God has always required obedience to His word before blessings are offered
to anyone. We also realize that there are many people who have called upon the
Lord, but have not obeyed Him completely. There is a passage in Ezekiel that
Ezekiel 33:30-33 "But as for you, son of man, your fellow citizens who talk about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses, speak to one another, each to his brother, saying, come now, and hear what the message is which comes forth from the LORD. And they come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people, and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain. And behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not practice them. So when it comes to pass--as surely it will--then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst"
It is not unusual for many people to claim how good their preacher is. They go to hear his stories and the life lessons he offers. They feel confident that their preacher knows the Bible well enough to teach them how to live and go to heaven. But for the most part, what the preachers teach goes unheeded. People continue in their own selfish ways.
Preachers prepare their lessons to have an impact upon people's lives, and they attempt to persuade people to serve the Lord faithfully. Many will commend the preacher for a job well done, but they forget what they have heard before they get out of the building. This is obvious when you look at how many people who claim to be religious actually live.
You just cannot substitute anything for obedience. A person can claim a relationship with God. They call Him, LORD, LORD, but do not do what He says (Luke 6:46). Many people who claim to have a relationship with Christ will not be saved, simply because they have not obeyed His commandments. A person can show great zeal in trying to serve the Lord, but until they do His commandments they are doing so in vain. Religion will not substitute for obedience. This is exactly what we have in Matthew 7:21-23.
What we must do is the will of the Father (God). Many people will question whether we can know the will of the Father. They usually say this because they have chosen to not do His will, but they still want to go to heaven. The will of the Father is revealed through the words of Jesus and His apostles. We do not have to guess, or wonder if something is right or wrong. God hath spoken already to us through the Bible. The safest thing in the world to protect our soul is to follow the Bible. If we do what the Lord says, we can have that blessed assurance and the joy of knowing we are doing right.
Are you ready to serve the Lord, and obey His commandments? You must believe that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God Who died upon the cross for your sins. You must change your ways in repentance and strive not to sin anymore. You must be willing to confess your faith in Christ from this day forward. And, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins, as your sins is what keeps you separated from God. Once you have done this, you begin your new life in Christ as a new creature who is created to do good works for God. You must continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, and you must do this until you die.
By Carey Scott 8/28/2011
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