This is part of a Daily Devotional Orwell Bible Church prepares each week. You can get a copy from our Downloads and Literature page.
There are only two “destinations” for eternity, (1) the kingdom of heaven/God and (2) hell, everlasting fire. Those who will be in hell—unbelievers—are of the world (v. 7). Jesus’ assumption is every believer (a citizen of the coming kingdom) is in the church (vvv. 15-17).
Jesus’ teaching here addresses the character of those who will enter the kingdom of heaven/God (v. 1): they are converted (v. 3), have genuine, humble faith (v. 4), love the brethren (v. 5), deal with personal sin (vv. 8-9), and reprove and forgive fellow believers so they will continue in the faith (vv. 15-35). Peter’s question in verse 21 immediately follows Jesus’ teaching about a brother sinning against another in verse 15.
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- The character and direction of your life is the “road” that leads to your eternal “destination.” This does not mean that salvation comes because of what you do, but no one who truly humbly submits to Jesus continues in proud, selfish rebellion against him. What “road” are you on?
- Christians love those that God loves. Such love is welcoming (v. 5), affectionate (v. 10), helpful, not hindering (vv. 6-7), caring and restoring (vv. 15-20), and continually forgiving (vv. 21-35). Do you love other Christians like this?
- Christians—future citizens of the kingdom—do whatever it takes to keep themselves from continuing in sin (vv. 8-9). They are willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of whatever tempts/causes them to sin. How serious are you about sin and eternity?
- “Church discipline” (vv. 15-17) is the expression of genuine Christian love and concern for one another. It is the church’s ministry to the church.