Matthew chapter seven has haunted me for years. My heart aches for the multitude of people who have had or are having regular contact with the church but will blindly end up in hell despite the best effort of the saints. In spite of the loving efforts of Christians to share the GOOD NEWS with their family, friends, and neighbors Americans in this generation have hardened their hearts. They will not turn from their sins and receive eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Many want to go to heaven but with no strings attached. They want God to give them a free ticket on their terms instead of humbling themselves before the Almighty God of creation and begging Him to allow them into His eternal home in Heaven. The narrow gate of forgiveness is rejected by most people.
Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT)
13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
1/ Most church people will not get to heaven (14 “only a few ever find it.”)
The world is God’s enemy and already facing eternal judgment. But because the gateway to eternal life is so narrow and difficult many try to broaden the road instead of following what Jesus specifically commands. But what about everyone who attends church services and thinks they are going to heaven? Is Jesus speaking of “few” church people or the whole world in this scripture? If we examine verse 21 we must include the majority of people who mix with the church on a regular basis!
Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT)
21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.
22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’
23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Many people will gather with the church and call Jesus Lord. The world does not listen to preachers (prophets) only church people. Atheists and followers of other religions do not listen to Christian preachers. Only hypocrites, seekers, and true Christians listen to preachers. But only hypocrites call Jesus Lord and do not obey and follow Him. And remember Jesus explained that hypocrites are easily exposed by their their actions. More information here.
The people we speak of proclaim and truly believe they are Christians. They prayed a prayer and asked Jesus into their lives. But this is not the narrow way Jesus explains is salvation. Remember or go back to Part 1: The Narrow Way of Repentance: Salvation for more information. But you must understand that this is the mistaken way that confused preachers and sincere people have followed to broaden the door into heaven, and at the same time obstruck the true narrow way.
Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:15-20 (NLT)
15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.
16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.
18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.
19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.
20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
Currently hypocrites are identified by the information they themselves share through polls and questionnaires. For example Barna Research found:
30% of Americans claim to be born again
90% of those say the Word of God does not influence how they live their lives
10% of all the people in the U.S. who say they are Christians actually follow Jesus
And what did Jesus say again? “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” Barna’s research proves “many” which means MOST American “Christians” admit their actions are not influenced by God. They live outside of the will of God.
It does not stop there. ChristianMingle found:
89% of self-identified Christian singles are having sex or will have sex before marriage which is clearly against the will of God.
Another survey by LifeWay revealed:
77% of people who claim to be followers of Jesus say they want to grow and mature in their faith but,
20% actively obey and are involved in some form of discipleship activity. Again most church attendees prove their talk does not match their actions. And again Jesus states our actions are what identify us.
Also Barna Research found:
91% of the adults who claim to be born again DO NOT HAVE a biblical worldview. And only
7% of Protestants who say they are born again actually agree with the Bible and follow it. What this means is about 9% of people who claim they love God will end up in heaven.
Lifeway Research also discovered:
64% of all American Evangelicals think everyone goes to heaven
48% of Evangelicals agreed that God accepts all kinds of worship
This proves the spiritual ignorance has grown so bad that most people attending church services, in supposed good Bible teaching churches, think going to heaven is automatically a free gift and not what the person does, thinks, or believes. And almost half of the people already inside Bible teaching churches think God is all loving with Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, etc all worshipping the same God.
2/ It’s not what stuff you think but what you are are stuffed with (23 “I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.”)
The whole point Jesus makes through Matthew 5-7 is that He blesses mankind with the Good News and after Jesus died for all people’s sin He would give His Holy Spirit only to those that humble themselves, acknowledge their sin, repent and follow Him. His Spirit is overwhelming and pours out the fruit of His presence leaving true believers with righteousness and power as they obey and follow Jesus.
But, in spite of His mercy and grace most people inside and outside of the church will not take His offer but create their own religious ways and demand Christ accept their way into His heaven. You have heard of the song demanding that, “Me and Jesus have our own thing going.”
But the haunting truth is God makes the rules, and controls the door into His heaven. Those who scream, “Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name,” are like Judas and keep breaking God’s laws. All of them will be rejected.
To most people Jesus will have to say, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.”
But to the true followers of Jesus he will say…
“‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Matthew 25:21 (NKJV)