Friday, March 13, 2015
On judgment day, who really gets into the kingdom?
Let's find out!
There are many who argue if you just "believe," you're in. Others argue based on what they've accomplished for the Lord. Still others argue they've believed the right things and have done a lot for the Lord.
So why don't we just open our Bibles and read the words of Jesus on this matter?
Jesus begins by saying, "Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven ..." Matthew 7:21a.
There are many who call Jesus "Lord," but He really isn't the Lord of their lives. Jesus says there are MANY with such delusions ...
"On judgment day MANY will say to me, 'Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws," Matthew 7:22-23.
Did you notice that there are many who can actually be very productive doing amazing things in the Lords' name, and yet be rejected by Christ on judgment day?
That's because it's not our productivity that "punches our ticket" into the Kingdom of Heaven! What is? Tucked between these two scripture references are these poignant and powerful words of Christ ...
"Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter," Matthew 7:21b.
First, to have any access to God we have to be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ. Then, in order to do the will of God, we have to surrender our lives to Him so that our thoughts, desires, and actions mesh with His; in other words, we have to make His will our will.
What is the foremost will of God for us? It's that we become like Christ!
That means thinking about and relating to the Father like Jesus did, and living and loving like Jesus did.
When we accept the sacrifice Jesus made for us to reconcile us to God, surrender our lives so the Holy Spirit can transform us over our lifetimes to become like Jesus, and live out our lives preaching the kingdom of God and loving others like Jesus did, we are doing the will of the Father --- and that is who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
Some people try to be overly simplistic about the essentials of salvation, but what God requires of us isn't limited to a single verse. That's why taking the New Testament in context is important. In the verse we looked at here in Matthew 7, Jesus personally and directly speaks to who will be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven. His word on the matter will trump anything anyone else will tell you!
Based on what Jesus says regarding who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, will you be welcomed into the kingdom?