Anyone who applies for admission to a university knows that there are entrance requirements. Typically, you have to have an accredited high school diploma. There is often a standardized test minimum score requirement. Sometimes, essays are required as well as participation in extracurricular activities and community service.
In this post, we are going to talk about entrance requirements. Not entrance requirements for admission to college but for admission to the Kingdom of God, or what is sometimes called the Kingdom of heaven.
According to the Scriptures, every human is either in the Kingdom or out of the Kingdom.
- To be “in” is to be considered not only a citizen in good standing — but an actual child of the King.
- To be “out” is to be considered a traitor to the throne — an actual enemy of the King.
The stakes for where we stand couldn’t be greater.
So, how does someone get in? What is the fundamental entrance requirement for membership in the Kingdom of God?
An Inquirer Named Nicodemus
3:1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.
Nicodemus had an impressive religious resume.
First, he was a Pharisee, which was one of the four primary branches of Judaism in the first century. The other groups included the Sadducees, who were the wealthy and theologically liberal aristocracy class of Jews who tended to dominate positions of civil power and religious authority. Two other smaller groups were the Zealots, who were political activists, and the Essenes, who functioned like a separatist, monastic community.
The group we hear the most about in the New Testament is the party of the Pharisees.
Those familiar with the Bible hear Pharisee and think “bad.” But the ordinary, working-class Jew in that day would have…