There is considerable confusion today concerning the difference between Heaven and the Kingdom of God. Also, some are maintaining that the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God are two different kingdoms.
It appears the idea of the place called "Heaven" as being the goal of salvation is not only unscriptural but has a negative influence on the growth of the Christian.
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew 4:17—NIV)
It appears that the Catholic Church emphasizes its rites and the Protestant churches stress the grace of forgiveness. In neither case is a transformed moral personality shown to be the purpose of the Divine redemption. In many instances righteous behavior is held to be desirable but not the necessary outcome of the Christian salvation. We Christians have suffered and the world has suffered because of our lack of righteous, godly behavior.
After two thousand years of Christianity the sin in the world is unbelievable. If the purpose of the Gospel of Christ is to turn the nations to righteousness it certainly has had limited success.
The Christian religion from the beginning has been practiced in Europe and since then has spread to many parts of the world. Yet today in many nations boys and girls are sold into sexual slavery to satisfy the lusts of adults. Pornography is widespread.
The law of sin and death is the interaction between the Law of Moses and the law of sin that operates in our sinful nature. The law of the Spirit of Life sets us free from the law of sin and death, the Apostle Paul informs us. But just how does it do this?
The Hebrews Christians had all the experiences that we Pentecostal Christians have, and probably some additional ones. But the writer reprimands them severely in several verses, warning them that if they draw back it will be to destruction.
These people had had their possessions confiscated. Now they were busily establishing new households. The pressure was off for a season. And so, holding their ticket to salvation (as they thought) they were neglecting to assemble together. They were not encouraging one another to press into the rest of God.
But what is the rest of God. Let's see if we can find out.