C. THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IN OUR TEXT...
1. Appears to have the future aspect of the kingdom in view
a. Note that Jesus says “in that day...” - Matthew 7:22 - Many
will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy
name done many wonderful works?
b. An apparent reference to the day of judgment - cf. 2 Timothy 1:12 - For the which cause I
also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able
to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.; 2 Timothy 1:18 - The Lord grant unto him that
he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.;
2 Timothy 4:8 - Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall
give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
2. Thus Jesus is talking about who will enter the kingdom in its future aspect
a. Of which He spoke on other occasions - Matthew 25:31-34 - When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the
throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them
one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the
goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom
prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
b. Of which Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:10-11 - Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence
to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered
unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
[What a wonderful blessing, to have an abundant entrance into “the everlasting kingdom of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ”! But this leads us back to our text (Matthew 7:21-23 - Not
every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in
thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And
then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.), and to the main question
of our study...]
II. WHO WILL ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN?
A. NOT EVERYONE WHO PROFESSES JESUS...
1. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven”
2. There are some who teach that as long as one believes in Jesus, they will be saved
a. That salvation is by faith only
b. Even though the only time “faith only” is found in the Scriptures, it says: “You
see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” - James 2:24 - Ye see then how that by
works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
3. But there is such a thing as “an unsaved believer”...
a. The demons believe, but are not saved - James 2:19 - Thou believest that there is one God;
thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
b. There were some who believed in Jesus, but were not saved - John 12:42-43 - Nevertheless
among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him,
lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
c. Jesus described a true disciple as one who not only believed in Him, but did what He said - John
8:30-32 - As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye
my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
-- Let no one think that just because they believe in Jesus, they have a free ticket into heaven!
B. NOT EVERYONE WHO DOES MANY GOOD WORKS...
1. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not...” - Matthew 7:22
- Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in
thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
2. Here were people who not only believed in Jesus, but believed they had:
a. Prophesied in His name!
b. Cast out demons in His Name!
c. Done many wonders in His Name!
-- I.e., they thought they had been empowered to do such wonderful works!
3. Such good works certainly did not earn their way to heaven
a. Indeed, salvation is by grace, not meritorious works - cf. Titus 3:3-7
- For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living
in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love
of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved
us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our
Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
b. Good works had not saved Cornelius, he still needed to be told what to do
to be saved - Acts 10:1-5 - There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called
the Italian band, A devout man,
and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision
evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked
on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial
before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:;
Acts 11:14 - Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
4. Indeed, sometimes what we may think is a good work is without any authority...
a. Jesus condemns these as those “who practice lawlessness” - Matthew 7:23 - And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
b. Literally, those who act without authority
1) It was not that they did something condemned by Jesus
2) It was that they did things for which they had no authority!
-- We might be very religious, and do many things in the name of Jesus, yet He might still say: “I
never knew you; depart from Me...”
[Who then will be saved?]
C. THOSE WHO DO THE FATHER’S WILL...
1. As Jesus said, “...he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” - Matthew 7:21 - Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth
the will of my Father which is in heaven.
a. Here is the dividing line: those who DO the Father’s will!
b. As James would write later, it is the “doer of the work” who
is blessed in what he does - cf. James 1:22-25 - But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your
own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into
the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but
a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
2. Is this legalism?
a. No! Legalism is salvation by perfect law-keeping, believing that one earns salvation by
the merit of what they have done
b. Salvation by grace does not preclude the necessity of obedience
1) We simply need to recognize that our obedience does not earn or merit salvation
2) When all is said and done, we are still unworthy! - cf. Luke 17:10 - So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:
we have done that which was our duty to do.
3. The Father’s will, while it offers salvation by grace, does require obedience!
a. Only those who obey from the heart will be delivered from sin - Romans 6:17-18 - But
God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered
you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
b. Christ is the author of salvation to all who obey Him - Hebrews 5:9 - And being made perfect,
he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
c. Christ will come in judgment against those who obey not the gospel - 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 - And
to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming
fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished
with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
1. Who will enter the kingdom of heaven...?
a. Not those who profess to believe, but do not obey
b. Not those who think they are doing many religious things, but without authority
c. Those who do the Father’s will!
2. This is why we must take an earlier statement in Jesus’ sermon so seriously...
a. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness...” - Matthew 6:33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
b. We must make the finding of God’s will and rule the number one priority in our life!
3. What is the Father’s will? It begins with...
a. Repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ - Acts 20:21 - Testifying both to the Jews,
and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
b. Confessing Jesus as Lord - Romans 10:10 - For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
c. Being baptized into Christ for the remission of sins - Acts 2:38 - Then Peter said unto them,
Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift
of the Holy Ghost.
-- Followed by a life of faithful service to Christ, confessing our sins along the way - Revelation
2:10 - Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast
some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have
tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.; 1 John 1:9 - If
we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from
doing the Father’s will?
Matthew 28:19-20 - Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:15-16 - And
he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Lord I truly thank You for giving me the opportunity to present these words to my brethrens. I pray that You will
give them Your eternal blessings and accept them into Your heart - this I pray
in the name of Thy Son, Jesus, the Messiah, Your only begotten son which Ye sent to save mankind from themselves. Amen
6:23-24 - Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
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