21 “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. 22 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?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23
It is a scary thought, to think we could get to heaven and for Christ not to know us. Especially if we have spent our lives doing his work, preaching the gospel, performing great acts all in the name of Jesus. The truth is a whole lot has been done in the name of Jesus, including everything from benevolent acts like starting schools or hospitals, to horrifying acts like war. Sometimes those responsible have had good intentions and others knew they were just using the name of Christ to further their cause. While some of these acts might have been beneficial to all of society and therefore admirable, Jesus is calling for something else. He is calling for obedience to God.
Jesus expects us to know His commandments and obey them. He even simplified it into two great commandments.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
One commandment dictates how we act toward God. We should honor Him; dedicate time to His worship, His service, and the study of scripture. Too often we leave God the left over, when all our responsibilities are cared for, and we have been fully entertained, we then find a little time for Him. When we truly love someone they are a priority not last on the list.
The other commandment pertains to how we treat everyone else. Everyone around us is our neighbor. If we love them as ourselves, then we treat them as we want to be treated. Respect, love, kindness and generosity are a few words that come to mind. Jealousy, envy, hypocrisy and rudeness do not enter the equation.
If we are doing the “will of our father in heaven”, then He knows us. He walks with us and will be with us to the end. But if we are not following His commandments then the aforementioned warning applies.