Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
The second reference Jesus makes concerning entering the Kingdom is most powerful. It’s found at the close of his first seminar: Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)
The context is fascinating! In the next paragraph it’s clear what’s going on. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Jesus is referring to a group of apparent leaders or ministers who would naturally view themselves as believers, because of their actions. These “believers” are known for speaking in the name of Jesus, casting out demons in the name of Jesus and performing many miracles in Jesus’ name. NOTE that Jesus rejects these so-called “believers” and says he doesn’t even know them.
There is another group of “believers” mentioned in the New Testament who are not warmly known by Jesus either. These are the demons that believe and shudder. So, these false teachers, demons and those of us who call ourselves believers all have the same thing in common-belief. This shows us that it’s not enough to just be a believer. There is something more. What makes the difference between these three groups of believers?
Jesus clarifies it here by saying “only those who do the will of my Father” will enter the Kingdom of heaven. No matter what you say or do in the name of Jesus, the most critical issue is whether or not you are doing the will of the Father. What does he mean by “doing the will of the Father”? NOTE Jesus isn’t focusing on something to believe, but to do the will of the Father.
In the next paragraph Jesus illustrates exactly what he means by “doing the will of My Father”, when he says: Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
It’s clear that Jesus is saying “doing the will of the Father” is hearing Jesus’ words and practicing them. This is simply following Jesus! So, there is something more important and vital than being simply a “believer” in Jesus.
There is a belief factor in following Jesus. You must believe in Jesus enough to follow him-to hear his words and practice them.
So, do you want to enter the Kingdom? Then, do the will of the Father-FOLLOW JESUS. Whatever Jesus does and says to do, just do it!