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Doing the Father’s Will
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father — Matt 7:21
It is not enough to believe in Christ intellectually, even to be quite orthodox in creed. It is not enough to seem to honour Christ before men, praying to Him and ascribing power to Him. It is a sad thing that Jesus tells us here — that some who have thus seemed to be His friends on earth, and who have publicly confessed Him, shall fail at last to get into heaven.
Such a word from our Lord’s lips cannot but startle us. We stop and ask, “Are we sure that we shall be admitted to heaven? Why are these confessors of Christ kept out? What are the conditions of entrance?” To these questions the answer is so plain that there is no possibility of mistake if we read the Lord’s words with honest care. He tells us that those only shall enter heaven who on earth do the will of the Father. No confession, therefore, is true which is not confirmed and verified by a life of obedience and holiness. “Simply to thy cross I cling” is but half of the gospel. No one is really clinging to the cross who is not at the same time faithfully following Christ and doing whatsoever He commands. No one can enter into heaven into whose heart heaven has not first entered on this earth. We shall do God’s will in heaven if we ever get there; we must do it here, or we shall never do it there.
Some people have the impression that salvation sets them free from the law; it does as a ground of salvation, but it does not as a rule of duty. We pray, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven;” if the prayer be sincere it must draw our own lives with it in loving obedience and acquiescence to the divine will. Our confessions of Christ must be confirmed by the earnest doing of the Father‘s will. All other confession is only an empty mockery.