A Rich Welcome? Or Turned Away?

November 15, 2013

Multitudes of people who say to Christ Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” will not be granted entrance into Heaven. (Mt. 7:13,14,21-23) Why does this warning from Jesus go unheeded? It is because people love to sin. (Jer. 2:23-25 // John 3:19,20) Therefore they turn from the Truth to listen to doctrines that will make them feel better (2 Tim. 4:3,4), help them feel safe to sin (2 Peter 2:18,19 // Jude 1:4,18,19), and encourage them to take pride in their shamefulness. (Phil. 3:18,19)

When someone asked Jesus, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” (Luke 13:23), the Lord answered, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” (v. 24) Why not? He answers that in Mt. 7:14, informing us that it is because the gate (the door) and the road that leads to Life are both narrow, and that consequently, “only a few find it.” (same verse)

How do we enter through the narrow Gate/Door who is Christ? (John 10:9) We do so by being born of the Spirit. (John 3:3-8) That happens when we, living by the Truth (John 3:21), come into the Light (same verse), and as we continue to walk in obedience to the Spirit (Acts 5:32) by obeying God’s commandments. (Mt. 19:17) When we do this, we are walking the Narrow Road (Jesus), and are thereby coming to know Him ever more intimately. (1 John 2:3) If we do not obey Him, yet say we know Him, we are liars. (v. 4) For Jesus who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6) is not in relationship with the disobedient. (1 John 2:4)

“But we ate and drank with You, Jesus,” people will say. “And we listened to Your teaching.” (See Luke 13:26) “So please, Sir, open the Door for us.” (See v. 25) But what does Jesus answer? He says, “I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from Me all you evildoers!” (v. 27) And the people are left weeping and gnashing their teeth [in panic]. (v. 28)

Do not these people think they know the Lord? They certainly do. In fact, the ones spoken of in Mt. 7:21-23 whom Jesus shuts the Door on had been aggressively and dramatically serving Him. Yet because they were not doing it in the will of the Heavenly Father, Jesus says to them as well, “I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!”

God’s Word tells us clearly that we must have an on-going intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus, that we do this by being unified with His Spirit –He in us and we in Him– and that this comes only through our sustained obedience to Him. (John 14:23) As Jesus says, we remain unified to Him in His love and friendship IF we do what He commands. (John 14:15 & 15:10,14) Indeed, “Those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them.” (1 John 3:24) For “he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit.” (1 Cor. 6:17)

This unification is the born again / born from above / born of the Spirit (John 3:3-8) experience, and it is the only way to enter through the Door into the Kingdom of God (v. 5,6) and to have that Kingdom indwell us. (Luke 17:21) Purity and obedience to the King of this Kingdom is what maintains the unification. (John 15:1-10 // 1 Cor. 3:16,17 // 2 Cor. 6:17,18 & 7:1)

But, in spite of what God’s Word informs us of, multitudes of people rely on second-hand knowledge of Christ and what He taught. Instead of going straight to Him, “the Word of Life” (1 John 1:1), they go to men and ask them to teach them about God and spiritual matters. How does this unify a person with the Spirit of Christ? All it does is give head knowledge. True, a Spirit-indwelt teacher can point others to the Truth, but those seekers must themselves come into the Light, enter through the Door, and abide in Christ’s love and fellowship through obedience to Him. Only then will a person “receive a rich welcome into the Eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:11)

with love,

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