Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Citizen of the Kingdom

The was a good and kind King, and there was a man who wanted to be a citizen of His kingdom. But he was unclear on what he needed to do to become a citizen. So he traveled to one of the cities of the kingdom to ask the people there what he needed to do to be a citizen.

"You need to give your heart to the King," said one of the citizens.

"Does that mean I need to dedicate myself to Him and do good deeds?" asked the man.

"No, it is not based on your works," said the citizen.

"You must be born again," said another citizen.

"Is this some kind of mystical experience?" the man asked.

"Well, not exactly," said the citizen.

"You must repent and make the King the Lord of your life," said the next citizen.

"So I must do enough good deeds to deserve the King's favor," replied the man.

"No, you cannot deserve anything from the King," came the answer.

"You must have a personal relationship with the King," said another.

"But how do I do that?" inquired the man. "Do I just work up the feeling the King loves me?"

"No, it is more than that."

"You must say a prayer or walk down the aisle in a town meeting," said the next.

"But those are obviously symbolic gestures," returned the man. "What are they symbolic of?"

He got no answer.

"You must let the king into your heart, " said a passerby.

The man walked away, wondering exactly what that meant.

He was about to give up and forget about the whole thing when He almost ran over a young man.

"Why so gloomy?" asked the young man.

"I want to become a citizen of this kingdom," replied the man. "But no one seems to be able to tell me how."

"The King is the true King of the whole world," began the young man. "All of us have rebelled against Him and committed crimes against His laws. But He has found a way to pay the price for our wrongdoing so He can offer us a pardon for our offenses. But to obtain this pardon we must be willing to admit our guilt and trust in His pardon and not in anything we can do to make restitution for what we have done. Then He pardons us, we are reborn, and He makes us His friends and citizens of His kingdom."

And the two men walked off, discussing this novel idea.

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