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2 Peter 1:10-11 NASB

“Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”

What is the entrance into the eternal kingdom, and how will it be supplied abundantly (as if there are more or less “amounts” of this entrance)? Does this passage imply that our entering into the kingdom is somehow contingent upon us growing in the qualities listed earlier in the chapter?

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The answer depends on the line between "should" and "must." The passage does imply that to enter the eternal kingdom one should grow in the virtues listed. But the OP asks if entering the kingdom is "contingent" on the spiritual growth categories listed, which is a little different. Looking at the lines immediately previous those quoted, we read:

Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, 7 devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. 8 If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 Anyone who lacks them is blind and shortsighted, forgetful of the cleansing of his past sins.

The teaching is clear in one sense: one's faith should be supplemented with the qualities listed. Growth in these virtues prevents the pitfalls that lead to stumbling. Failure to practice them results in forgetting one's redemption, making a person vulnerable to stumble and possibly fall from grace. The scripture stops short of declaring that without practicing each and every one of these virtues, one may not enter the kingdom.

Conclusion: this scripture strongly advises growth in the listed spiritual virtues in order to enter the kingdom and avoid stumbling along the way. It does not go so far as to declare that entering the kingdom is absolutely contingent on such growth.

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Does this passage imply that our entering into the kingdom is somehow contingent upon us growing in the qualities listed earlier in the chapter?

Of course. Compare it with Jesus's parables that show that not everyone will be treated equally:

  • Parable of Ten Talents (Matthew 25:14–30, Luke 19:11–27)
    • Some are less successful than others, even though they have the same potential.
    • Some are given less potential than others.
  • Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1–16)
    • Some can receive the same, even though others worked much longer.
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Review the parable of the Good Shepherd and His Sheep (John 10:1-18 NIV)

7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.

9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me

15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

Answering the OP's questions

  1. The entrance into the eternal kingdom is Jesus. He is the gate (vv10:8 & 9).
  2. Entered the eternal kingdom with abundantly (rich NIV) supplied refer to vv10:10, that in Christ the life will have it to the full. It does not refer to the number of entrance, it is about the richness of life who enter it.
  3. To be able to enter the entrance, certainly require to hear His calling, as a sheep knowing Him and listening to His voice (vv10:14-16). That is exactly Peter reminded them about

10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble (2 Peter 1:10 NIV)

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The verses deal with how Christians can be sure of their calling and election into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Diligence needs to be applied to certain things to prevent their faith in being so called and elected weakening. If their assurance about this weakens, they will begin to stumble. They won't be prevented from entering the kingdom, for they have been called and are elected to be in the kingdom, and other N.T. texts show that they have already found entrance in.

That is confirmed by what Jesus said in answer to the question, "Lord, are there few that be saved?" He had just given several parables about what the kingdom of God was like. His answer was:

"Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." Luke 13:23-24 A.V.

Jesus said he is that gate which opens up to the narrow way (John 10:7-9). Those who do not enter into the kingdom via him remain on the broad way that leads to destruction for many (Matthew 7:13-14).

Going back to the text in question, Peter is addressing Christians who have already entered in via the strait gate (Christ) and who are now on that narrow road. His salutation is to those who have received faith in righteousness of God and Christ. Peter immediately launches into how to avoid being barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ. But those who lack things like virtue, knowledge, self-control and love are blind and have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins. Now comes verses 10 and 11.

Christians can be sure of their calling and election into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. How? Diligence needs to be applied to certain things to prevent their faith in being so called and elected weakening. If their assurance about this weakens, they will begin to stumble.

On the contrary, Peter says that if they are diligent about exercising faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control and love, they shall never fall. That will keep them assured that when they have finished their earthly course, they will (without question) be ushered into heaven, where Christ is the King of the kingdom.

The answer to the question, "Does this passage imply that our entering into the kingdom is somehow contingent upon us growing in the qualities listed earlier in the chapter?" is no, not "contingent" to entering into the kingdom, but necessary to prevent believers stumbling or falling along the narrow way they are already on. Paul says something very similar in Colossians 1:10-14 where the Christians will be strengthened as they walk in the knowledge of Christ, being fruitful, having patience, long-suffering, thankfulness and joy, because they have been delivered from the power of darkness and have been translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son. Not, "Will yet be translated"!

"What is the entrance into the kingdom of heaven?" Having entered in to the kingdom via faith in Christ, they enter into heaven itself at the end of that journey on Earth along the narrow way, ideally without having stumbled or fallen en route to heaven!

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The phrase can be improved as rendered in some other versions to mean the generous & gracious welcome:

  • NCB "glorious welcome into the eternal kingdom";
  • CEB "receive a rich welcome"
  • NLT "grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom"
  • NMB "grand entering in will be given you"
  • ISV "generously granted entry"

This grand reward is parallel to other references such as the great reward in Luke 6:23 "Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven". The rewards are obviously contingent on the degree of works of obedience, as we see in all the parables of Jesus.

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