Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. ”
This verse should be of overriding importance to all of us. Jesus is telling us exactly who may enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and by implication, who shall not enter.
We may claim to “believe”, and we may confess Jesus as “Lord” but claiming to believe is not the same as truly believing, and calling Jesus Lord is not the same as being a servant of Jesus, someone truly under His divine authority.
Rev 19:16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Jesus has the title “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”. Jesus is the King of the Kingdom of God. God will not allow into His Kingdom those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as King. There is another “king” or “prince” who claims as his own all those who are too proud to bow the knee to Jesus Christ.
Job 41:34 He beholds every high thing; He is king over all the children of pride.”
This verse speaks of Leviathan, who is a picture of Satan. Satan is so powerful that only the power of God can defeat him in any battle.
Satan is the “god of this age” who has blinded the minds of those who do not truly believe.
2Co 4:3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
2Co 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
Paul speaking to the Ephesians about what was going on with them before they repented wrote:
Eph 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
Eph 2:2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
To get out from under the dominion of this evil prince, the evil god of this age, it takes the power of God. God gives grace TO THE HUMBLE, Satan remains king over all the children of PRIDE.
So then, to enter God’s kingdom we must humble ourselves (“as little children” – Matthew 18:3) and be willing to come under the authority of the One who made us and created us in the first place. Though we do many other things, if our hearts are not submitted and surrendered to Jesus, whose name is THE WORD OF GOD, then all is in vain, and we shall be lost, unless we repent.
To repeat, the teaching of Jesus is that THOSE WHO DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven. SAYING, “Lord, Lord” is not enough, Romans 10:9 not withstanding. Confessing Christ as Lord is a good start, but it means nothing if done out of a faithless heart.
WHAT THINGS ARE DEFINITELY THE WILL OF GOD FOR US
It is impossible to DO the will of God without giving thanks often and “in everything”. So one of the first things that should go from our mouths is “complaining”.
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,
When we complain against God, we are implying that somehow we would do a better job if we were in God’s position. What is that but yet another form of pride? Complaining against God is the opposite of being thankful, and it is done by people who have forgotten, or indeed never realised, that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Anything we do without faith does not please God. In fact,
“whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23b)
So then, until this point we have seen that if we wish to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, at least two things are required – one is THANKSGIVING and the other is FAITH.
Thanksgiving is actually a form of prayer. Therefore, whoever gives thanks in all things also “prays without ceasing”. And whoever constantly gives thanks will become happy about all the good things God has done and is doing – they will therefore also “rejoice evermore”.
Thanksgiving also prepares the heart for true BELIEVING. This is because the person who is thankful and grateful to God has developed a picture of God as a good and generous Provider. When we are moving out in faith, it is because we are confident that God has provided and will provide all that we need. We can give out because God will give back to us through others (Luke 6:37). We can love others because we believe that God has already met all our needs.
Colossians 2:7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
SANCTIFICATION AND SEXUAL PURITY IS THE WILL OF GOD
Not only does the Bible emphasize thanksgiving as an essential element of doing the will of God – it also emphasizes SEXUAL PURITY.
1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;
1Th 4:4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
1Th 4:5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;
1Th 4:6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.
1Th 4:7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.
1Th 4:8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
To reject sexual purity is to reject God. Most of us have violated God’s standards here at some time, at some level. As sinners we can be forgiven, but only when we confess and forsake the sin. Once a person starts to justify their sin, saying that God made them sexually immoral or whatever, they are far gone. Its not possible to justify sin and forsake it at the same time. It must be forsaken in thought, word and deed. That means that we cannot hold onto pornography if we wish to do God’s will.
Because sexual experiences usually involve a lot of pleasure, even if they are perverted sexual experiences, left to ourselves we would tend to go after these things and ultimately become enslaved to them, to one degree or another. We are called to be slaves to God, not to uncleanness. We cannot remain in slavery to uncleanness and remain in the true household of faith, no matter WHERE we go to church. Therefore, it is vital for us to be cleansed by the Word of God, by the blood of Jesus, and thoroughly sanctified by the Spirit of God. If we will truly go after union with God through these things, and obedience to the truth, we will be spiritually satisfied and not irresistably drawn to the lusts of the flesh or the eye.
The Bible is full of promises to the effect that God will sanctify and cleanse us. For example:
1Th 5:22 Abstain from every form of evil.
1Th 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th 5:24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2Pe 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
2Pe 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2Co 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
There are more promises on this subject I believe than there are concerning any other thing. So why do we hear so little preaching and teaching on it?
I want to repeat it again. If we wish to enter the Kingdom of God, we must do the will of God.
Mar 3:35 “For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”
We are in the family of God when we do the will of God. And doing the will of God is not just something that we do outwardly, while our hearts are full of enmity towards God. To do the will of God we must do it from the heart. It involves a complete transformation of the inner life. This begins when we are truly “Born of the Word and the Spirit” by the operation of God and continues as we are “transformed by the renewing of our minds” having “presented our bodies as living sacrifices to God”.
Its not too much of a stretch to state that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew’s gospel, chapters 5 to 7, is a summary of what is important in “doing the will of God”. The above quoted Scripture, in Matthew 7:21 comes towards the end of the Sermon on the Mount. If this is indeed the case, if it is the teaching of Jesus especially in Matthew 5-7 that shows us what the will of God is, and many great Christians such as John Wesley and others believes and preached this, then we should pay special attention to this passage of Scripture and indeed to all others in the four gospels where Jesus tells us what God wants.
Some seek to effectively “abrogate” the teachings of Jesus as if the work of Jesus on the cross nullified them and it was left for Paul alone to tell us what it takes to actually be a Christian, but such bold assertions need to be solidly backed up, because they actually run COUNTER to everything Jesus DID teach.
Joh 12:48 “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him— the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. ”
Was this word spoken to 21st century people also, or just to a handful of people in Judea 2000 years ago?
If only to a handful of people back then, why then did Jesus say:
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Jesus obviously meant for his teachings not only to be passed on to every generation just to be HEARD, but clearly, if words have any meaning, His intention was that his commandments also be OBSERVED from generation to generation.
Jesus did not tell lies about things so important as one’s eternal destiny, and God’s criteria for deciding who would and who would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Why don’t YOU, the reader, make a fresh commitment to doing the will of God today, from now on. Begin by THANKING the Lord Jesus for all He achieved for you on the cross, for all that’s happened to bring you to this place, for all the blessings you have received. Continue by believing that He is a rewarder of them that DILIGENTLY seek Him – and obey Him. Then actually do it. You will be rewarded both in this life and the next. “According to the will of God” is the very best way for a human being to live.