August 20, 2020

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).

Previously I said we would look at ‘Actions Speak Louder than Words’. We’ll hold off on that until next time because a dear lady wrote to me, “This has to be one of the scariest verses in the Bible.” She’s right. But if it motivates us to examine our spiritual standing in light of God’s Word, then so be it.

One thing I demanded of my students when I taught extension classes from Golden Gate Seminary, was “context, context, context”. The context of any verse under examination is vital. Jesus was not speaking to atheists, agnostics, heathen, or pagan people in the Sermon on the Mount. He spoke to ‘church going’ folk. Some members of the Sanhedrin were present in the crowd. Pharisees and scribes were there, but most were simple people. They were men and women who attended Temple worship on the holy days of the Jewish faith and attended synagogue regularly on the Sabbath. They did their best to follow the Mosaic Law as interpreted by the priests. This is the crowd He spoke to.

If recent polls are correct in stating that 50% of Americans identify themselves as born-again Christians, and, if Matthew 7:14 is true that there will be few who enter the narrow gate and walk the hard path that leads to eternal life, then it may be concluded that many of the people who attend church are not really saved. Craig Keener remarked, “Churchgoers today are no more automatically saved than those who ate with Jesus in the past . . . attending a church no more makes one a Christian that entering a garage makes one a car.” So yes, Matthew 7:21 is one of the scariest verses in the Bible.

But there are a number of Bible verses that give us joy and peace. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him (Romans 8:14-17).

Does the Holy Spirit of God bear witness in your spirit that you are a child of God? Is your lifestyle and witness such that people know you are a Christian? Do you really fear facing the Lord when this life is done, or are you looking forward to it!

“Father, You have not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control under the leadership of Your Holy Spirit. If Your Word gives rise to fear in our mind or heart, help us to come to the place of spiritual examination so that we may call upon Your Holy Spirit to search us and find in us the truth regarding our spiritual standing with You. To the praise and honor of Jesus Christ I ask, Amen.”

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