It’s hard to believe but there are a lot of Christians who believe that the good works they are doing will get them into Heaven. However, Jesus made it clear that this is not the case. He specifically said that those who get into Heaven are those who do the Father’s will. It doesn’t matter if you are ministering to the homeless, helping the poor, active in church or your community or distributing literature. If you are not practising what the Bible teaches you are not right with God. God wants people who are obedient and whose lives are in harmony with His Word.
Jesus said that those who claim to prophesy and cast out demons in His name also practice evil and that is why they will not enter the kingdom. They are living in disobedience. “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9). Anyone who practices evil or lawlessness does not have the Spirit of Christ in him or her, therefore the Spirit cannot testify to their spirit that they are children of God (Verse 16). As long as we walk in the flesh, we will not please God. It doesn’t matter how often we go to church, are involved in ministries or how well we know the Bible, if we are not keeping ourselves unspotted from the world or walking by the Spirit, we will have no part with Christ.
Everyone thought I was living a godly life based on how I was so passionate about serving the Lord in church and in ministry but they never suspected that I was having relations with another church member. We were both single. No one knew what we were doing – name withheld
If I hadn’t gotten pregnant, no one would have suspected anything – name withheld
Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples. He went out with the others and preached that people should repent, cast out many demons, and anointed many who were sick with oil and healed them. However, he turned out to be a thief and would be the one who betray Jesus. Following Jesus didn’t make Judas a true disciple just as being in church doesn’t make a person a true Christian. We may be able to fool others but we can’t fool the Lord. He sees what is on the inside. He knew the real Judas (John 6:70, 71; 13:11, 21, 26, 27).
Just as Jesus places more importance on right living than on good works, God ranks obedience above sacrifice. When Saul went ahead and made an unauthorized sacrifice to God, Samuel chided him saying, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22). Today, we could ask a similar question. “Has the Lord as great delight in prophesying, casting out demons and doing wonderful works? As in turning away from evil and doing His will? Behold, to obey is better than all of these things. ”
These people were trusting in their works. They were asking, “Lord, didn’t we do all of these things in Your name?” What is the point of doing all of these things and not living a godly life? They are like wolves in sheep’s clothing. They give the appearance of being Christians, doing good works but in reality they are living in sin. They are not practising what the Bible teaches. God would rather have them bear fruit worthy of repentance than bearing fruit to make themselves look good.
This reminds me of when the Israelites asked God, “Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You take no notice?”(Isaiah 58:3, MEV). Their fasting did not please God. Why? It wasn’t the fast He had chosen for them. “Isn’t it sharing your bread with the hungry and bringing the homeless poor into your house, covering the naked when you see them, and not hiding from your own family?” (verse 7, CEB).
Did Jesus ask these people to do all of these things in His name? Wouldn’t He have preferred if they stopped practising evil and repented? Instead of serving the Lord, examine your life and see if there are any areas where you haven’t brought yourself completely under His control. If there is any sin or lifestyle you are holding on to, let it go and let Jesus give you the victory. Don’t gamble with your eternity. The most terrible words anyone could ever hear are, “Depart from Me. I never knew you” when they had the opportunity to change. Don’t let this happen to you.