I have now spent several posts on the emergent church. It is time to get back to the red letters to see what Jesus wants to teach us.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:23 – 28
To those of you who have been around this blog for a while know that I am a firm believer that Jesus wants us to do what he says. It seems many today are convinced that to be a Christian all they have to do is make an altar call and profess their beliefs and then go on to live their lives as they please. Yes, I believe in the grace of God but that does not exempt me from obeying his commands.
The verse above which ends the “Sermon on the Mount” is a very direct one to tell us that there will be some, perhaps many, who come to their judgement day and will be surprised by what God says to them. They will say “didn’t we call you Lord of our lives? That is what we were told was required to get to heaven.” Unfortunately there are those flavors of Christianity around today that do tell their congregants that. “Make an altar can and then just sit back and let Jesus’ grace flow over you. That is all that is required.” To these folks being a Christian is a very passive calling. It is a something-for-nothing calling.
But the words above even go further, they include people who might say they made predictions about God and the even drove out demons and did miracles. Sounds like some of the current day televangelists doesn’t it? Even these folks Jesus tells us will get a surprise. The second paragraph tells us why Jesus made this startling proclamation. He told us that we must not only hear his words but we must put them into practice. As his brother James told us later “faith (only words) without deeds (putting those words in practice) is a dead faith.
Many of the 39,000 versions of Christianity use the first paragraph above to proclaim that they are the only ones who will get to heaven. But they most often omit the conditions Jesus used to explain this omission. Lets always remember that being a follower of Jesus Christ is not just saying words it is putting Jesus’ messages into practice as he commanded via these red letters.