And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.Matthew 8:11-12
Darkness in scripture often symbolizes ignorance and confusion. I think that applies to Jesus’ statement here.
The kingdom of heaven is not just the eternal heaven. It extends to this world in the gospel church and understanding of the true gospel message. The ability to partake of the joys of the kingdom here hinges directly on our walking by faith.
The centurion was blessed to enjoy the fellowship of God in the kingdom because he walked by faith. The unbelieving Jews, who were the natural heirs to this promise, missed out on this fellowship because of their unbelief.
This is a clear example of salvation in time in the scriptures. Those that walk in obedience by faith enjoy the blessings of God. Those that do not walk by faith do not receive this blessing.
And, lest we think this is some small thing, Jesus tells us that missing the kingdom here is utter darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. To not be in fellowship with the King here on earth leads to even more ignorance and confusion. It tends to UTTER darkness! And this is a miserable state of sorrow. The sorrow cannot be appeased because ignorance reigns in the mind. Therefore, there is just gnashing out in complaint and anger at the sorrow and darkness.
Seeing this, we must conclude that believing the Lord and trusting in His mighty power is the only way to find joy!