Typically, Jesus' mission to earth Is characterized something like, "Jesus came to die for us so we can have salvation." But to leave the purpose of Christ at this Is incomplete.
Salvation is hardly ever explained the way Jesus explained it. Jesus expressed the Idea of salvation and eternal life in terms of entrance into the Kingdom of God.
Jesus taught, "Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).
Notice Jesus' teaching in chapter 19 of Matthew's Gospel. The rich young man came to Jesus and asked, "What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" (verse 16). Jesus responded, "... If you want to enter Into life, keep the commandments" (verse 17). He went on to explain to His disciples that "It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven" (verse 23) and "it Is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (verse 24). His disciples, hearing Jesus' comments, "were greatly astonished, saying, 'Who then can be saved?'" (verse 25).
Jesus clearly taught, and the disciples clearly understood, that eternal life, being saved and entering the Kingdom of God are all synonymous!
In the same passage (verses 27-29), when Peter remarked that they had left everything to follow Jesus and asked how this would be rewarded, Jesus answered, "... When the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel . .. and Inherit eternal life."
The apostle Paul elaborates on Christ's teaching about entrance Into the Kingdom of God. "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot Inherit the kingdom of God..." (1 Corinthians 15:50). "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore:'
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