Who Are the Least in God's Kingdom?

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Who are the least in God's Kingdom? How do they differ from others who receive salvation? Whom did Jesus say was the greatest human born up to his time?

Jesus made a remarkable statement about God's Kingdom and the least within it in the summer of 28 A.D. John the Baptist, at that time, had been in prison for about a year. Languishing in his cell, he openly wondered why Jesus did not use his power to set him free. With his doubts mounting, he decided to send some of his disciples to inquire whether Christ was the true Messiah.

Jesus' response to the messengers was to have them confirm to John the miracles and works they saw which identified him as the Savior (Matthew 11:4 - 6). He then revealed to the gathered crowd that John was the greatest human born up to that time in history! John's greatness, however, does not compare to those who will be the least in God's Kingdom.

Truly I say to you, there has not arisen among those born of women anyone greater than John the Baptist. But the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (Matthew 11:11, HBFV, see also Matthew 5:17 - 19, Luke 7:28).

What makes the greatest human born up to Christ's time vastly inferior to the least person who will be in God's Kingdom?

Common characteristics

The kingdom of God is open to all those who repent, accept Jesus as their Savior, receive the Holy Spirit and live a life of obediance and overcoming until death. Those who enter into this rest, from the least to the greatest, will have several things in common.

They will receive a new and incorruptible spiritual body (John 3:3 - 8, 1Corinthians 15:49 - 50).

They will be made immortal (Romans 2:6, 1Corinthians 15:53 - 54), making it impossible for them to die.

They will never again be sad, have to experience pain or cope with loss, etc. Their existence will be one of joy and fulfillment forever.

And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall not be any more death, or sorrow, or crying; neither shall there be any more pain, because the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4, HBFV).

They will be sealed righteous and holy for all eternity (Revelation 22:11).

Differences

Those in God's Kingdom will share many common characteristics. There will be differences, however, among the resurrected based on how God decides to reward each person for their actions.

The Son of Man will soon come in the glory of his Father and with his angels to reward all people for what they have done (Matthew 16:27, CEV).

And behold, I (Jesus Christ) am coming quickly; and My reward is with Me, to render to each one according as his work shall be (Revelation 22:12, HBFV, see also Matthew 5:12, 16:27, Luke 6:23, 1Corinthians 3:12 - 14, Revelation 11:18).

The least in God's Kingdom are those who receive the smallest or no reward. They are still greater than John the Baptist, however, due to the minimum characteristics all those who receive salvation will possess.

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Life of John the Baptist
Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus
What Is the Kingdom of God?
When Will Judgment Day Take Place?
What Exactly Is Salvation?
Who Were John the Baptist's Disciples?
How Many Resurrections Are There?

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