INTRO: The verses I have read from the Sermon On The Mount must be among some of the most devastating words of our Lord. Some would, I am certain, consider these to be very negative words ... turn off words. But Jesus was very up front about the meaning and requirements of kingdom citizenship ... discipleship. He never was vague; He did not hold out false hopes; He meant what He said. There is no doubt that a great many very sincere people would have a practical problem with what Jesus said here. This kind of language would seem to come into conflict with the pervasive and general view of salvation by grace. Implied in this passage are two groups of people. There are those who will enter the kingdom of heaven ... and there are those who will not!
I. NOT EVERY ONE WHO SAYS, LORD, LORD
A. At the judgment day there will be a shock for some folks
1. no doubt the Lord is including the false prophets of whom he spoke
2. but the language of the text is broader in scope that only false prophets
B. He notes that these folks are calling out, Lord, Lord...
1. as He looks toward the ultimate judgment, these are they who cannot enter
2. realizing they cannot enter, they cry out, Lord, Lord
C. I would guess that these have been religious people in life
1. with their mouths they have made some profession
2. they would certainly not want to be known as reprobates, sinners
D. But Jesus gives a critical clue to their spiritual failure
1. they had not done the will of His Father!
2. all of the sincerity and religion in the world cannot take the place of doing Gods will on this earth
3. Lk 6:46 - He is truly our Lord if we do His will; if we do the things He says
4. obedience is the issue here - we cannot escape that fact
5. but those who do the will of the Father will enter into heaven!!
II. NOT EVERY ONE WHO DOES GOOD WORKS
A. Once again, we hear the Lord, Lord
1. the shock of realization? or the pleading of the too late penitent?
2. we are still apparently dealing with religious people
B. Their claims?
1. they have prophesied; they have cast out devils; they have done many wonderful (mighty) works
2. in view of the context, I am reminded of 2 Thes 2:9
C. They claim to have done their things in Jesus name
1. there is no doubt of the importance of His name - Acts 4:12
2. and, certainly, the Lord is glorified by good works which are done by His servants - Mt 5:16 with Eph 2:10
3. but doing something in Jesus name without the proper undergirding of faith and willing obedience is not all there is to ones relationship with the Lord
4. Acts 19:13-16 - a Biblical illustration of this very thing
5. I have no desire to be harsh or uncaring about this, but it is evident that the religious world today is overrun by charlatans, deceivers ... whose interest is in Rolex watches!
D. I never knew you...
1. their confessions, professions have been made in a public way
2. and Jesus responds before all ... He had never acknowledged them ... He had never considered them His
3. 2 Tim 2:19a - be certain of this: Jesus knows who His disciples are!
E. They were workers of iniquity
1. for all of the good works they claimed, they were still workers of iniquity
2. we are not told what specifically what the nature of their iniquity was
3. 2 Tim 2:19b - the nature of the iniquity is immaterial to the point here - whatever lawlessness is in ones life must be abandoned!
4. but those whose lives have been filled with good works and who have departed from iniquity will enter into heaven!!
CLOSE: I have a great concern that many, many sincere religious people will ultimately hear this word from Jesus, Depart! And it will not be because of a lack of sincerity ... or even zeal. It will be because of a simple failure to do the Fathers will...to obey. Or it will be because of a failure to be holy in life. 2 Cor 6:19,20.
Cecil A. Hutson
23 February 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)