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The Rev. Mike Taylor: Not all who call me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven

"Not every one who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers'" (Matthew 7:21-23).

In another passage of scripture Jesus calls them workers of iniquity, those that try to gain God's acceptance outside of total trust in Christ alone. We can see from the scripture above that these were obviously people who were doing the work of God. It says they prophesied in God's name, they cast out demons and did many wonders. In Luke's gospel it says they ate and drank in the presence of Jesus and that he taught in their streets. Some of these were false prophets but also many of the religious of Jesus' day. However, we know from scripture that entering God's kingdom is not just about being religious but by a personal relationship with God through his son the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Today we see much of the same, many claiming to do the work of God but having no personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus said to "enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few" (Matthew 7:13-14).

Doing what is right in the sight of God is often difficult. It would seem many in our world today are also headed for destruction. Many are headed off the cliff. We must choose for ourselves the narrow path. It's not always the popular way but it gets God's approval every time.

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Today many claim to be a Christian. The Bible, however, says you will know them by their fruits. The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. How many today are walking in the fruit of the spirit? You know I can stand in my garage but that does not make me a car, any more than saying I am a Christian or belonging to a certain church makes me a true believer.

Many today who claim to be Christian are calling good evil and evil good. These are the workers of iniquity Jesus spoke about. These have a form of godliness but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5). The Bible says from such people turn away. They are always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. What truth? The truth that the word of God is true and every man is a liar. That we cannot go on claiming to be a Christian and not abide in the word of God. Jesus said only those who do the will of his father, not just say it, will enter the kingdom of heaven.

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