Jesus tells us in this section of scripture that not everyone will go into God’s Kingdom. There are many who appear to be righteous that will miss out.
It is not enough to call on the name of the Lord to gain entry into God’s Kingdom. Jesus says here that not everyone who does so will gain entry. And we see that some of these people who will miss out did many mighty or significant works in the name of Jesus. Yet still they did not gain entry into the Kingdom of God. The question that obviously arises is why? There are many in today’s churches who are seeking to do magnificent works that may miss out too. We see many who set up ministries, who go out into missionary works, who preach and prophesy and exercise the power of the Spirit but still may miss out.
The key to entry into God’s Kingdom though is not in the mighty works. It is not in saying great words or preaching the word or prophesying or missionary work or building churches, schools, hospitals or any of the other works that can and are being done. No, the key to entry into God’s Kingdom is by doing the will of the Father.
What is the will of the Father? It is to believe in Jesus whom he sent to be our saviour. Paul wrote in Romans 1:17, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” It is by faith or by believing in God and Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour that we shall live and gain entry into God’s Kingdom. The apostle John made it even more clear that faith in Jesus was the key saying in John 6:40, “For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
So the key is through faith in Jesus Christ. All the works that a man may do will come to nothing if he does not have faith. It is the condition of the heart and the faith that a person has that is the key. The question will be whether they are truly doing these works for the Lord or for their own benefit. There may be people who believe they can buy or even bribe their way into heaven; that by building churches or setting up ministries of different sorts they can gain forgiveness for their sins or make atonement for their evil ways. Likewise some years ago there used to be talk that by going to church and donating to the church was like putting savings or credits into a “spiritual bank account.” That these things would offset any sins that a person may have committed or would do in the future. There is no spiritual bank account. God does not weigh up a measure of sin and a measure of good deeds to see which pile is the larger to decide whether a person has life or not. Those who believe such things are blind and have been led astray by false teaching and lies. These things are of no consequence for the forgiveness of sin cannot be bought and God cannot be bribed. Forgiveness is freely available to all, but only through faith in Christ Jesus and through repentance.
The works of God are not like the works of man. Jesus was asked about this matter in John 6:28-29 which says, “Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So the works of God are about faith in Jesus Christ, and without faith there is no entry into God’s Kingdom. No person will be accepted on the basis of works of the law as Paul wrote in Romans 3:20, “For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” He added in Galatians 2:16, “…a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.”
Do you want to go into God’s Kingdom? Then learn what it means to be doing the will of God. Learn what it is to have faith in Jesus Christ and what to believe, for that is the pathway to life.