“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one 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 in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’Matthew 7:21-23 NIV
In this passage Jesus divides his followers into two groups. Both of these groups call him Lord. But only one of them does the will of the Father.
The one group calls him Lord. They prophesy in Jesus’ name. They drive out demons. And they perform miracles in Jesus’ name. In today’s world we might say that they teach Sunday school, they tithe, and are faithful in attendance whenever the church gathers.
But what does Jesus say to them? He will tell them words that no one wants to hear. I don’t know you. Go away, you evildoers. That sounds awfully harsh for those who have done so much. But one thing they have failed to do. The will of the Father. They had substituted other, commendable, activities for doing the Father’s will.
The Father’s Will
What is the Father’s will that they have failed to do? That may vary slightly depending on what God has called you to. But his general will for us can be summed up in one word. Love. Jesus identifies the two greatest commandments as loving God and loving others.
God is not as concerned with our exterior activities as he is with our relationships. We need to develop a love relationship with God. And we need to selflessly love our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Do all of that good stuff. But don’t let it be a substitute for doing the Father’s will. Love!