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29 Leonard! Tell me why I should open this gate. What would your answer be?
by Leonard Alt on Monday, September 5, 2011 at 11:49am
 
Tom ASKED THE QUESTION: Upon your own death and Saint Peter's question, 'Leonard! Tell me why I should open this gate for you!' What would your answer be?
 
 

LENNY’S RESPONSE: Very good question and Jesus didn't make a mistake when he said to keep the commandments, to inherit everlasting life with him in heaven.  Those who do not accept this are disagreeing with Jesus.  On the other hand Jesus did say more about this.  I am going to change your question a little bit and I am going to let Jesus answer the question.  I could answer the question myself, but I could get it wrong.  At any rate, I believe that Jesus most likely got it right and here is His answer for you.  What is the specific criteria that Jesus uses to “Inherit the of Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world to the present.”
 
Those who choose to do good works in love inherit the kingdom of Heaven.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  Then the king will say to those on his right, come you who are blessed by my Father.  Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
For I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.
Then the righteous will answer him and say, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison and visit you? And the king will say to them in reply, Amen I say to you whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine you did for me (Mt 25:33-40).
 
Those who choose not to do good works end up in eternal fire.
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.
Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’  He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.  And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life
(Mt 25:41-46).
 
There goes that Jesus again, giving a works based answer to a salvation question.  I hate it when
He does that.  He sounds just like a Catholic.   He should have checked with the Apostle Paul
like the Evangelicals do.  Doesn’t Jesus know that we are justified by faith and not by WORKS;
“For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the Law” (Rom 3:28).  
And yet Jesus’ criteria for inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven is good works done in love, like
feeding and clothing the hungry.  Jesus must have been listening to another works based guy by
the name of James who said; “We are saved by works and not by faith alone” (Jm 2:24). 
 
I know what you’re thinking.  Your thinking the Church has always taught that the Bible
properly understood, in context does not contradict and so here we have a seeming contradiction.

You are correct it is a seeming contradiction, but not a real contradiction.    The answer is in the
context.  Note that the invitation by Jesus to inherit the Kingdom is in good works done in love.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, For I was thirsty and you gave me drink, stranger and you welcomed me,naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.
 
And so the question is this; was Paul, when he spoke for faith and against works, speaking of the
same works done in love that Jesus was speaking of?   No he was not.  Note that the works that
Paul spoke against were not good works, but works of the Law (Rom 3:28).  And note in verse
30 Paul tells us the particular work of the Law and it is circumcision.   So now we realize that
Jesus and James are speaking for good works done in love and Paul is speaking not against good
Works, but against works of the law and lists circumcision.
 
There are some people who create a fight between James and Paul because James spoke for works and Paul spoke against works and so they will pick Paul over James.   They are doing this because they are unknowingly using works out of context not realizing James and Paul are speaking about two different things.  Keep in mind there is no fight in the Bible between Paul and James. This is made up and so Bible alone fails again.   Keep in mind works is used in a variety of different ways.   There is good works, evil works, works of the law (circumcision) works of Jesus and we are the handiwork of God.   And so those people who put Jesus and James at odds with Jesus are doing a disservice to the Bible because they are not taking the word works in context.
 
It is true Jesus saved us by dying on the cross and rising from the dead.  Although all are
redeemed (saved), not all actually end up in Heaven.   And Jesus tells us very specifically why
some inherit the Kingdom and others do not.
 
Bill, thank you for your question.  Peter is not going to open a gate by the way.  It is
Jesus, who will do the inviting.    If they ask the question of you, what would be the reason why
God should let you in Heaven, change the question to this; do you mean what I must do to
gain eternal life with God in Heaven?   And after they answer it (and they will get it
wrong) tell them what Jesus said “Keep the commandments.”  In most cases they will still
disagree, but they are not disagreeing with you.  They are disagreeing with Jesus.
 
“Teacher what good must I do to gain eternal life?’ He answered him, ‘Why do you ask me about the good? There is only one who is good.’ If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:18).
 
Then you can ask them the question specifically what were Jesus criteria for an invitation to
Heaven (and they will get it wrong) again.  They will disagree, but again their disagreement is
with Jesus.
 
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
For I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.