Repentance doesn’t come from the lips in a prayer of forgiveness. It comes from the heart in an attitude of sorrow and humility. Determine now to be done with sin so that you may live for Christ.Amir Tsarfati “Revealing Revelation”
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23
The words of Jesus in these verses cut right to the heart of the matter. They are also some of the most clarifying words on the God / man relationship found in the New Testament. Reading them should make anyone who calls themselves a Christian pause and carefully consider the implications on their spiritual walk.
Jesus is directing His words to those who identify themselves as His followers, believers or disciples whose lives do not reflect the will of the Father in Heaven. Although, they clearly identify with Him in their “Lord, Lord” declaration, Jesus does not recognize them as He poignantly tells them “I never knew you”. It is obviously a shock to the crowd because they list all the great things they have done for Him. Expecting a well done, they receive an eternal brush-off. The issue is that their life is defined as those practicing lawlessness, in other-words sin. References to sin : Galatians 5:19-21 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
The Apostle John defines lawlessness for us in 1 John 3:4-5. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He (Jesus Christ) was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
So, Jesus is striking the benchmark here. Good works, even wondrous ones do not necessarily prove a heart has been redeemed by the Spirit of Christ. Someone can perform magnanimous deeds and give great sums of money yet live a life characterized by unrepentant, unabated sin. The bottom line is that religious works count for nothing unless we have been regenerated by the Spirit of Christ which results in a change in the actions and patterns characterizing our life.
Jesus states it is only those who do the will of the Father that shall enter the kingdom of heaven. So what is the will of the Father? First and foremost, He calls all people to humble themselves, repent of sin and entrust there lives to His Son, Jesus Christ.
And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. 1 John 3:23
A life regenerated by Christ (i.e. Being Born Again) is a changed life. I am speaking from experience. Jesus radically changed me and gave me a new heart. It is faith in Christ that must comes first, regeneration then occurs by His Spirit and the result is a desire for obedience and good works flowing from the renewed life. Then there is a heart to do the will of the Father. I am not saying that perfection is the result but a life characterized by a heart to please God in truth.
However, God the Father is not a genie who can be manipulated. His terms for eternal life are not negotiable. He calls all to genuine faith in Christ rooted in and guided by truth; truth established by Him through the essence of His nature and His inspired Word.
For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:40 (NIV)