Summary: To do the will of the Father is mandatory to gain entrance into the kingdom of God.
Text: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven…” (Matthew 7:21).
How many of you are thoroughly convinced and know without a shadow of doubt that you will enter the kingdom of heaven? As Christians, all of us are sure that this is our destiny. Isn’t this true?
Do the words of Jesus “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven…” mean anything to you? You have read them many times or you have heard them quite often, but, has a red flag every popped up in your thinking?
At some point in our life are we going to be surprised? I believe we all like surprises if they are to our benefit. As children, we most likely had many surprises. We might have been surprised with a birthday party, or a trip to an amusement park, or by being chosen for a special award in school.
As an adult, we might have been surprised to learn of a raise in our paycheck or our loan for the house we really wanted has been approved. Perhaps we applied for a certain position that 100 other people applied for and we were notified we had been selected.
As a young high school graduate, you were surprised to find out your college expenses are covered by a full scholarship. Maybe you were surprised to discover the person you have been dating has accepted your proposal to spend the rest of their earthly life with them.
These of course are all positive or good surprises, but then there is the other side of the coin that shows negative surprises. For example, many working adults have been surprised to learn their company is cutting positions and their position will be eliminated. This is something that was not expected so it was a major surprise.
Maybe a spouse, without any known medical problems, suddenly dies. This is not only a surprise, but also a shock because it was never expected. My own brother suffered a broken collar bone in his teen years and a broken ankle in his 30’s, but other than that was in good health. One night he went to bed and within the hour he went to be with the Lord. This was a total surprise to the entire family.
It is probably safe to say that we have all experienced positive and negative surprises. We had no problem dealing with the positive surprises, but the negative ones were a shock. Even though the surprise was a shock, we were able to deal with it. We managed to gain strength from an unknown source and as a Christian we know that source was none other than Almighty God.
There is no doubt that at a certain time we are all going to leave this earthly life. As a Christian, we believe that we will spend eternity in the presence of God the Father and God the Son. In other words, we know our destiny and knowing our destiny, we have inner peace.
Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven…” We tell ourselves those words do not apply to us because we are “born-again” Christians. Not only that, but we were raised by a Christian mom and dad. We went to Sunday school and church. As adults, we raised our children the same way.
We go to church, serve on the various boards, teach Sunday school, financially support the work of the church, help our neighbors, and abide by the Ten Commandments. We have a sure ticket on the heavenly train which will take us passed the pearly white gate and into the terminal of eternity.
Many people think this way and are convinced in their mind they will be saved. Some people are sure of their destiny because they profess to be a believer in Jesus Christ. They claim that salvation is not an issue because they have done many wonderful works in the name of Almighty God. Yes, they have made some mistakes and they have made some wrong choices, but all their good deeds outweigh their wrongdoings.
This all sounds good, but in reality it doesn’t guarantee one a place in the heavenly kingdom. There are people, including some Christians, who say that believing in Jesus will save them. If you think for a moment, you will recall that demons believe in Jesus, but they certainly are not saved.
In James’ letter we find these words, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder” (James 2:19). In other words, the demons know who Jesus is but they do not obey Him.
John recorded these words, “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue, for they loved praise from men more than praise from God” (12:42, 43).