Matt 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)
Verses like that have been used by religion to put fear into people’s lives. When fear comes, love has no chance. That is why perfect love casts out fear. How about we try and see this verse differently since we know that God is love and His love casts out fear? First the kingdom of heaven…
This is a phrase that has been so misinterpreted over the years we westerners actually have no clue what was the original meaning. The Nation of Israel was confused as well. They thought this kingdom would be an earthly kingdom just like a country or nation with governance over the whole world. Jesus proved that wasn’t the case. He told us the kingdom was in us here and now. Then He died on a cross to never establish an earthly kingdom. Sadly some are still are looking for an earthly kingdom so there are many doctrines that promote that perspective.
There are also many Christians that see this phrase “kingdom of heaven” as an afterlife destination. This is where the fear comes in. Religion will use a future destination threat to control people and their behavior. The idea is that if you die and you are not on the right team, then you won’t be in the kingdom of heaven. Again Jesus said plainly that the kingdom is in us and is here already and we are in union with God. So what is the kingdom really?
The Jews would have said “the kingdom of God” but the word heaven was a substitute for the name of God since it was a sacred violation to write the word God. So the phrase kingdom of heaven was the substitute for the kingdom of God. Now let me suggest that since God is love, maybe I could make that substitution as well. The kingdom of heaven = the kingdom of God = the kingdom of love.
When you make this substitution you are beginning to see what the kingdom is. The kingdom is a reality. The kingdom is the divine reality of love. God holds all things together so love holds all things together. When we live in love we are living in the kingdom. When we live from love we are representing the kingdom. When we operate within love we are experiencing the kingdom. If God is love, then we are experiencing and living in and encountering God on His terms. This is His kingdom.
I understand that this may be a difficult concept to understand. Jesus even said so. He said unless we turn and become like children we can’t live from the reality of the kingdom of love. Little children don’t judge. Little children love naturally and unconditionally. Little children haven’t created their false Lena (check out this page about Lena). So when we grow up and have often developed a false Lena interaction with the world, she needs to go. We have to find our Trudy to enter and experience and live from the kingdom. Jesus said it was like being born again or from above. He said it was being born from the truth of our absolute acceptance and the revelation of our union.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (love). (ESV modified)
The water symbolizes our “clean” nature or our “righteousness” with God. He loves us and has never counted our junk against us. When we embrace this truth then we can turn inwards to our union with Him. That is the “righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees.” The Spirit is the breath of revelation of our union. Jesus said that the spirit would reveal to us that we are in Him and He is in us and we are in the Father. Our true identity is our divine oneness. That is our Trudy.
When Trudy loves Lena and Judy then we are made whole. When we know the love of God and His nature as love we are no longer bound by false identities and fear. We can become whole and one in His oneness. We are really real and not living a pretend life. We live in the present moment confident in our identity and inclusion and assurance. We are His manifestation on this earth. This is our resurrection and our life. We are one with God, and in some mystical way, Him on this earth. That is why we can bring the kingdom to earth. We bring divine love to the earth. It is born inside of us and spreads to others from us.
When we live in fear and religion and the fallacy of separation we create barriers to living in the kingdom.
Matt 25:13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven (love) in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. (ESV modified)
Instead the kingdom brings peace and joy and love to others when we live from our Trudy through our healthy Lena.
Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God (love) is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (ESV modified)
This is why when we are offended and at odds with one another, we don’t love unconditionally. We are living from a false Lena and Judy while ignoring our Trudy. That is why wisdom like this is in the Bible:
1 Cor 6:7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (love)? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (love). 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (ESV modified)
Our inheritance is the fruit of our union; we become the love we know. We are the divine love on the earth. Can you see now how the kingdom is here now and in this moment and in each of us? It isn’t a place we go, it is a reality we live. It isn’t an earthly establishment, but a divine perspective. The kingdom has come and His will is being done when we are living from our Trudy and not out of religious fear. We are love and are expressing love, unqualified love.
So when you hear all the doomsday stuff about afterlife destinations maybe you can share this new perspective. Doesn’t it set you free? Jesus said if we know the truth it will set us free indeed.