Only the gentle and only the merciful will go to Heaven. It’s true!
We’ve begun to take a look at what are commonly referred to as “the Beatitudes”, the initial statements that Jesus made at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, and we’ve looked at two of those Beatitudes so far. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, and blessed are those who mourn.”
The blessings that those people specifically get is, “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and they will be comforted.” That begins to give us some clue and insight into the rest of these Beatitudes because they’re not unique Beatitudes, unique to one Christian and another Christian, and everybody should look for their unique Beatitude just like people in the world look for their unique zodiac sign within the horoscope. That’s not how these are meant to be understood.
There’s only really one kind of blessed person, that’s the kind of person that’s believed in Jesus, repented of their sins, and is on the road to eternal life. Those people are different than other people. These Beatitudes are proof positive of that, because we could take the antithesis of any of them, “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit,” well not blessed are those who are not poor in spirit, because theirs is not the kingdom of heaven.
All these blessings are very big, weighty things. They’re not just little blessings where you just get a blessing, “Ooh, I got a blessing today.” No, no, no. These are eternal, weighty, monumental salvation blessings. “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” see that’s salvation. “They shall be comforted.” One day we’re going to experience tremendous comfort when we’re in the kingdom. Of course we can get a little taste of that right now because the comforter, the Holy Spirit, lives inside of us. Praise the Lord. Of course, right now we’re in the kingdom right now and so we enjoy many of the kingdom blessings that will come to their full fruition one day but we already get a taste of them.
All right. This third Beatitude is no different. It’s a biggie. It’s one that characterizes only the people who are born gain. It proves that born again people are different. They’re changed. They’re transformed. That is in Mathew 5:5, “Blessed are the gentle for they shall inherit the earth.” Well how about that? So these blessed people in the first three Beatitudes, theirs is the kingdom of heaven and they will inherit the earth. So all the blessings that are coming are not just blessings that we get when we go to heaven, but we know there’s going to be a new heavens and a new earth one day where righteousness dwells and it’s only the people who are gentle who will inherit the earth one day.
Now corroborating with that statement by Jesus of course, or Paul’s words in Galatians 5 about the fruit of the Spirit, where he lists nine fruit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and gentleness is one of the nine fruit of the Spirit. So you see the Spirit makes us gentle. What can you say about that other than “amen”? That’s why blessed are the gentle, of course, the King James says, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth,” so you can probably find a little bit different connotation between “meek” and “gentle” but essentially they mean the same thing. People who are born again, if they were harsh, and rough, and domineering, and insensitive, that changes when you get the Holy Spirit in you because the Holy Spirit’s gentle and not forceful, not demanding, not coercing, but gently drawing, persuading, patiently loving.
You see that’s how the Holy Spirit is to us and in us. So if you get the Holy Spirit in you, guess what? You’re going to get His gentleness and it’s a lovely thing. It’s a lovely thing. Oh, it’s so good to be touched by the Lord and to know that you’ve got something going on in you that you can’t get anywhere else, gentleness. Blessed are the gentle people because they’re born again, because they’re on the road to heaven, because they will inherit the earth one day. So again, we can look at this Beatitude and ask ourselves the question, “Am I among the blessed? Do I demonstrate what the Lord says is one of the characteristics of the blessed? Am I gentle?” Okay? Only you can answer that question yourself.
Then one of the very next ones, also obviously a biggie because the promise to these people is that they’ll receive mercy. Well we all need mercy, don’t we? Okay? Receiving mercy is another way of saying “being saved,” or “being forgiven,” or “God covering your sin,” anything you want to say. Who will get mercy? Well here it is in Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.” Of course we know the antithesis of that must also be true. If that’s true, the antithesis of it must be true. So not blessed are those who are unmerciful for they shall not receive mercy. Now are we interpreting that correctly? Well, let’s ask ourselves, “Can we find that principle in other places of Scripture?”
Well you’re probably familiar with Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving servant. Isn’t that an illustration of this particular Beatitude and the antithesis of it? Because that servant who he was introduced to us in the first part of that parable, he’s forgiven of this insurmountable debt by his master. He goes out and finds a fellow servant who owes him some money. He chokes him and says, “Repay me what you owe.” That fellow servant begs for mercy just as the first servant begged for mercy from the master and got it. But he doesn’t give what he’s received.
He throws him in prison to pay it off when his master, who originally forgave the original guy, the original servant heard that he had shown no mercy, the antithesis of this Beatitude goes into operation immediately. “I forgave you all of your debt. You wicked servant. Why don’t you forgive your fellow servant of his debt against you?” So he reinstates his formally forgiven debt. Casts him into prison until he would repay everything and it was apparently an insurmountable debt. Jesus ends up saying, “So shall your heavenly Father do to you if each of you does not forgive your brother from your heart.”
Well there it is. There it is, and it’s found in this Beatitude. You can see it’s not a unique blessing for a unique characteristic that only some people have. Everyone who’s a believer is a merciful person because they realize how much mercy they’ve been shown. Plus they’ve been transformed on the inside. Okay? All right. It’s good to be merciful. It’s good to be born again. It’s good to know that you’re going to receive mercy. If there’s anything we all need, it’s mercy. Mercy me. All right, thanks for joining me today. God bless you.