September 9, 2012
Who Will Enter Into The Kingdom of Heaven?
It is astonishing that even though the sacred scriptures clearly tell us who will enter into the kingdom of heaven, there are people who are so squeamish that they will not address the issue in a forthright manner. Jesus said,
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Mat. 7:21)
According to Jesus, a person must “do” the will of God in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. The implication is, if one does not do the will of the heavenly Father he will not enter the kingdom of heaven. This shows the importance of being certain that one does the will of God, and not one’s own will.
The teaching of Matthew 7:21 applies equally to all human beings, whether in or out of Christ. All must do the will of the Father in heaven to share in his eternal blessings. Let’s break it down even more.
“Not everyone who says …” teaches us that it’s not the person who “talks the talk,” but the one who “walks the walk” who meets God’s approval. Mere talk is cheaper than dirt! Anybody can talk and accomplish nothing. Lip service alone brings no blessing.
(cf. James 1:25)
“But the one who does …” teaches us that “doing” (working) is important. There is no way around it! We who are Christians should be very careful to acknowledge that the New Testament teaches we are justified and saved by works. If not, are we willing to affirm that one may be saved and not do what God commands? (Hebrews 5:8-9) The question is not if we are saved or justified by works. The question is this:
by whose works are we justified?
Are we justified by the works God enjoins, or by human works?
Those who are influenced by the teaching of Augustine and John Calvin are unable or unwilling to understand this important point. There are works that justify and there are works that do not justify. Knowing the difference makes all the difference! Calvinists are adamant that we are NOT saved by works . It would be interesting to hear a Calvinist answer the following question: must a person do what God says in order to be saved? When a person does what God commands, has he “worked?” (James 2:14-26)
The one thing that the modern Calvinist objects to in the current discussion of “faith and works,” is the essentiality of immersion in order to be saved. They reject the idea that one must be immersed in order to be saved. They reject it in part because they believe it is a human work. But it is a work required by God! (Acts 10:48)
The one who will enter the kingdom of heaven is the person who obeys God. The obedient will be saved by grace, faith, mercy, and love. Those who do not obey will not be saved according to Jesus.
Morning Scripture Reading: John 3:1-5
Evening Scripture Reading: Mark 9:1-8
For more teaching on crucial issues visit the following blogs: