Blessed… Not Everyone…

“Not everybody who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter. On the Judgment Day, many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name and expel demons in your name and do lots of miracles in your name?’ Then I’ll tell them, ‘I’ve never known you. Get away from me, you people who do wrong’” (Matthew 7:21-23, Common English Bible).

There is something about this verse, when paired with other verses of Scripture that just doesn’t make sense. “Not everybody who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter.”

Now, compare that with John 3:16. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.” So which is it? Do we get the kingdom of heaven if we believe in the Son? Or, as our lesson says, we get heaven when we do the will of Jesus’ Father?

To further complicate the matter, in John 14 we read, “ Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (John 14:6, CEB). Do we gain the Father and thence the kingdom of heaven through Jesus? Or, do we gain the Kingdom of heaven by doing the will of God?

So, I think something more is required. Perhaps we should read a little further in that John 14 passage. Jesus continues, “If you have really known me, you will also know the Father. From now on you know him and have seen him” (John 14:7, CEB).

One more passage to watch, James 2:17 says, “In the same way, faith is dead when it doesn’t result in faithful activity.” It is more than just having faith, it is about having living faith.

We want to simplify things. Perhaps we want them to be a bit too simple. “If I just profess faith in Jesus…” That is all that is required, or at least that is what we want to think. Our lesson today reminds us that knowing Jesus is more than just words. And, we are, as Paul says, justified by faith. But, that faith has to be something more than mere talk. Our faith that justifies us has to be real and it has to be living.

We are living our faith when we are living in the will of God. We are living our faith when we not only say we love God but when we demonstrate that love in the ways we love our neighbors, when we get out and do work that makes a difference in the lives of people in the world around us.

What it all comes down to is, we can’t just say we believe in Jesus, we have to live like we love Jesus. We have live out the will of God.

How do you show the world you love Jesus? How do you live out the will of God?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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