In part 2 we saw the result of the decision which had eternally bad consequences and we should note that these were not bad citizens so to speak. It appears that they were productive and helpful to others and thought of their works as service unto the Lord. I think it clear that the Lord used this type of individual specifically because they would be viewed as people who had put effort into doing the right things according to their perspective of what was right and pleasing to the Lord.
Herein lies their problem: God cannot be satisfied with any kind of righteousness that ignores the cleansing affect of Christ’s sacrifice of His life blood. God does not cohabit with evil. In the book of Revelation the 27th verse of chapter 21 we see God’s view and requirement of those entering into heaven, the place where He abodes. He says of this place “there shall in no way enter heaven anything that defiles it, neither anything that works abomination, or maketh a lie; the only ones entering will be those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” We see in this verse that only those in Christ and in His righteousness shall be allowed into heaven.
In the 10th chapter of Romans we find a zealous group of Jews attempting to be good enough to gain eternal life. In the third verse we find them to be ignorant, and this is a special kind of ignorance that ignores the fact that Jesus the Christ was the end of obedience to the law in order to gain any standing with God. It is said of these that they would not submit to the righteousness which God had provided in Christ. To not submit is saying I am doing something that keeps me acceptable to God. The word submit has an opposite – defiance, which has its root in pride or arrogance. Now consider which of these two words we should consider as the basis of those proclaiming their right to enter into heaven. God is clear in His word – He shares His glory with no one. Many professors of salvation will find themselves shut out of heaven because through their own confession they consider themselves unclean in God’s view and continue to crucify Christ to themselves as stated in Hebrews 6:6 and count the blood of Christ inadequate to cleanse or purge their conscience as stated in Hebrews 9:14.
It is noteworthy to recognize that these individuals standing before the Lord and calling Him Lord on that judgment day never mention the fact of having submitted themselves to the righteousness provided in Christ. But instead they give a list of their achievements in their own perception of their life upon the earth. It is of the utmost importance to note that as they stand before the Lord they recognize him as Lord and yet it is by their works that they are claiming a right to access of heaven. They show no adoration or voice any love, just their claim to being deserving of entrance.
There are many professors of Christianity, who according to this passage in Matthew are not true believers at all. Broad is the way, says the Scripture, that leads to destruction and many go in that way. Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life and the only gate or door is the acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as payment for our sin. It is hard to fathom that so many are deluded into thinking achievements or law keeping of the 10 Commandments will gain them access into heaven or that their behavior can be supreme enough as to be acceptable to a holy God. Jehovah has spoken; nothing short of absolute perfect righteousness is accepted into His presence which we call heaven.
There are false teachers everywhere who teach those things which encourage the nurturing of the flesh and all of its attendant desires. Having said that there is no reason for a person to remain ignorant of the truth. Jesus told us plainly that anyone who goes through the progression of steps of asking, seeking and knocking will have the truth opened to him or her. Part 4 will address motive, the” why ” of an activity.