Profession Without Righteousness
“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven.” As our Lord, Jesus Christ, was about to conclude the Sermon on the Mount, He emphasised the ultimate goal of the message, the ultimate goal of His coming and of His sacrifice, the ultimate goal of our faith in Him and fellowship with Him – entering the Kingdom of heaven.
He made it clear, beyond any shadow of doubt, that it is not everyone who has some association with Him in the visible Church that will eventually enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
He is warning us against self-deception. Mere knowledge of Christ as Lord without making Him Lord of our lives will not grant us any place in His Kingdom.
“And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). Great profession of submission to Christ without the possession of grace to obey Him is of no value to Him. Our fine talk, if it is not supported with a faithful walk in His way, the narrow way, is insufficient to obtain an entrance into His Kingdom.
Those who do not enter the Kingdom of grace on earth will never enter the Kingdom of glory in heaven. And except we enter the Kingdom of godliness here, we shall not be able to enter the Kingdom of God hereafter. Many churches are filled with people who say “Lord, Lord” but do not obey the Word of God. They profess much with their mouths, but do not possess grace in their hearts.
They talk of the Lord, but they do not walk with Him. The most impressive talk about the Lord counts for nothing, where genuine conversion is absent.
Even the most religious worship is worthless before God if sincere obedience to His Word is lacking. If our heads are enlightened about the Lord as Redeemer but our hearts have not experienced His redemption, what will our knowledge avail us? If our hearts are empty of God’s grace and our lives are devoid of godliness, we shall be weighed in the balances of heaven and found wanting.
For our Christian testimony to be acceptable to God, for our profession to receive heaven’s approval, we must be born again, our hearts must be renewed, our will must be surrendered to God, our character must be transformed, our obedience to God’s Word must be from the heart. Personally and practically, we must be doers of God’s will before we are qualified to enter His eternal Kingdom.
During the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, many superficial, sentimental followers called Him “Lord” but their hearts did not cleave unto Him. They were not wholeheartedly committed to Him and He could not commit Himself to them. “A certain man said unto Him, Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.” “
And another also said, Lord, I will follow Thee; but…” (Luke 9:57,61). Like many others, their hearts did not agree with their mouths; their will did not support their words. Lip profession or verbal acknowledgement of the truth concerning Christ will not open the way to eternal enjoyment of Christ’s Kingdom, except we have experienced true repentance and sound conversion.
All outward profession will be found useless and soul damning on the final day of reckoning, if it is not accompanied with a gracious character in doing the will of the Father. No matter how loudly we profess to accept Christ and His teaching, unless we are wholeheartedly committed to “doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6), we shall be shockingly disappointed on that day. Obedience to God’s Word is what marks us out as His children.
We all want to get to heaven after our life on earth. Are we making any preparation to see our desire or hope fulfilled? Some hope to enter the Kingdom of heaven on the basis of water baptism without repentance, or regular church attendance without being born again, or self-righteousness and good works without “the righteousness which is of God by faith”, or involvement in ministry without freedom from sin and iniquity.
Such people are building their hope on the sand. The religion of head knowledge without heart transformation is not sufficient to take anyone to heaven. Associating with God’s people, being called ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ by church members is not enough.
That will profit us nothing on the Day of Judgment, when the secrets of men will be brought to the open. “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness” (Proverbs 30:12).
The will of God is that we should forsake all our sins, trust in Christ to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness and follow Him in unwavering obedience all the days of our lives.
Then and only then, can we hope to enter into the Kingdom of heaven. Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46-49; 13:25-28; Isaiah 58:1,2; Ezekiel 33:31,32; 2 Kings 17:33,34; Titus 1:16; Romans 2:13,16-24; James 2:17,20,26; Revelation 3:1,17-22; John 2:23-25; 6:14,15,24-27,60-66; John 12:42,43; Mark 6:20-27; Acts 8:13,21-23; Psalm 78:35-37; Matthew 18:3; John 3:3,5; James 1:22-27; Matthew 7:21; 12:49,50; Philippians 2:12-16; 3:6-9; Hebrews 12:11-14; 2 Peter 1:5-11; 1 John 3:1-10; 2 Peter 3:10-14.
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