I can guarantee this truth: No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. (John 3:5 GW)
No one has ever yet been “volitionalized” into the kingdom of God; that is, so appealed to in their wills to make a decision, and to determine to be in the kingdom of God, as by the strength of that decision and that determination to have got through. It cannot be done. A great deal of mistake has been made in that connection, and an entirely false position has been brought about for multitudes of people because the effort has been made along those lines, and they have been appealed to along those lines to exercise their own reason, and their own feelings, and their own wills, as though that would regenerate them.
Thus interest and activity in Christianity is one thing, but being in the kingdom is quite another.
Multitudes of good-meaning people are interested in Christianity, and are active in Christianity. They see the value of the Christian standard of life, and Christian teaching, and have thought if only it could be applied, how different the world would be. So they have become busy in Christianity, and have thought they were in the kingdom of God. Not at all! You can have all the interest in Christianity without being in the kingdom. This is what the Lord Jesus said, in effect, and in other and more concise words, to Nicodemus.
The only way in is by our receiving Divine Life as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ, and that becomes the new basis of the new creation, the basis upon which everything begins and is carried through, the basis of Divine Life [John 1:12; John 3:3-16; 2 Cor. 5:17]. That Life has in it all the qualities and energies of the new creation. It constitutes our being in what is called the Kingdom of God.
Open Windows: By T. Austin-Sparks from: The Meaning of Divine Life –