Monday, November 15, 2010

The Kingdom of Heaven: The True Disciple - November 15, 2010

Matthew 7:21-23 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the person who does what my Father in heaven wants.

22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we force out demons and do many miracles by the power and authority of your name?’ 23Then I will tell them publicly, ‘I’ve never known you. Get away from me, you evil people.’

This portion of Matthew is one of those that can strike fear into every believer. Who hasn't read this passage and asked,"Lord do you mean me?"If you look back starting with verse 15, you will notice that Jesus was warning about false prophets, those who claim to speak about and for Jesus, but they are far from him. There are many different cults and faiths that claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, but they believe in a very different Jesus than a true Christian does.

Here though, Jesus is talking about those within the church. They act and talk like they follow Jesus, but in their hearts they are far from him. They have a far different agenda than sharing the life-saving good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They do not call on Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord of their life. They haven't called on the name of Jesus to redeem them from their sin. In gratitude they have not made it their purpose in life to please Him, and tell all they know about Jesus as best as they can, or work for his purposes.

If you even are asking this question, you have already passed God's test. All of us who love and call on our Savior Jesus know that we fall short and that we are undeserving of God's mercy and grace, and knowing so is what is most important in determining whether or not you are a true disciple. It is because we know of our inadequacy and need for Him that we can know that we are chosen by Him. Jesus reaches out to all of us, who will realize our very dependence, to call us his children.

We feel his presence when we are moved in worship and praise, or we are touched by the injustice, hurt and pain around us. We know we are his, when we long for his return and we hope and wait for his loving embrace. Are you a true disciple? Do you long for the Kingdom of Heaven? If you do, then in your heart you already know the answer.

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