Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR
Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.
If people are not sure whether they are Christians or not, then I take leave to suggest that they are not. The Christian, according to the New Testament, is someone who can say something like this: "I was--I am." That is how the apostle described the Corinthians, was it not--He said, "And such were some of you!" They had been drunkards, adulterers, fornicators, etc. "But," he says, "you are not like that now--"But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God'" (1 Corinthians 6:11). The apostle Peter used exactly the same terminology: "Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy" (1 Peter 2:10). That is it!
There are variations in people's relative positions with respect to this kingdom. Our Lord said about one of the scribes who came to him, "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." He did not say that about everybody, but He did say it about him. So outside the kingdom people can be in one of many, many positions.
There are people who have never given it a thought, who have never read the Bible and are not interested in it--they do not know its barest elements. They are not interested in God, in the Lord Jesus Christ, or in the soul, and they live the kind of life that we can see all around us.
Although there are different positions occupied by men and women outside the kingdom of God, in the last analysis they do not matter at all. There is no advantage in being "not far from the kingdom." "But," you reply, "do you mean to say that the person who is at the very door has no advantage over the one who is, as it were, at the other end of the world?" Precisely! And that is where the devil deludes so many.
A Thought to Ponder
There is no advantage in being "not far from the kingdom."
From The Kingdom of God, pp. 176-178.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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