...Few are Willing to Try.
A lot of claims are made about serving God, but not all of them are based in truth. Many profess faith, but how many of those actually practice what they preach? How many professing Christ actually keep His commandments? (John 14:15). Jesus said: “Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Was this a prayerful request or a statement of obedient action?
Brother J.W. McGarvey observed: “The Pharisees were excessively devoted to prayer, and they led people to believe that every prayerful man would be saved.” Does this observation about the Pharisees remind you of anyone today? Sure it does! Many today are teaching and holding to just such a doctrine. Simply a sinner’s prayer or a last minute call in desperation is said to save [re: John 9:31]. The Lord was teaching against such a false notion. The question deals with whether a vocal crying out of words or action is required. Jesus said: “he that doeth the will of my Father,” and that is exactly what the heavenly vision helped the Apostle Peter to see in Acts 10. At the prospect of Cornelius’ conversion God helped Peter with an attitude and understanding adjustment (Acts 10:35). “He that feareth him [God], and works righteousness is accepted with him.” Everyone without respect of persons is a candidate for the Gospel and salvation as long as he/she fears God and works righteousness. God says they that do His commandments “have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city” [Heaven] (Rev. 22:14).
Entering into the Kingdom comes from obedience to the will of God. One must be born again, Jesus said, “of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). Entering only in the proper way (John 10:1, 7-10). The entry is by and through Jesus (Acts 2:47), and though many teach an entry by prayer, the Bible does not teach such a doctrine. It does teach calling upon the Lord, but that is an obedient action (Acts 22:16; Rom. 10:13). Then and only then is one with sin washed away prepared to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
It might be said here that this is a reality check from Jesus Christ. Not everyone wearing His name will be saved. Some wearing His name have never obeyed Him (Matt. 7:22-23). Some have obeyed Him but are unprepared (Matt. 25:12). It should be very sobering to all. Everyone needs to be sure of compliance to the will of God. H. Leo Boles wrote: “No mere profession of piety or worship will do; the will of God must be done by all who receive the reward of Heaven.” Most everyone wants to go to Heaven, but it seems few are really willing to try. Are you truly committed to serving God? It will show in an obedient life lived in true service to God.