1. SCRIPTURE READING: (Matthew 18:1-6). Notice specifically Matthew 18:3,  Where Christ said, " … Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
      1. What Christ said was in answer to the question of: "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" (Matthew 18:1)
      2. The reply to the question was given after Christ had "called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:2).
        1. Implying in Matthew 18:4 that the greatest in the kingdom of heaven would be whoever that would "humble himself as this little child" that was set before them.
        2. This was connected to two important things:
          1. That in order to receive Christ, one had to be received as a little child in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 18:5)
          2. That a failure to do so and "… offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6).
      3. Christ used in verse three the Greek word "ektos" , an adverb, outside; that when used "ean me", means = except, unless; or if not. [VINE’S EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF NEW TESTAMENT WORDS, page 396-397.] NOTE: The usage of the word by the Lord implies:
        1. The expressed musts, or the essentials of what is necessary to enter into heaven.
        2. That which cannot be overlooked; omitted; or left undone.

      1. The Plan of salvation.
      2. Christian living.


      1. Concerning one’s behavior, bearing, or deportment in entering the kingdom of God.
        ( Matthew 18:3 )Jesus said: "Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
      2. NOTE: The responsibility is placed upon man to:

        1. Turn from his evil ways and become a fit subject for the kingdom = be as little children.
        2. Turn from personal ambition and humble himself before God. I Peter 5:5 = "… For God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." Matthew 16:24-26 = "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoseover will save his life shall loose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
      3. Concerning being drawn to Christ:
        1. Christ said, John 6:44-45 = "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that heath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."
        2. NOTE: The drawing of one to Christ is done by God and that is through His Word the Gospel:

        3. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16).
        4. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians in his second letter, 2 Thessalonians 2:14 = "Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."
        5. Paul warned the Galatians in the first chapter not pervert, or change this Gospel.
      4. Concerning belief:
        1. Jesus said, John 8:24 = "…That ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." [KJV].  The [ASV] reads: "…Ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
        2. There was no other name given than that of Christ. Acts 4:12 = "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
        3. The belief in this one name comes only through the hearing of the Word of God. Romans 10:17 = "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
      5. Concerning repentance:
        1. Jesus said, Luke 13:3 = "I Tell you, nay, but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
        2. Paul while speaking on Mar’s hill, to the Athenians about their altar to an unknown God, said
          Acts 17:30
          = "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent."
      6. Concerning one’s confession that Jesus is the Son of God. The word except is not stated but implied.
        1. In Romans 10:10, both Belief and confession are tied together and Except is used with belief as we have already noted. "For the with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
        2. Unless one confesses Christ before man, Christ will deny man before His Father in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33 = "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven."
      7. Concerning one’s spiritual birth – baptism:
        1. Jesus said, John 3:3-5 = "…Verily, verily, I s ay unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
        2. John wrote in John 1:12-13 = "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born , not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (See Romans 6:3-4).

      1. Concerning having life after death. (Read John 6:53-58).
        1. Jesus said, John 6:53-54 = "…Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
        2. Except (unless) we manifest in our life in every way we will not have life with Him:
          1. II Corinthians 4:11 = "…That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh."
          2. I Peter 2:21 = "…That we should follow in his steps."
          3. Luke 22:19-20 = "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
          4. NOTE: The purpose of which is expressed well in these words: II Corinthians 4:16 = "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day."
      2. Concerning steadfastness:
        1. Christ said, John 15:3-6 = "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing> If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered: and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
        2. Unless we abide in Christ we cannot:
          1. Glorify the Father.
          2. Bear fruit.
          3. Be the Lord’s disciple.
      3. Concerning activity:
        1. Christ said, Matthew 5:20 = "For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
        2. Righteousness is doing that which is acceptable to God.
          1. The prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).
          2. The obedience in doing that which God has said.
            1. II Peter 2:21-22 = "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the t rue proverb, the dog is turned to hiss own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."
            2. James 4:17 = "To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
            3. Luke 6:46 = "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"


      1. One can not change what God has said, nor can he make an exception to that which God has said in regards to being able to receive salvation:
        1. Unless he knows what Christ has said, nothing else will work.
        2. Unless he believes what Christ has said, nothing else will be given.
        3. Unless he changes his life to live as God directs he will be lost.
        4. Unless he confess Jesus as God’s Son, there will be no other.
        5. Unless he is baptized in the way and manner as Christ, no other will do.
      2. Except one continues to live faithfully he will be lost.

    2. REMEMBER WHAT THE LORD SAID: "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3).



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