Is Religion Enough for Heaven?Bro. David Chancellor
8/8/2010 11:00 AM
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock;
Is religion enough for heaven? Jesus says here that calling him "Lord" doesn’t make it so. He is Lord of the lives where his will reigns. Our lives must be directed by his will. "May will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast our devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." God isn’t impressed by our accomplishments. We can’t do anything without God’s help. Our works / accomplishments don’t make a big impression on God.
It’s needful that people maintain good works, but what is accomplished is accomplished by God, not us. If you want to go to heaven, know God and do his will. You need a personal relationship with God if you would go to heaven. Know his will and do it. Youc an’t know his will without knowing him.
If you would know the will of God, you need to know what Christ says and listen to him.
Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
We look to the words of Jesus to find God’s will because he was speaking what God gave him to speak. Wanting to do God’s will is the first step to discerning what his will is. This goes beyond seeking for knowledge. The desire to do will help us to live out the will of God. Hear the teaching of Christ so that you can do the will of God. Jesus was sent to reveal the Father to us. Christ’s words help us to know God. God wants us to feel welcome to approach him in prayer. He knows everything about us, and he wants us to have a personal relationship with him.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-3
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
"Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more." We want people to abound more and more in walking with God and pleasing him. "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…" God wants us to be purified. He would have removed from us all that would be unacceptable to him. When you purify something and want to keep it pure, you fill it with something pure. God puts his Holy Spirit in us to keep us pure.
A pure heart is the first work of God. God does a work in our lives. How do you know when your heart is pure? Look at what you desire. Your desires will be pure and you’ll desire God.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
A pure heart has one desire and that is toward God. Your desires affect what you seek. This is where Eve got into trouble. "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." She took on that desire. We need to desire God and seek him only. When we want God only, our life can take the course he desires. Are we thankful for what God does in us? Even when things take a different direction than we anticipated, we need to be thankful for God’s working in us. In all that goes on around us, be thankful that God is in control and we’re walking with him.
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
The will of God is that none be lost. He wants everyone to make heaven. Many have come face-to-face with Jesus, but don’t put their faith in him. We need to lift up Jesus. People need to know they’ll get a good reception with Christ. All humanity is corrupt and wicked, but Jesus came to take care of that. See what God can do for the ones you meet. God doesn’t want anyone to be lost. Our part is to see Him and believe. Our relationship to Christ is so important. He has to know you and you have to know him. You don’t have to fear rejection if you seek to get to know Christ. By knowing the Son, you will receive eternal life. Eternal life is to know God and the one he sent.
Too many settle for religion. If we focus on religion, God won’t be impressed when we stand before him. Seek a relationship with God and have him purify your heart. He will help you to live and walk and do his will. God’s will is for us to walk with him each day down here. It will take God’s help because you are walking differently than the world. The world is upside-down for the wicked; it’s all the wrong direction. God wants us to turn the world right-side up. Maintain your relationship with him. Focus on living out God’s will and focus on knowing God and having a good relationship with him. Seek God until you have a right relationship with him. God will work to bring our attitudes and actions in line with the desire of our heart to make heaven our home.