There are certain official documents anyone who desires to embark on a journey from his or her native country to another country is required to possess. One of these documents is a valid PASSPORT. A passport, according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is ‘an official document that identifies you as a citizen of a particular country, and that you may have to show when you enter or leave a country’. Without a valid passport which establishes your identity and nationality, you will be denied entry into the country you wish to travel to.
Just as you cannot gain right of entry into another country without a valid PASSPORT, the bibles says you cannot gain access into God’s kingdom without being born again. In John 3:3, Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. To be born again means to be regenerated through the blood of Jesus that washes us from sin and reconciles us with God. Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour possess a new status and identity through Him by which they are recognized and granted right of access to God’s kingdom. Forgiveness and salvation in Christ is the only valid PASSPORT that grant men right of access into the kingdom of God, no religion or ideology can!
While it is true that those who are born again are recognized with a new identity which grants them right of access to the kingdom of God, however, beyond having access right (salvation which is the PASSPORT), they require ‘VISA’ to actually enter and live in the kingdom of heaven. A visa, according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, is ‘a stamp or mark put in your passport by officials of a foreign country that gives you permission to enter, pass through or leave their country’. The bible in Hebrew 12:14 says ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’. Sanctification and holiness are believers’ ‘VISA’ without which they cannot see or be with God in eternity.
As believers, being born again is only the first step in our walk with God; after experiencing the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ, each of us is required to vigorously pursue the experiences of sanctification (total freedom from fleshly lusts and desires) and holiness (keeping the state of our Christ’s given righteousness intact without stains), these are God’s stamp and endorsement of approval upon our lives which grant us actual entry permit into His kingdom.
In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus says ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’.
Have you secured a valid PASSPORT (salvation through Christ)? Congratulations! But remember that beyond securing a valid PASSPORT, you require a VISA (Sanctification and holiness) to actually gain entry into the kingdom of God-NO VISA, NO ENTRY!
(c) November 2011