Believing in God Does Not Mean Pleasing God

“Jesus said to them, “Aren’t you deceived for this reason, because you don’t know the scriptures or the power of God? He is not the God of the dead but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”……. When Jesus saw that he had answered thoughtfully, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Then no one dared any longer to question him.” Mark 12:24, 27, 34 NET


Two encounters, two different people who believed in God in different ways, two people still not in the Kingdom of God because they failed to follow Jesus. The first group knew the Scriptures but didn’t believe it. When Jesus said they didn’t know the Scriptures, He meant they didn’t know them because they didn’t believe them though they had previously quoted those scriptures to argue with Him their meaning. People who argue about the Bible often don’t believe the Bible and want justification for their failure to believe. These people are separated from God and are badly mistaken about their need to follow Jesus. The second man knew what was most important to God but apparently wasn’t willing to deny himself and follow Jesus. It should be earth-shattering to hear from God that we are ‘not far’ from the Kingdom of God. Whether far or near, if we are not in the kingdom of God, we are in the kingdom of condemnation, rejection, and eternal separation in torment from God and those who have loved Him and obeyed His commands. This is the lesson. We must believe the Scriptures and do what they say wholeheartedly, surrendering ourselves to the will of God as revealed in the person of Jesus, Whose commands we are to obey always and entirely if we are indeed His disciples destined for His kingdom.

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