Jesus Christ said these words right at the end of His sermon on the mount…
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
– Matt 7:21
How many of the people who put their hand up in church (“with every head bowed and every eye closed”) actually go on beyond calling on the Name of the Lord to ACTUALLY DOING the will of Jesus Christs Father in Heaven?
And in the next verses Jesus Christ makes sure we do not think that driving out demons and prophecy and miracles meet that standard.
22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’
23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never KNEW you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
He never knew them.
These people were not seeking the Lord personally to find out His will. He never knew them relationally.
So we must ask ourselves and study scripture and pray and find out… what is the will of our Father in Heaven?
In one place Jesus Christ was asked “what is the will of God?”. Jesus replied that the will of God is that the man believes in the one that He sent… namely… that the man believes in Jesus Christ. I think Jesus Christ was speaking to that man who asked that question… giving him the will of God for his life at that time.
Although Gods will for our lives changes as we grow and mature and become more capable… generally speaking Jesus Christ says the (second) command of God (which is equal to the first) is to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Jesus Christ expands on this fundamental teaching later in the book of Matthew when He explains how the judgement will work…
The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.
Salvation is not simply raising your hand when no one is looking and then attending church. It is questionable if such people are even saved. According to these verses they may not be.
You see, we are saved if we confess with our mouth AND if we believe with our heart.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Rom 10:9-10
Why our heart?
If your heart is changed, your behaviour will be changed. You will spend your time differently.
If you truly have met God and Jesus Christ… if you know there is a God and you call Him Lord… if you understand Gods love for people and the hope that Jesus Christ offers us… then your heart has been pierced and you will choose to love and to help.
In my own journey Im coming to see the huge change that is happening in my life as my heart softens more and more.
Abuse is an awful thing because it can harden our hearts a lot… and we might not even know it.
But now my heart is softening… which is one of the promises of the new covenant… a new soft heart to replace the heart of stone.
As this happens I see Gods words now take root more deeply in me. His seeds sink in. I understand His words better. They take root in me and grow… just as Jesus Christ described in the parable of the sower.
The hardness and softness of our heart is very important. It determines so much of our life and it determines our eternal life.