“ . . . You are not far from the kingdom . . .” Mark 12:34
Many would say about this scribe that to be “not far” is the same as not at all. He might as well be miles away. But, that’s not the way Jesus saw him. Jesus saw a heartfelt honesty, there was a disposition about him that won the Lord’s heart. He had all the qualities of a good disciple. Jesus invites him to take the next step. Jesus warmly invites him saying, “you are right on the verge of the kingdom, you understand that God loves you and that you must love Him, you are one step from salvation.”
Many, like this scribe, stand on the borderland of the kingdom. They are at close range to Jesus, within ear shot of His message, just a stone’s throw away from change. They are soft-hearted, thoughtful, and receptive to the gospel, but remain almost Christian. There are specific signs which accompany any individual in a state of being almost persuaded.
Acquainted with the gospel
The influences of the kingdom are all around – in the lives of a praying mother, a dad who was a faithful man of God, through the testimony of friends. At one time or another, they have attended a church service, heard the scriptures taught. At any given moment, we are not far from the kingdom.
Great admiration for Jesus
There have been moments of being stirred by the message of Jesus. We are not saved by admiration, but only by repenting and believing in Jesus. It takes something more than admiration to pierce the depths of one’s heart. Admiration is an indication we are not far from the kingdom.
Many have sought Jesus, thought about Him, studied Him and found His claims to be true, but they have not let the words sink down into their heart. With that one moment, they would be brought within His kingdom.
There’s every sign that the emotions have been touched, but not the conscience. The heart remains hardened. It’s a dangerous thing to be impressed with Jesus and never decide to follow Him.
Are any of these signs true of you?