Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. (I Peter 4:1,2—NIV)
The reason we suffer, the reason it is difficult for us to be saved, is that salvation is the process of Christ increasing in us and the sinful nature being rejected. Our whole adamic nature fiercely resists the death of our sinful nature. Our adamic nature clings to its love of the world, its passions and appetites, and its self-will. Many intense fires and generous portions of the Divine nature are required if we are to make the transition from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God.
Keeping what I have stated in mind, it is easy to see how the concept that accepting Christ is a ticket that admits us to Heaven is so destructive of the true Gospel.
When the believer of today reads the words of Christ or His Apostles concerning the necessity for turning away from sin, he says to himself: “I know this is what the Bible says but I am saved by grace.” He means by this that by believing in Christ he has a ticket that will admit him to Heaven when he dies, and so the warnings of Christ and His Apostles do not apply to Him.
He does not realize the program of entering the Kingdom of God is taking place now and has little to do with going to a better place when he dies. While he is waiting to die and go to Heaven he is not paying sufficient attention to the warfare in which he should be engaged. He is not overcoming sin through the Spirit of God. He is waiting, trusting in “grace” to provide entrance into Heaven.
Can you see the enormous difference between these two gospels? One is a waiting to go to Heaven, to a place in the spirit realm. The other is a daily transformation of the adamic nature so a new creation is brought forth—a creation in which the old nature has passed away and the Nature of Christ has taken its place.
Again: we are not transformed so we become worthy of life in Heaven. We are transformed so we can serve God in His Kingdom wherever it is.
Heaven is a place. The Kingdom of God is the rule of God through Christ in the personality of the believer. Heaven and the Kingdom of God are related only in the fact that at the present time the King of the Kingdom and most of His subjects are in the spirit realm, waiting to return to earth, to regain their bodies, and to install the Kingdom of God among the nations of the earth.
How long will it be before we change from our traditions to the words of the Scriptures? Who among us cares enough, or has integrity enough, to abandon that which is not scriptural in favor of that which indeed is scriptural?