Lord, Lord
Wednesday, December 2, 2009

“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Mt. 7:21) 

                The above passage in Scripture has been a worry for me.  Surely as a former pastor and continuing servant, I have called out “Lord, Lord!” many times.  I have preached his name in 7 nations and am about to embark on a church planting mission in Kenya.  I have prayed over the dying, comforted the hurting, and preached to the masses.  Do I really qualify for the kingdom of heaven?  And if this passage worries me, I am quite confident I am not the only one who has ever fretted over these words.  So let me shine some light that has been helpful to me.

                Languages, both written and spoken, carry with them certain nuances that are essential to understand, lest we lose the meaning of the entire communication.  For example in English, the word you put emphasis on in a given sentence can totally change the meaning of the sentence.  Try this out with the following sentence.  “I didn’t say you stole the money.”  Say this sentence out loud putting an emphasis first on the word “I”, then “say”, then “you”, then “stole”, then “money.”  You have said the same sentence 5 times, but in reality you have conveyed 5 different meanings.  In the ancient languages of Scripture, we also see nuances which are important to understand.  In the above text we see one of those powerful nuances.

                When a name is repeated twice, it is always a sign of affection.  For instance, as Abraham was about to carry out the horrible sacrifice of his son, the Lord called out to “Abraham, Abraham, do not lay a hand on the boy.”  How beautiful those words must have seemed to this grieving father.  Or Moses, when he was about to receive one of the most powerful revelations in history from the burning bush, the Lord called out, “Moses, Moses.”  How totally awesome those words must have been.  Then there was the time when Jesus confronted Peter about his upcoming denials.  He said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.”  The power of love in those words must have stayed with Peter all the days of his life.  Maybe the most powerful illustration of this double word of affection to me is when Jesus was standing over Jerusalem, and with tears in His eyes, He cried, “Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if you only knew this day what it is that would bring you peace.”  You can literally hear His anguish and love in those words.

                So, it is in this context that Jesus tells us, “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.”  He explains, “Only those who do the will of My Father, who is in heaven.”  And what is the will of the Father?”  And the will of God is to believe in His only begotten Son.  Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”  John 5:24 We must not only go around doing good outward chores for God (prophesy, drive out demons, perform miracles), we must believe Him and love Him.  So what Jesus is saying, “Don’t use affectionate language to Me, when in reality you don’t even love Me?”  And no matter how many churches you preach in; no matter how many boards you serve on; no matter how many kitchens you cook in; if you don’t love Jesus, don’t count on going to heaven.  Our works for Him must come from a deep and abiding love, or they have no value at all.

            So this passage is not a check list on good works.  It is a reminder of heart righteousness.  All things must begin with loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  And if from that we cry “Lord, Lord” He will hear the affection in our hearts and He will say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”

Kingdom Road Ministries
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Victor, ID 83455

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