Jesus said in Matthew 7:21 (KJV) “Not every one 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.” In other words, some who “believe” in Jesus, did things for the cause of Christ, and claimed to have acted according to his authority, will not go to heaven; and the only other alternative is hell. A statement like this is not popular amongst most people because it declares there is a standard which allows one into heaven. Many are convinced that all believers” go to heaven. However, the scriptures do not support this belief. In Matthew 7:22 (KJV) Jesus said “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” These believers were busy doing many things in the name of the Lord. However, their rejection by Jesus is not because they were lazy, but instead, because they did it their way and not according to His will.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:23 (KJV) “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” These people thought they were doing good things, but Jesus calls their works “iniquity”. These people acknowledged Jesus as “Lord” in word, did many things in His name, but did not act according to His law. They were lawless, or they acted outside the bounds of Christ’s law, which is the New Testament. When one goes beyond the doctrine of Christ, they transgress and separate themselves from the Lord (2 John 1:9). That is why the Lord says, “I never knew you.” They did not have fellowship with Him in life; therefore they will not have fellowship with Him in death. Jesus’ words destroy today’s common belief that one can please God and be a follower of Christ while believing and acting in any manner on Christ’s behalf.
Who matches this description today? Well, since he is talking to those who claim to be followers of Christ, this pertains to “religious people” who act in opposition to the inspired scriptures, whether personally, or in worship. Why? It’s because their religious beliefs or practices are not according to the law of Christ. Their man made creeds or personal preferences contradict the New Testament and many of their practices are without biblical authority. For some, this stance is hard to take. The word “hell” is not a good thought to many, and to say that some are definitely hell bound, troubles many. Yet, it is the truth as set forth by Jesus. With this said, we do not take delight in this fact, and should be moved all the more to teach the Gospel. There are many sincere people, who have been sincerely deceived into thinking they are going to heaven. It is up to all of us to teach that one must have obeyed the Gospel and lived faithful with ongoing repentance to be found faithful at the judgment.