Keys to the Kingdom

A commenter on my last philosophy post,keysFaith is Not Enough“, disagreed with me. He took the Christian point of view that “scripture says over and over that belief/faith alone is what saves”. I spent some time reading through the four canonical gospels, looking at all of Jesus’s statements about what one needs do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There are at least 33 sayings that give criteria other than “faith in Christ alone”, many of which are given in multiple gospels. I found only 7 proclaiming faith in Christ as the key, and all of them are only found in the gospel of John.

Sayings Not Involving Faith in Christ Alone

John 3, 1-21.

Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

He that does truth comes into the light, and his deeds are made manifest, and they are wrought in God.

John 3, 22 . . . 28; 1-40.

Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks the water [teachings] that I shall give him shall never thirst; rather the water that I shall give him shall be a well of water springing up in him into everlasting life.

John 5, 1-47.

He that hears my word, and believes in he who sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death into life.

The hour is coming in which all who are in the grave shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; those that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.

Matthew 5, 1-48.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of judgment: and whoever says to his brother, ‘raca’, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever says ‘you fool’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who use you injuriously, and persecute you, so that you may be the children of your Father in heaven.

Matthew 7, 1-29.

Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and there are few that find it.

Not every one that says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; only he that does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?’ Then will I profess to them ‘I never knew you: depart from me, you who work iniquity.’

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and lives by them, I liken to a wise man, who builds his house upon rock: when the rain descends, the floods came, and the winds blow and beat upon that house, it will not fall, for it was founded upon rock.

Matthew 10, 2-4: Mark 3, 16-19: Luke 6, 14-38.

Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you shall be the children of the Highest.

Matthew 12, 22-37: Luke 11, 17-23: Mark 3, 22-29.

Every idle word that men speak, they shall give account for on the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.

Mk. 4, 30-34; 35-41: Matt. 13, 31-34; 36-52: Lk. 13, 18-21; 8, 22-25.

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and those who do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire.

The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire.

Matthew 16, 13-28: Mark 8, 27-38; 9, 1: Luke 9, 18-27.

The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Matthew 18, 1-35.

Unless you convert, and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Whoever will humble himself like a little child will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me.

Luke 17, 11-37; 18, 1-8.

The kingdom of God won’t come with observation: neither shall they say, ‘lo here!’ or, ‘lo there!’ for the kingdom of God is within you.

Luke 18, 9-30: Mark 10, 13-31: Matthew 19, 13-30; and 20, 1-16.

If you want to enter [the kingdom], keep the commandments.

How hard will it be for those that have riches enter into the kingdom of God? It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

There is not a man that forsakes houses, or father, or mother, or brothers, or sisters, or wife, or children, or lands, for the kingdom of God’s sake, for my sake and the gospel’s, that won’t be repaid a hundredfold and inherit everlasting life.

Mark 10, 1-12: Matthew 19, 1-12.

There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.

John 12, 20-36; 42-50.

He that loves his life shall lose it, and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it eternally.

Matthew 25, 14-46.

Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was a hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.

Matthew 28, 16-20: Mark 16, 12-18: Luke 24, 44-53; and Luke’s Acts of The Apostles 1, 12.

He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.

Sayings Involving Faith in Christ Alone

John 3, 1-21.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world through him might be saved.

He that believes in [Christ] is not condemned, but he that does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 6, 22-71.

He that comes to me shall never hunger, and he that believes in me shall never thirst.

It is the will of the one that sent me that every one who sees the Son, and believes in him, will have everlasting life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 8, 2-59.

If you don’t believe that I am [Christ], you shall die for your sins.

John 14, 5-31.

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.

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About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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One Response to Keys to the Kingdom

  1. munyingnying says:

    Faith without works is dead.
    As to what saves us, it’s accepting Christ’s offer of substitution on the cross (ie, justification). And the transformation that follows is evidence that indeed we have been redeemed, and secure in Christ.
    By faith we believe and accept that offer, and by the same faith we live in gratitude, and empowerment in advancing the kingdom of God.

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