How to Enter the Kingdom of God
How to Enter the Kingdom of God (How to be saved)
© 2011 – Craig Tanner (first published in a booklet called How to Be Saved and Spirit-Filled)
Are you ready for the most dramatic, life-changing, radical transformation you’ve ever experienced? Are you ready to have every part of your being—your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional substance—vibrate and resonate in tune with the most powerful and wonderful positive force in the Universe?
If so, then you should take the journey into the Kingdom of God and be saved and Spirit-filled.
If you haven’t accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, doing so is absolutely critical to your life. Unless you are “saved” you cannot receive the wonderful abundance of God. If you already call yourself “saved” or “born again,” I invite you to read this blog post as a refresher. Also, if you say that you are saved or born-again, but have not specifically asked Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit, then you are currently missing out on the supernatural experience and power of God. For more on receiving the Holy Spirit, go to the page on this blog called “How to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit.”
The God of the universe wants to fellowship with you. The God who created all things, put the stars in their place, and breathed life into you and me, actually wants for you to know Him on a personal level. He doesn’t want you to go through life continually defeated by all of the trials and tribulations that people of the world suffer. He wants for you to live a life free of fear and full of joy, peace, and wholeness. But you must be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit in order to receive the full abundance and blessings of God.
What we are going to do here is to explain what it means to be saved, and then walk you through a simple prayer that you can say out loud to receive your new citizenship in the Kingdom of God. But that is only the beginning, on another page of this blog called “How to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit,” I will explain what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If you have not yet been saved, then please do not try to be filled with the Holy Spirit yet. You must be saved before you can receive the Holy Spirit.
Being saved and being Spirit filled are two separate events. Most Christians assume that they mean the same thing, or that they happen in a single event. But that is an incorrect assumption. The Bible clearly distinguishes between them as two separate acts.
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So let’s get to the story. The short story is that there are only two forces at work in the universe: pure evil and pure holiness. The Bible makes it clear that there is no in-between; no gray area; no sitting on the fence. You are either on the side of evil or you are on the side of holiness. You cannot exist on both sides. The side of pure evil is a kingdom ruled by the devil, who is also known as satan. He has legions of spirit beings who were formerly angels as well as demon beings that do his bidding. The devil and his demons are free to roam the earth to perpetrate their evil onto humans. They desire for your life to be one of anguish, poverty, sickness, destruction, depression, and eventually death.
The thief (the devil) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy . . . (John 10:10)
Stealing, killing and destroying are the devil’s resume. That’s the only thing that he knows how to do. He’s very skilled at his working of evil and he roams the earth seeking victims:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
The Bible has much to say about the devil, and none of it paints a pretty picture. The devil and his forces crave evil and constantly work to oppose God and his holiness and righteousness. His primary goal is to keep you and God separate. He figures if he can keep you away from God, he wins. And if he can keep you in trouble, anguish, sickness, and despair, he’s doing the exact opposite of what God wants for your life. So he figures he wins there as well.
When you were born, you were born into the kingdom of the devil. You might not consider yourself to be a devil worshipper and you perhaps are a very good person by the standards of the world. You might go to church, be kind, read the Bible, or even keep most of God’s laws. But all that matters little to God unless you have specifically joined Him in His Kingdom. So it does indeed seem unfair that you are born on the wrong side, but thems’ the cards you’re dealt. The only way to go from being in the kingdom of the devil to membership in the Kingdom of God is to consciously choose to do so.
God, on the other hand, is the most powerful, wonderful, righteous, holy, good, joy giving, victorious being there is. All things that have ever existed were made by Him, including you and me. He made the universe and everything in it. All good things come from Him. All bad things come from the devil.
God exists as three distinct personalities: God the Father; God the Son (also known as Jesus Christ); and God the Holy Spirit. Even though there are three personalities, God is also said to be a single entity. All three personalities or persons make up a single God. That may seem confusing, but God made humans in a similar manner—you have a body, you have a soul, and you have a spirit. All three are you, but all three are distinct from each other.
