Sunday Morning Word: The Gate

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)

All of us want to go to heaven, but what are we doing to ensure that we have a place in heaven after we die? Are we spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the masses? Are we using our spiritual gifts to give God all the glory and honor? Are we reading our Bibles and living righteously by the Word of God? Are we praying daily? Do we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Are we being kind and loving to others? Are we ultimately following Jesus’ example?

The most important question is: are we saved? Have we confessed with our mouths that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior? Do we believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead? (Romans 10:9)

When you’re saved, most of these things will come naturally to you. Once you’ve accepted Jesus into your life, the things you used to do like partying every night, having multiple sex partners, having a nasty attitude towards others, etc., aren’t as appealing anymore. You’re not excited about them. You don’t expel as much energy for them. You’re more concerned with getting aligned with Jesus Christ and doing the will of God.

That is, unless you’re a carnal Christian.

A carnal Christian is one who lives a “Christian” lifestyle on Sunday, and a worldly one for the rest of the week. These are the judgmental church folk. The hypocrites. The Bible pushers who preach one thing and live the opposite. Paul calls these people “mere infants in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1), and after years of being saved, they are still babies, because they continue to live worldly, leading members of the body astray, and turning unsaved people away.

You do not want to be a carnal Christian.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:1-5)

Jesus said that you will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:16). Stay in Jesus and bear good fruit. If someone is smelling rotten, saying or doing things that don’t sound or look godly, stay away from them! “They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

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