13 May 2010 “Not everyone who calls out to me will enter…”
 |  Category: ministry, youth

I was reading through Matthew 7 today and one of the verses that stuck out to me is verse 21, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”

I have a Life Application study Bible for my quiet time, and the further study for verse 21 is very eye opening. Here’s what it says:

Not everyone who talks about heaven belongs to God’s Kingdom. Jesus is more concerned about our walk than our talk. He wants us to do right, not just say the right words. What you do cannot be separated from what you believe. Jesus exposed those people who sounded religious but had no personal relationship with him. On “judgment day” only our relationship with Christ–our acceptance of him as Savior and our obedience to him–will matter. Many people think that if they are “good” people and say religious things, they will be rewarded with eternal life. In reality, faith in Christ is what will count at the judgment.

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This really sticks out to me with working with the youth in our church. So many people are raised up in the church, and are great at going through the motions of being a Christian. Go to Sunday School and Service on Sunday morning, and maybe go to some type of Bible Study on Wednesdays, maybe even play or sing in a praise band if you’re in to music, and then go home and live a totally different life. We are all guilty of this at times when we get into the routine and life is going well, we tend to slack off on our personal relationship with Christ and can loose focus. I also have to be careful that the life I live is not to only set an example to others, but I live in obedience to Christ because I love Him and want to worship Him. It’s not a one-time choice to live for Christ, it is a choice we make every day, and sometimes several times a day.

What gets me the most with this is us just having Confirmation Sunday a couple weeks ago. It is a very exciting time to hear our youth’s testimonies of what God is doing in their life. Honestly though, it was hard to not sit there and wonder which ones were being sincere and honest in their testimony, and wonder which ones were up there saying what they were “supposed” to say. And it saddens my heart to hear friends of confirmands report about ones that are so excited to be “done with church.” Our teens moving from junior high into high school is one of the highest drop out grades with involvement in church. And I’m sad to say, it’s not just their fault. What are the parents doing to live out their faith? There is a mind frame that once a student is done with confirmation, they’re done with church, or their faith. And with that mind frame, where is their faith? Were the past few years just words?

Jesus is very clear when he said, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” You may know the right things to say at church, but so what. What are you living out? Parents, have you taught your children that it’s okay to go to church and be one person, then leave and be another? Or are you living your faith out and being a righteous example to your kids? It’s good for your kids to know that even you struggle in your walk with Christ. We all do. And it’s healthy to be real with your kids. But don’t set the example of a “Sunday Christian.” If you want help with that, ask. We’re not here to judge, we’re here to help. We all have to look at our lives and constantly reevaluate where we are in our faith. What is the next step to take to become more Christlike?

And even if you don’t have kids in your home yet or anymore, what example do you show to others that you come in contact with throughout the week? Are you living a righteous life, asking God to lead your steps? I struggle with this when I want to make a quick trip to the store and am not willing to take time to notice someone God may want me to reach out to. What good am I then? That makes me just as useless as the person we came across last week at the mall who said, “I believe in God and Christ, but I don’t believe we are supposed to go and share with others.” I should give my every moment outside of my house to God as an opportunity to share Christ with someone.

Take some time with God and listen. What does He want for you? What is the next step He wants for you to become more Christlike?

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5 Responses

  1. 1
    Alicia VanderMartin 

    Great post Dana. ¬†This is something I struggle with as I didn’t grow up around people who loved Jesus. I’m trying to figure out how to take “Christian Sunday” and make it my everyday for myself and my kids. I really wish that we had something where those who do could pair up with us trying to learn how. ¬†

  2. Thanks Alicia. We’ve had talks about doing another parent seminar sometime this fall, hopefully that’ll be put into actions instead of just an idea.
    There is a ministry called “Home Word” http://www.homeword.com/
    I’ve had the opportunity to go to a few workshops done by the president, and he has a lot of really good stuff for parents.

  3. 3
    Pennie 

    Dana, this blog really hits me. I struggle with this. Everyone always tells me that because I believe that Christ died for my sins, that I’m saved and don’t have to worry. I know that His gift is free, but I struggle because I am the type of person that says *I believe this, but I live like this.* I’m afraid to die because I don’t know how to walk the walk. And what’s worse, since moving to St. Cloud and leaving ACC, we have stopped going to church. I can’t pray, there is a roadblock there. I’m angry all the time, my husband and I fight, our youngest daughter (4) has said bad words outside to other kids and her retort is *You say it, why can’t I?* I miss ACC so much, we were truly growing in the Lord there. I know that it’s not necessarily the church that is responsible for that, but we just haven’t found the same sort of ministry down here, and I feel so… lost from God right now. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. Pennie, don’t beat yourself up about it. That’s exactly what Satan would want, to make you feel so bad where you feel like you can’t turn to God with what is going on. But that is so untrue. God loves you so much and wants you to go to him, no matter what your circumstance. I wish I knew of a church in Saint Cloud to recommend. The link I gave Alicia for homeword has some good resources for marriage too. The biggest thing I feel like I should tell you, is pray. Like really pray, expecting God to answer, and keep praying, because He will. Matthew 6:7 says, “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.” But Christ does want us to be persistent in our prayers, and not doubtful. Also, Ecclesiastes 5:1 says, “As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God.” Don’t forget to listen to what God wants for you.

    As you know, things wont become perfect and easy, but when you seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33)

    You’re already doing good by being open to God and recognizing what is going on. Keep it up!

  5. 5
    vicky kennimer 

    Dana, I actually got chill bumps reading this! You are such an inspiration!