Act 14:21 And Barnabas and Paul, having preached the gospel to that city, Derbe, and having made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, and Iconium, and Antioch,
Act 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, urging them to continue in the faith, saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God."
Act 14:23 And having chosen elders for them in every church, and having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Notes :"Through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God."
Barnes Notes :And that we must - καὶ ὅτι δεῖ kai hoti dei. That it is fit or proper that we should. Not that it is fixed by any fatal necessity, but that we are not to expect that it will be otherwise. We are to calculate on it when we become Christians. Why it is proper, or fit, the apostle did not state. But we may remark that it is proper:
(1) Because such is the opposition of the world to pure religion that it cannot be avoided. Of this they had had striking demonstration in Lystra and Iconium.
(2) it is necessary to reclaim us from wandering, and to keep us in the path of duty, Psa_119:67, Psa_119:71.
(3) it is necessary to wean us from the world; to keep before our minds the great truth that we have here “no continuing city and no abiding place.” Trial here makes us pant for a world of rest. The opposition of sinners makes us desire that world where “the wicked shall cease from troubling,” and where there shall be eternal friendship and peace.
(4) when we are persecuted and afflicted, we may remember that it has been the lot of Christians from the beginning. We tread a path that has been watered by the tears of the saints, and rendered sacred by the shedding of the best blood on the earth. The Saviour trod that path; and it is enough that the “disciple be as his master, and the servant as his lord,” Mat_10:24-25.
Through much tribulation - Through many afflictions.
Enter into the kingdom of God - Be saved. Enter into heaven. See the notes on Mat_3:2.
Matt 3:2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
Repent ye - Repentance implies sorrow for past offences 2Co_7:10; a deep sense of the evil of sin as committed against God Psa_51:4; and a full purpose to turn from transgression and to lead a holy life. A true penitent has sorrow for sin, not only because it is ruinous to his soul, but chiefly because it is an offence against God, and is that abominable thing which he hates, Jer_44:4. It is produced by seeing the great danger and misery to which it exposes us; by seeing the justice and holiness of God Job_42:6; and by seeing that our sins have been committed against Christ, and were the cause of his death, Zec_12:10; Luk_22:61-62. There are two words in the New Testament translated “repentance,” one of which denotes a change of mind, or a reformation of life; and the other, sorrow or regret that sin has been committed. The word used here is the former, calling the Jews to a change of life, or a reformation of conduct. In the time of John, the nation had become extremely wicked and corrupt, perhaps more so than at any preceding period. Hence, both he and Christ began their ministry by calling the nation to repentance.
The kingdom of heaven is at hand - The phrases kingdom of heaven, kingdom of Christ, kingdom of God, are of frequent occurrence in the Bible. They all refer to the same thing. The expectation of such a kingdom was taken from the Old Testament, and especially from Daniel, Dan_7:9-14. The prophets had told of a successor to David that should sit on his throne 1Ki_2:4; 1Ki_8:25; Jer_33:17. The Jews expected a great national deliverer. They supposed that when the Messiah should appear, all the dead would be raised; that the judgment would take place; and that the enemies of the Jews would be destroyed, and that they themselves would be advanced to great national dignity and honor.
What does the Kingdom of God mean to you? Is it just some fancy Bible term or does it personally mean you are submitted to the rule and Reign of Christ in your life. Under His authority in all you do.
Remember Repent - turn from your sin and evil direction and turn to Christ in sorrow of heart for the Kingdom is near you right now. He will save you and set you completely free from every burden of sin and rebellion.