Get your Daily Encouragement with the Jesus Minute
Growing up in a little Baptist Church in southern Ohio, I was led to believe that we were the only ones on planet earth who were going to get into heaven. Today, I not only realize that what I was taught was wrong, but also that there are many out there who believe they are the only ones who are going to get in.
This reminds me of what the early disciples thought and said to Jesus. John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.” (Luke 9:49-50) My first thought is “how disgusting” that they are critical and negating people who are not part of their particular we-four-and-no-more group. My second thought is to readily admit that this was my attitude for years and that is disgusting!
Jesus also alludes to other sheep outside any we-four-and-no-more group, when he says: “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” (John 10:14-16) Who are these other sheep? Well, I don’t know, but Jesus does and that is all that really matters!
Maybe the classic teaching of Jesus to illustrate there is no such thing as we-four-and-no-more is when he tells of the group who will come to him and proclaim their credentials and Jesus flatly rejected them
Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And when the storms come, the house didn’t fall, but stood firm. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. Then when the storms come, this house will crash. (Matthew 7:21-27)
It’s not we-four-and-no-more at all. There is no exclusive group who is going to enter the Kingdom. Jesus breaks down this invisible wall by saying it clearly, that only “he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter.”
And, who is it who does the will of the Father? Those who hear the words of Jesus and practice them. So, how is it going with you?