Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity – Saturday
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. – Matthew 7:21
In the visible Christian Church there are people who call Jesus their Lord and Savior, who call themselves disciples of Jesus and children of God, yes, who may even consider the Gospel to be the truth, and, moreover, display zeal for the cause of the kingdom of God, and yet they do not do, they refuse to do, the will of God as declared in His holy Law.
Yes, there are those who preach and teach the Gospel and the doctrine of Christ in its truth and purity, with great power and eloquence, diligently and untirelessly, who defend the same, convert others and convince them of the truth, and do wonderful works in the kingdom of God, and accomplish many things, but nevertheless they are continually carnal-minded and disobedient to God.
Let us remember that the saving power of God is not vested in the person of the preacher, but in the grace of God which is effective through the Word that is preached. Now, dear Christians, note this! All such people shall not enter into the kingdom of God. Our Lord and Savior has never recognized them as His own; He does not now recognize them as such, and He will not do so on the day of Judgment. They are workers of iniquity; they must depart from Jesus. The proof for this comes from Jesus’ own words: “Not everyone 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 [keep on working, keep on doing, keep on committing] iniquity’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
The Apostle John, in his First Epistle, wrote down a similar message: “He that committeth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning [whoever keeps on sinning with no repentance, with no regret, with no shame, is a child of the devil, for that is how the devil conducts himself; he keeps on sinning with no repentance, with no regret, with no shame]. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God [those to whom God has, out of His grace, given the second birth, who have been born again through the Gospel of God’s grace in Christ, cannot, according to their new man, continue to willfully and persistently sin with no repentance, with no shame, with no regret]” (I John 3:8-9). Rather, we Christians, according to that “new man” (Ephesians 4:24), want to “show forth the praises of Him who hath called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy” (I Peter 2:9-10)
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, remind me again and again that Thou art the Vine, and that I, by faith, am attached to Thee as one of Thy branches (John 15:5). Produce ever more abundant fruit in me and through me for Thy glory and as a thank-offering to Thee for all that Thou has done for me to redeem me to God by Thy “precious blood …, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:19). Amen.