God longs to bring joy, peace, happiness, health, prosperity, and abundance to your life. Let’s go back to John 10:10 and I will give you the entire Bible verse (I only gave you the first part above):
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus Christ) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
This Bible verse presents a stark contrast between the devil and Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth about 2000 years ago to change the way that humans relate to God. And He did this in a radical way. He was a true radical against evil. He came to earth and showed the rest of us humans how to do things the right way and how to have a direct relationship with God. And part of His mission was to bring you abundant life and to destroy the works of the devil. He made a way for people to actually switch sides—from the team of the devil to the team of God. Getting on God’s team is called being “saved,” because you’re being saved from the death and destruction that the devil wants for you. Instead of being on the side of pure evil, being saved puts you on the side of pure righteousness.
Being saved also means that you are forgiven of your sins. You probably have a good idea of what is considered to be sin. The Bible defines many. But in general, a sin is something that you do or fail to do that opposes God. So when God says that you must love your neighbor, and instead you hate your neighbor, you are opposing God. God also says that anyone who sins cannot have a relationship with Him. And the real problem for us humans is that God says that the penalty for sin is death. So in addition to “saving” you from the devil, you must also be saved from having to pay the penalty for the sins you have committed, which is death. This is generally known as being forgiven. God will forgive you for every single sin that you have ever committed. It’s like getting a pardon. Otherwise your past sins (and future ones too) would keep you away from God and eventually place you in the hands of the devil.
When you are saved and your sins forgiven, they are wiped clear from God’s mind. He will remember them no more and will never again hold them against you. They are permanently pardoned in the Kingdom of God. Now it would be very helpful to you if once you are saved, you do not continue to live a sinful lifestyle. That is sort of what the Bible attempts to get you to do—to walk away from sin and put your faith in God.
So Jesus, in making a way for you to enter the Kingdom of God, did quite a few things that the Bible talks a lot about, but they all culminated in Him being able to “save” you from your path of destruction.
For [Jesus] did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. (Luke 9:56)
Being saved is pretty easy, but God doesn’t want you to take it lightly. He requires that you ask to be saved through your willingness to admit that you need saving. You must genuinely see that you need God’s help. And you also understand that you want to turn away from your former ways of working against God and instead be a person living for God. You have to make a sincere verbal confession to Him. And then what happens is that you quite amazingly are transformed into a citizen of God’s Kingdom. By simply confessing that you need to be saved, admitting that you have been working against God instead of with Him, and asking to be saved by Jesus Christ, your entire being will be translated from darkness to light.
Jesus is the one who “saves” you. And since Jesus is currently sitting at the right hand of God the Father, He has constant and direct communication with God and He very successfully pleads your case to God. When He says to God the Father “this person asked me to forgive all of their sins and save them,” then God makes it a done deal.
One more thing before you actually become saved: you will hear the term “repent” or “repentance” frequently in referring to being saved. Repentance means that you are genuinely sorry for being at odds with God and living in the camp of the devil. To repent means to turn around—to turn over a new leaf. It is much more than simply giving up a few sinful habits. It is admitting that you have been the problem all along, and that God, through Jesus Christ, is the solution.
So how do you become saved? You can pray this prayer out loud and if you believe it in your heart, you will be saved:
“Heavenly Father, I confess to you that I have been a sinner against You. I ask you Father to forgive me of anything I have ever done or said against you. I know that You have given your Son, Jesus Christ to me to redeem me from all of my sins so that I can have a relationship with You. I believe that you did indeed raise Jesus from the dead so that we can all live a life of righteousness with You in your Kingdom.
Lord Jesus, I thank You for the incredible love you have for Me. I know that You loved me so much that you were willing to shed your precious blood on the cross and cancel all of my sins. Your blood washes me clean of every sin. Your blood frees me from all bondage and oppression. Today, I choose to turn away from sin, and I ask You to be my Lord and Savior, now and forever.
I believe that You rose from the dead and are alive today seated at the right hand of God the Father. And now, because of what You did for me, I am now a beloved child of God. I thank You for giving me eternal life and saving me from eternal death. I thank You for giving me a sweet, tender relationship with You.
In Jesus Name, Amen.”
Praise God! Welcome to His Kingdom! If you’ve just prayed this prayer, you are now a fully saved member of the Kingdom of God. You are now free from the devil having any rights over you. The devil may still try to attack you, but you can conquer his attacks by virtue of being the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. Amen!
On the main page of this blog, I will continually be making posts that walk through the specific strategies and tactics of waging these battles and living a victorious life in fellowship with God.
Now, if you’ve never received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, please go to the page on this blog called “How to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit“).