Qualifying For The Kingdom


     Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. Mark 10:15.    

     Christ does not acknowledge any caste, color, or grade as necessary to become a subject of His kingdom. Admittance to His kingdom does not depend upon wealth or a superior heredity. But those who are born of the Spirit are the subjects of His kingdom. Spiritual character is that which will be recognized by Christ. His kingdom is not of this world. His subjects are those who are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And this grace is given them of God. Christ does not find His subjects fitted for His kingdom, but He qualifies them by His divine power. Those who have been dead in trespasses and sins are quickened to spiritual life. The faculties which God has given them for holy purposes are refined, purified, and exalted, and they are led to form characters after the divine similitude. . . .     

     Christ draws them to Himself by an unseen power. He is the light of life, and He imbues them with His own Spirit. As they are drawn into the spiritual atmosphere, they see that they have been made the sport of Satan's temptations, and that they have been under his dominion; but they break the yoke of fleshly lusts, and refuse to be the servants of sin. . . . They realize that they have exchanged captains, and they take their directions from the lips of Jesus. As a servant looks to his master, and as a maid looks to her mistress, so these souls, drawn by the cords of love to Christ, constantly look unto Him who is the Author and Finisher of their faith. By beholding Jesus, by obeying His requirements, they increase in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. Thus they become changed into His image from character to character until they are distinguished from the world, and it can be written of them: "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy" (1 Peter 2:9, 10). 

AG 52