11/17 Matthew 7:21

21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

A great number of Christians base their understanding of salvation on chapter three of the gospel of John. They believe that to say "the sinner's prayer" assures your salvation. Another group relies heavily on a passage that is a parallel to our verse today in which Jesus said that those who visit the sick and the prisoner, provide for the needy, and welcome the stranger will enter heaven (Matthew 25:34-36). They assert that doing good deeds proves you are going to heaven. Another says that only speaking in tongues (a heavenly language) can assure you are heaven bound (Acts 10:46-47).

In our passage for today, Jesus teaches that some will claim that they have prophesied, cast out demons, and done mighty works in Jesus' name. Yet, Jesus will tell them that they must depart for He never knew them. Once again we find it is important to understand the use of the language to really understand the meaning. In the Hebrew culture, "to know" was used not only of "intellectual understanding," but also of "an intimate relationship." Those who did these works they are so proud of never had a relationship with Jesus. Saying the sinner's prayer, praying daily, doing fine works, or displaying what some think are spiritual gifts may not mean a person has a relationship with Jesus. Salvation is a heart matter that results in outward transformation.

Jesus is clearly telling His audience that He is the Lord, and only having a relationship in which people allow Jesus to be intimate with them will mean they are of the kingdom of heaven. The question we often ask is, "Do you know Jesus?" It seems more important to ask, "Does He know you?" The Father's will is to surrender our whole life to Jesus.

Consider: For Him to be Lord of your life means He must direct it. Are you allowing Him to direct you daily? Do you share your heart with Him and take the time to hear His heart?