. The Scripture says, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1). Sinners as we are, the Lord sees us as sinless, and so we will enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, we needn’t worry about it.”
“Right! By faith in Lord Jesus Christ, we are no longer condemned. Our sins have been forgiven by the Lord. As long as we endure to the end, we shall be saved. There is no doubt that we will enter into the kingdom of heaven. So, don’t think of too much of it,” surely said Brother Li.
With that, Yingying blinked her lustrous eyes, and ceaselessly mulled over what her mother and Uncle Li had said. She suddenly remembered something, and said, “Mum, Uncle Li, I remember God once said, ‘Be you holy; for I am holy’ (1 Peter 1:16). We still live in sins and are bound by sins. How can we be worthy of seeing the Lord? The Lord is holy. We, however, are with filthiness all over. Will the Lord bring sinners such as us into His kingdom?”
After hearing Yingying’s words, Sister Wang gave a nod and said, “Yeah, What Yingying said makes sense. The Lord Jesus once said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house forever: but the Son stays ever’ (John 8: 34-35). ‘Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven’ (Matthew 7:21). The Lord clearly told us that those who don’t cast off their sinful nature nor obey God’s will cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. If man can enter into the kingdom of heaven by being forgiven of his sins, then why did the Lord say some people who name the name of the Lord work iniquity and can’t enter into the kingdom of heaven? Why did He say He would separate sheep from goats and tares from wheat? So, I think the words ‘Since we are forgiven of our sins by faith, we can enter into the kingdom of heaven’ aren’t in line with the words of the Lord Jesus. They are not correct.”
“I think Sister Wang is right. According to the Lord’s words, we can be certain that those who enter into the kingdom of heaven are those who have been set free from sin and have been cleansed. They have actual living out: doing God’s will, obeying God, and loving God. However, contrasting our living out with the Lord’s words, we still have a long way to go. We all know that those who enter the heavenly kingdom shall live together with God. Can we, full of grime, enter into the heavenly kingdom?” flatly said Yingying’s father.
Feng Yue frowned and thought over what Sister Wang and her husband had said. She thought their words indeed conformed with the Lord’s words, and she couldn’t deny them. However, she was confused: In Romans, the apostle Paul showed clearly, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies. Who is he that comdemns?” (Romans 8:33-34). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Paul’s words clearly said that both sins of the past and those of the future have been forgiven by the Lord. The Lord no longer sees us as sinners. Won’t we enter the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes back? Can Paul’s words be wrong? Thereupon, Feng Yue spoke out the confusion in her heart. Brother Li echoed back Feng Yue’s opinion.
Then, Sister Wang said quietly, “Sister Feng, about the issue of entering into the kingdom of heaven, the Lord Jesus said only the one who does the will of the heavenly Father will enter. Only the Lord Jesus’s word is the authority and the truth. We should set the Lord Jesus’s word as the standard and basis.”
Yingying’s father looked at Brother Li and then at Feng Yue, saying, “Only the Lord is the truth, the way, and the life. The Lord Jesus is the King of the kingdom of heaven. What kind of people can enter the kingdom of heaven is decided by what the Lord Jesus said. No matter how great Paul worked and how much he spoke, he was, after all, a man, and he was not on guard at the gate to the kingdom of heaven. So, in my opinion, in regard to our entering into the kingdom of heaven, we shouldn’t listen to what man said, but we should rather take the Lord Jesus’s word as standard.”
This moment, Feng Yue wore a little embarrassed expression. With assumed tranquility she raised her head to spontaneously conceal herself. Yet she pondered in her heart: What they said is reasonable. Although Paul labored for the Lord’s work, yet his word, after all, was not the truth. In my faith, I should go by the Lord’s word as the basis. If I rely on Paul’s word to believe that my sins are forgiven because of the sin offering of the Lord Jesus, rather than focus on obeying the Lord’s teachings, then aren’t I the one that knows the but sins willfully when believing like this? In the Bible it clearly says, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27). In the end, I not only won’t enter into the kingdom of heaven, but may be abandoned and eliminated by the Lord. Then shan’t I be done? … With thinking of this, she became more and more afraid. She had never had such a feeling since she began to believe in the Lord. She suddenly felt vulnerable, without knowing which way to jump.