“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
What a disturbing statement from Jesus, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven.” This seems in such conflict with Paul in Romans 10:13, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Should we have confidence or doubt about our trust in the Lord?
During Jesus’ ministry, many followed Him to receive miracles and blessings. To be in His presence was to be in the possibility of solutions to problems, healing from illnesses, and relief from the stresses of life. But not all that received the blessings, committed to follow the Lord’s way. Many wanted the benefits without the commitment Jesus required.
It takes more than lip service to have a relationship with the Lord. Such can be seen in our world. To hear someone, say to you, “I love you,” is more believable when they reflect that love with a constant committed fellowship with you that verifies the words. Words must be verified by life. Too many who claim to be Christian live like the devil. How do you know if you have a relationship with Jesus that He accepts as appropriate?
An appropriate relationship with Christ is more than religious activity. Regular attendance, singing Christian songs, hearing sermons and Bible studies do not guarantee a life is right in the Lord’s sight. Religious activity must be verified by a transformed life lived daily in the world. If religious activity does not increase an intimate relationship with Jesus where we imitate Him, the activity of religion is a waste of time.
An appropriate relationship with Christ is more than balancing good and bad behavior. Jesus is not pleased with part-time disciples. He desires those who strive to make Him first place in their life. It is hypocritical if there is inconsistency in life’s values and conduct. In Christ there is no balancing act.
An appropriate relationship with Christ is more than intellectual knowledge about scripture and the life of Jesus. Quoting scripture will not gain entrance into the Kingdom. Obeying scripture and reflecting a desire to do what the Lord says is a better appraisal of what we know about the Word.
The bottom line for Jesus is that our walk is more important than our talk. He wants us to show what we believe, not just talk about it. At the end of the day, we will be more confident ourselves when a walk matches our talk. When consistency exists, confidence will be sure that the Lord will be pleased to approve.
Bro. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, 4032 Poplar Springs Drive, Meridian. Visit the church website at www.psdbc.org. From the Shepherd's Heart is published Fridays in The Meridian Star.