HOW TO BE CERTAIN OF ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
If offered, who would not want to be certain of entering the kingdom of heaven after death and dance in delight enjoying endless life with God. However it is impossible to be offered or for us to accept the Kingdom after death, for it will be too late. Just as it is also false that God is so good and kind that He doesn’t want anyone to suffer and so will forgive and accept everyone in His Kingdom. Those who say such things need to read the Bible, and they will find that nothing unholy can enter the Kingdom. Nor will God take away our freedom of choice concerning good or evil. He will not give us what we did not choose while living in this world. When we die, our ability to choose terminates for life is over. Here and now is the time to make choices, for after death is the time for crowns or weeping.
Our only guarantee of entering the Kingdom of heaven after death is to have already entered it prior to death. And because none of us have any idea as to when death will take us, and after death it will be too late, the time for entering the Kingdom of heaven is now, while we are able. For such a wonderful goal and destination we need the best possible guide. Who else but the God who became man, who is our Savior who did battle and destroyed the power of the Devil and sin over us, whom He loves with perfect love. And He gave us the guarantee of eternal life in His Kingdom. Saying that it was ours to accept, for: “the Kingdom of God is within you.” So there is no other place to go, but to Jesus Christ, the Son of God in His Church, from whom we will get all the answers. Jesus Christ is the living Truth who descended from heaven and greatly desires to teach and save all of us as He brings us into His eternal Kingdom. This is the truth, if we desire to enter the kingdom of heaven after we die, we can only do so if we enter it before we die.
The first step is stop living for this world alone with its eventual physical and moral corruption. Instead we must turn and heed the cry of Jesus and John the Baptizer when they went out to preach the Gospel, for they both called the people to immediate action, saying: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is here.” The call for repentance is extremely critical being the first step. The word for repent in the Greek original means to change our minds or our thinking (metanoeite). We have to differ from the general populace of this world who live only for the present materialistic life. The world is full of sin and iniquity and offers us material things and pleasures alone, but not the Kingdom of heaven, which is not of this world.
Christ promises us the commencement of continuous life in His Kingdom beginning now, delightful, eternal and filled with joy. Christ, excludes no one and calls out to every person: “Follow me!” Our very first step is to decide that we really desire the Kingdom now, after death and for ever, and the second step is to increase our faith in Jesus Christ, who is the Giver of life. Orthodox Baptism begins the actual process. Jesus showed baptism’s importance by being baptized himself, and after His baptism He went out into the wilderness where He was tempted by the Devil, then upon returning He began to preach the Gospel. So we all must be baptized and then listen to all of Jesus’ words. The importance of three immersion Baptism is further declared by Jesus when He sent His Apostles, saying: “Go and preach this gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; whoever does not believe shall be condemned.”
There is only one Jesus Christ. There is only one Church. There is only one Body of Christ. The Papacy does not talk about salvation, do not baptize and offers a fictitious purgatory after death, not the Kingdom of God as Christ does. There is and only can be one triune baptism, which can only take place in sanctified waters, by an Orthodox Priest and three separate immersions in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. This Baptism cannot possibly be performed outside of Christ’s Church where there no sanctification. The Holy Spirit must come down and sanctify the baptismal waters filling them with divine power and grace. Unsanctified water, used by the papacy and protestants who lack the grace of Holy Spirit does not cleanse anyone from their sins, for only water sanctified by the Holy Spirit becomes divinely powerful and able to wash away sins. For in the waters of baptism, as St. Paul teaches, we were crucified with Christ and we arose with Him in His Resurrection. And he explains that we must now walk sinlessly in the newness of life as we follow the new man, who descended from heaven.
Christ says: “Whoever believes in me shall never die.” Certainly this does not refer to the death through which we depart from this life. Christ is speaking of the second eternal death wherein those consigned are “cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
It is a prerequisite to believe and trust completely in every word spoken by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, for every word He speaks is filled with divine truth, wisdom and life. They are living words and our faith and belief must become alive and increasingly strong.
Among the sweetest benefits of entering Orthodox eternal life is what happens in the very beginning and remains. Wonderfully, upon entering the Kingdom we experience the happiness and joy of being close to Christ, who is our Savior and our Master, and who has never left us and feeds us with himself in the mystery of Eucharist. His divine words beat rhythmically with the beat of our hearts: “Lo, I am with you to the close of the age.” Also Christ repeats in the Gospels the words “Peace be with you!” His divine peace calms and fills the souls of all those who love Him and increases in proportion to their love. Truly, because the Creator has destined us to become His image and likeness, which begins when we enter true life in Christ, it is there where we will find exultation and happiness which knows no bounds. Each day we will yearn to speak to Christ in our prayers, which rise up to the Lord as incense. We also celebrate the many feasts, keep the fasts, and delight in sending up constant streams of glory, honor and worship to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.