Re: The violent take it by force...
Hello KD! I agree with a couple of posters above in that God was not advocating for taking the kingdom of heaven by force but instead showing it as a negative. It's mentioned twice in the gospels. Once in relation to John the Baptist and another
Originally Posted by Kingsdaughter
There are those that want the blessings of the kingdom but do not want to surrender to the king. They try to take the kingdom by force and to forcefully enter into it! But God said in Luke that he gladly gives the kingdom to those who ask. There's no need to be forceful about it!
32 " Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
Sheep do not violently take a kingdom. We trust in the Shepherd to give it.
The other place in scripture where the "kingdom suffers violence" is
16 " The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17 " But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.
Everyone is trying to force their way into the kingdom. God was talking here to people who wanted to justify themselves. IOW, trust their own works to get in and try to force their way in without the blessing of the King. He had just finished speaking about the parable of the unrighteous steward and prior to that, the prodigal son. In the first, we see a son who wants to have the Father's blessings without the father, and in the second we see someone who wants the master's mercy without the master. Both were "forcing their way into the kingdom".
When someone wants the blessings of the kingdom without submission to the King, they are trying to take the kingdom for themselves and that is a forceful thing and wrong in the sight of God. God would much rather just give it to the one who surrenders! He is a God full of grace and mercy!
Grace to you!
"May the Lamb that was slain receive the just reward for His sufferings." A quote by Moravian missionary that sold himself (along with a friend) into slavery to reach those that the slave owner prevented from hearing the gospel.
May I live for Him and not for me.