Imagine approaching the home of the wealthiest person in the world. You knock on the door and ask to live in his house. How do you suppose that would go for you? Probably not very well, right? He’s likely to look at you with disbelief and say, “I don’t even know you!” before closing the door. You might even be escorted off the property and have a restraining order filed against you!
Tragically, this is the same scenario many anticipate after this life, hoping for a different outcome with God. The Bible paints a picture of those who did all kinds of good things in Jesus’ name, but the result is the same.
“Then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me.”Matthew 7:23
It seems strange to think about Jesus, who knows all things (John 21:17), not knowing someone. There is, of course, a difference between knowing of someone and actually knowing them. Jesus is not referring to intellectual knowledge but rather relational knowledge.
Shattered by Sin
It would be one thing to ask a complete stranger if you could live with them. It would be far more difficult if you had an estranged relationship with that person. We don’t start our relationship with God from a positive or even neutral position. Sin has shattered our relationship with God. As a result, the Bible describes us as “enemies” (Romans 5:10) of God.
Many believe that everyone will go to heaven. That’s not at all the picture the Bible paints.
“Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”Matthew 7:13–14
The way to heaven is narrow; God’s enemies are excluded. You must have a perfect relationship with God to enter.
Reconciled by Christ
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Jesus doesn’t show us the way. He is the way, the only way to enter Heavenly Father’s presence. Only through Jesus can our relationship with God can be reconciled.
Jesus accomplished this by suffering for our sin and taking the punishment we deserved. He satisfied God’s anger against us. We are no longer enemies of God.
Jesus didn’t stop there. He was the only one of whom the Father said he was “well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17). He lived perfectly in our place. He did this to win for you the righteousness required to enter God’s presence. When you are covered in Christ’s works, God couldn’t be more pleased with you.
Guaranteed Through Faith
Jesus didn’t do this, so you might hope to have a reconciled relationship with God. He provided a complete rescue so you would know with certainty. “He that hath the Son hath life” (1 John 5:12). Jesus’ saving work becomes yours personally through faith.
Through faith in Jesus, something else amazing happens along the way. Previously aligned with Satan, you’re now adopted into God’s family (Ephesians 1:4). You become co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). You’re not just a distant acquaintance hoping God will remember you and let you into heaven. You’re a full-fledged member of the family.
Go back to that picture of approaching the home of the wealthiest person in the world. When you are his child, you don’t have to knock on the door and ask to live there. You can walk right in because it’s your home. Adopted child of God, don’t have to be afraid of what will happen after this life. You’re no longer an enemy. You’re not even a stranger. You can approach God with confidence because, through faith in Jesus, you’re now family. You know him. More importantly, he knows you. You can look forward to an open door.
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the worldMatthew 25:34
Who will live eternally with Heavenly Father? Through faith in Jesus, who has provided a perfect relationship with God—YOU!
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