Memorise Matthew 7:21
“…Not every one …shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
You would remember that the Sermon on the Mount was recorded in the Gospel of Matthew from Chapters 5-7. Earlier in chapter 7, Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat”.
That passage, and also today’s passage tells us that there are many who claim to be Christians (they call Jesus “Lord, Lord”) and expect to be saved, but they refuse to obey Him (they do not do “the will of my Father which is in heaven”, and they continue to walk in the “broad way” (living a worldly life of sin) that “leadeth to destruction”. Their end is certain, for they will be sadly rejected by God on the day of judgment, and Christ will say to them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”.
But how do you know whether you are “in” or “out” (in the Kingdom of heaven or out of it)? Listen to our Lord in the same passage (Matthew 7:18-20), “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”. Your life and Christian conduct is the indicator as to whether you are known by God or not.
Are you producing fruit for the Lord? Are you a good tree or a corrupt tree? Can your friends, your parents see the fruit in you? What fruit? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23a). For example, you show your love for the brethren by praying for them, writing encouraging notes to them, helping them when they have problems and remember to forgive them for any hurts they have done to you. These are simple signs in our life that you are living a life of obedience to God, and are bringing forth good fruit for Him. Obedience is certainly critical in a believer’s life, for it shows that one is truly born again. If you claim to be a Christian, then certainly, you will want to obey God and His Word.
Thought: Can I claim to be a Christian, but yet not obey God?
Prayer: Lord, help me to produce fruit for You and glorify You in my life.