44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
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To me, the use of the word "must" in the question runs counter to the point that Jesus was trying to make. Following Him in faith, and gaining eternal life in the process, is a goal that (like the hidden treasure in the field, or the pearl of great price in the next parable that Jesus told) so far dwarfs any possession, or material comfort, or personal happiness, that life in this fallen world can offer; or any opposition (that can be very real and have dire temporal consequences) that it can present; or any sacrifice (that may involve people, possessions, choices, or practices that are very important to the individual, including his or her own temporal life) that it may require Christians to make, that it should be the Christian's highest and totally WILLING (rather than compulsory) priority at all times, and especially at such times as when those obstacles (such as opposition, sacrifice, and loss of possessions) present themselves.
Must we give up everything for the “kingdom”? No, I don’t think so. But I haven’t always felt like this. Once, in my teens, just after receiving Christ as my personal Savior, I called the Salvation Army to come over and pick up my “like new” 10 speed bicycle. As they loaded it onto their truck, I watched with sadness (I have always been an avid biker). Did I do wrong? I don’t know, but I know my motive was not entirely pure then. What I do know is that Jesus encourages us to make the kingdom of God Number One in our lives (Matthew 6:33). And nothing is more valuable than the kingdom of heaven, yet God gives it to us as a gift.
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