Jesus Must Be Your Lord To Be Your Savior
by Douglas Hoff
Eternal life is an exciting prospect. Who has not wondered what heaven will be like? Most Americans believe Jesus is the way to eternal life. God sent His only begotten Son into the world not to condemn but rather to save lost souls. But, the fact Jesus came to seek and save the lost means each person needs him as his Savior. The scriptures teach all have sinned and that the wages of sin is death. However, God is not willing that anyone should perish. He is pictured as a loving Father in heaven. He knew man would rebel against His law but instead of consigning mankind to a justly deserved punishment, He chose to send Jesus as the Savior of the world.
Since God gave the world its Savior, does this mean that everyone will be saved from the ravages, guilt and punishment of sin? Jesus taught, “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” (Matthew 7:21). How many will be saved? The Savior himself said many will choose to take the easy and popular way through life but it is the way that leads to hell. Only a few will choose the narrow, difficult and often unpopular way which leads to eternal life (Matthew -14).
On the Judgment Day there will be a lot of surprised people. Vast numbers of humanity think they are on good terms with God. They even profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Yet, Jesus will tell them to depart because they were in reality workers of iniquity (Matthew -24). Some will protest by pointing out all the good things they did in their lifetime but the Judge’s sentence of exile will stand. The Judge of all the earth makes no mistakes (Genesis ).
Professing Jesus is one’s Lord rings hollow if there is no obedience to prove it. Jesus illustrated this in the parable of the two sons (Matthew -31). After the father told his one son to go work in the vineyard he refused. Later, he repented and went to work. The other son gave lip service to the father by saying, “I go sir” yet never went to work. Which son did the will of his father? Clearly, the second son did not even though he used a term of respect in addressing his father. This is no different than a person calling Jesus Lord then refusing (or failing) to obey him.
Most people can appreciate why God would exclude from heaven those who stubbornly disobey. The second son hypocritically feigned obedience. In reality, he was more hard-hearted than his brother. Both sons were stubborn but the first son repented of his disobedience.
Has a person truly rendered obedience to the Lord if he does only those things which he wants? Sometimes, when people learn what God commands, they resist doing it. Initially, the first son wanted to follow his own will, not his father’s. However, until he did what he was told, he did not please the father.
Will good intentions excuse a failure to comply with God’s commands? No. Remember, Jesus said only those who do the will of the Father will be allowed into the heavenly kingdom. The Bible reveals it is impossible for God to lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews ). God will not go back on His word. Therefore, you must obey your Lord if you expect him to be your Savior.
Douglas Hoff, preacher
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