How Far Are You from the Kingdom of God?

~Mark 12:32-34 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

Attorneys have not changed much through the years. The Scribes of Bible times were men of learning, skilled in the law and good writers. As we see in Mark 12, they also liked to put on appearances and were the chief hypocrites of the Jewish religion. The church today is filled with the same type of hypocrites, isn’t it? The problem today is that sometimes it’s hard to know which hypocrites are born again (quenchers of the Holy Spirit) and those who are not saved. How sad this is. What a poor testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ!

Let’s look at today’s verses and learn about this scribe! He was definitely a well-learned man. He knew the Scriptures and was able to recognize whether or not this Jesus of Nazareth was preaching truth or lies. In fact, this scribe called Jesus, Master! Furthermore, the scribe told Jesus that not only was He saying truths but the scribe even detailed each truth Christ spoke. Just like an attorney to repeat things back to Jesus! 🙂

But something was different about this scribe. Jesus noticed that this scribe actually knew the words that Christ was speaking but not because He was the Messiah but because he was a scribe and it was his job to know. Jesus told the scribe that he was “not far from the kingdom of God.” This scribe was just a step away from being saved. Was he convinced that Jesus was the Messiah that his people were awaiting? The Scriptures do not state whether or not this scribe got saved.

Where are you in this same scenario? Do you know with your head that Jesus is the Son of God? The scribe believed that there was one God. You probably believe that as well. But the Word says devils believe but that does not make the devils saved, does it:

~James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Today’s verses are good ones for the unbeliever to use as a moral inventory. Can you truly say that you believe and stand by these verses? Do you actually live by these verses? Be honest with yourself.  One who loves his neighbor more than himself does not lie, cheat, steal, covet or do anything to his neighbor that would be sin.  If you cannot live by these words then your eternal future is no better than the devils that James speaks about. You can be doing good deeds and be active in your church, but unless you have the righteousness of God (not your own), you are not saved.

~Romans 10:2-3 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

When one is submitted to the righteousness of God, they acknowledge Jesus Christ as His Son and believe that there is no other way that they can get into Heaven.  Jesus’ Holy Spirit comes to reside within and it is THIS righteousness that the Father sees, not our own.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

This was a difficult thing to hear in Jesus’ time. The Pharisees and Scribes did not want to hear about a Messiah that was poor. They were looking for a King. They weren’t looking for their Messiah to be the Son of God, God Himself. Jesus had told them that He and His Father were one (John 10:30). This infuriated the Jews so much they wanted to stone Christ.

Today’s scribe had the head knowledge. We do not know whether or not that knowledge made its way to his heart later on so that he could be saved. But it’s not too late for you. If you are depending on your own works, it won’t work. Christ is the only way. If your works could get you into Heaven, then why would Christ have to die? What a cruel thing to do to Him if your own works were enough. If this is what you have been taught all your life by your spiritual leaders, they are leading you down the wrong path.  It is best to see what God’s Word has to say rather than man.

~Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Don’t stay on the wrong path. You have everything to lose if you remain on your religious path like the Pharisees and Scribes. But you have everything to gain if you fall to your knees and acknowledge Christ, the Son of God, to be your Saviour. It is His shed blood on that cross that covers our filthy sins, not our own works. Listen to Jesus as He reveals to us just Who He is:

~John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

~John 6:41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

~John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

~John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

~John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

~John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

~John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

~John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

~John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

~John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

~John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

~John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

~John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

~Revelation 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

~Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.


About Maranatha

Desire to be a testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ and to lead others to Him!
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3 Responses to How Far Are You from the Kingdom of God?

  1. Vicky Albert says:

    Today’s devotional means so much to me dear sister. It reminds me of where I began and where I am today, by GOD’s grace and mercy.

    Long ago I tried to please GOD through my religion. I attended church regularly, did good works, but my heart had NEVER been changed. GOD sent a friend my way in 1979 who shared the Holy Scriptures regarding salvation. I realized at that crucial moment in time that I was NOT a true Christian….there was NO real peace in the very depths of my soul. I had a head knowledge of JESUS CHRIST but that was all.

    Thank you LORD sending someone my way who gave me the Words of Life.

    Psalm 145:17-19; “The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”

    Amen & Amen!!

    • Kate says:

      Me too, dear friend! If it weren’t for your faithfulness and willingness to share what the Lord had done for you, I would be lost today! Love you!

  2. Vicky Albert says:

    LOVE YOU TOO!!!!!

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