The people of Zion resemble God, His divine image. Looking back at ourselves, we have become more like God than when we first believed, for we’ve been continually growing spiritually in God.
I look forward to the day when all of Zion’s people will fully resemble God.
Now look at your children carefully. Don’t they resemble you? Think of your parents. Do you not resemble them both in physical appearance and in personality? As the proverb says, “Blood will tell,” children usually resemble their parents.
Men were created by God’s will. Why did God make human children resemble their parents? It’s because He wanted us to know that we were created in the image of God, in the image of our spiritual Parents.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness”, … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Ge 1:26-27
As our physical appearance resembles that of our parents, so our spiritual appearance resembles that of God.
We are now in the process of becoming like God. The Bible de-scribes the moment when we will be changed into God’s image as follows:
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”Php 3:20-21
When we complete our mission on earth and are ready for an eternal change, our lowly bodies will be transformed to be like God’s glorious body in an instant, just as God promised.
However, this promise is not given to all people. Only God’s children, who resemble God, can receive a glorious body and enter the kingdom of heaven they have eagerly desired.
In Matthew 7, we can see who resembles God.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”Mt 7:21
The above verse shows that only those who do the will of the Father can become people who resemble God and enter the kingdom of heaven.
We have been trying to keep God’s laws and commandments de-scribed in the Bible, just as God has taught us. We are continually striving to obey God’s command to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. We are diligently studying God’s words and making every effort to obey them, so that we may grow in love and patience and participate in the divine nature. God says to us as follows:
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. … The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”1 Jn 2:15-17
The riches and honors of this world are temporary; they are like a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. To live forever in the kingdom of heaven we must resemble God, and in order to resemble God we have to do the will of God.
It is not God’s will for us to hesitate in keeping His commands and preaching the gospel.
“… many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.”Php 3:18-19
Many people in the world cling to earthly things which will be destroyed; they only strive for position, honor, wealth and power. However, we should not set our minds on such perishable things, but on the heavenly things; for our citizenship is in heaven.
Without resembling God we can never enter the kingdom of heaven. Here is a story. An angel guarded a gate between heaven and earth. All had to pass inspection by the angel before they entered heaven; only those who resembled God could pass through the gate.
Many arrived at heaven’s gate and boastfully showed off everything they had possessed on earth. Those who were kings on earth proudly stood before the angel, wearing bejeweled crowns and royal robes with golden sashes around their waists. However, the angel shook his head no.
“You do not resemble God in any way at all. Your bejewelled crowns are merely trash here in heaven. Go away!”
Then a rich man with puffy cheeks, full of greed, stood before the angel, showing off his worldly treasures.
“All you have is nothing but rubbish which pollutes the kingdom of heaven. Your greedy cheeks do not resemble that of God at all. You can’t pass through this gate!”
The rich man, who tried to bribe the angel with his treasures just as he had done on earth, could say nothing and went away.
Then a beautiful woman confidently stood before the angel. With a disappointed look, however, the angel said to her.
“You appear beautiful outward because you have put on makeup, but inside you have nothing resembling God.”
After the woman went away, suddenly the crowds became noisy. A prominent person was walking with his chest stuck out, amid cheers and clapping. However, the celebrity couldn’t pass through the heaven’s gate, either.
“You may please men. But you can’t enter heaven, because you do not resemble God at all.”
Many confidently walked and stood before the angel as if they had been worthy of heaven, but they were vehemently scolded by the angel. After they all went away, the angel was continually waiting for those resembling God.
After a while, a crowd of people stood before the angel. They were the humble ones who truly loved God and obeyed His will, even though they didn’t come from a good family and were unlearned and poor.
They delighted in doing God’s will; they didn’t pursue worldly things but had a true hope which was laid up in heaven. They appeared to be weak and were neglected by the world’s people, but the angel looked at them with eyes full of expectation. Surely they were the most beautiful ones who would shine like jewels in heaven. The angel shouted for joy.
“Come on in! You are the ones whom I am really waiting for. You do resemble God in every way, following the way of His cross, sharing in His sufferings and pains. You are really beautiful. You have continually tried to please the Father and Mother and have been beautifully refined through suffering. You are the people who truly resemble God, who are allowed to pass through the gate to heaven. Come on in!”
God earnestly wants us to become like Him, so He tells us repeatedly,”Do My will! Do My will!” With this earnest request He is knocking at our hearts.
Some misunderstand that they become burdened with doing the will of the Father. However, they need to remember this: Following His will is the only key to heaven’s gate. Our sufferings are temporary; God makes us suffer in order that we may become like Christ. We must realize that suffering is a gracious gift from God who loves us so much. For we are to resemble Him in every way, not in some ways.
“Who has believed our message … He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, … He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. … But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”Isa 53:1-5
Though Christ had nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him, He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows. Through suffering Christ gave birth to us, and through preaching we are now leading many sin-stained people into life.
We, walking in the way of Christ’s suffering, are to resemble God so that we may cover up the faults of our brothers and sisters and forgive their trespasses. When we have such an attitude of sacrifice and love, we can fully resemble our Father and Mother as Their sons and daughters.
We clearly understand the life of Christ. God has entrusted us with a great mission to preach the gospel, by which we are expected to resemble our Father in His sacrifice and our Mother in Her love. By this God is guiding us on the glorious way to heaven.
“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. … Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”Rev 21:23-27
Only those who are spotless and blameless after Father and Mother are worthy to enter the holy city. Imagine how beautiful the kingdom of heaven will be, and how we will be changed! We all want to quickly go to our Father’s house with our Mother, don’t we? If we really do, we should follow Christ’s example so that people can recognize us as God’s children who resemble God.
Think of the angels who will greet us gently at heaven’s open door. Unless we fully resemble God, we will be rejected by them and weep bitterly. We are to have the marks of Christ-suffering, loving heart, tireless enthusiasm for preaching the gospel of the new covenant day and night.
Though we are poor and weak, we should gladly follow the path of thorns with thanksgiving, burning with love for God and His kingdom and for all our lost brothers and sisters-the 144,000. Let’s resemble God in every aspect in order that we may enter the holy city with the glory and honor of the nations and the glorious light of God.