Matthew 7:21 - Missing Heaven by 18 Inches

Mat 7:21 (KJV)  Missing Heaven by 18 Inches

Mat 7:21 (KJV)  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.

Belief that does not lead to obedience is presumption. MB145-7

Obedience is the test of discipleship. It is the keeping of the
commandments that proves the sincerity of our professions of love. When the
doctrine we accept kills sin in the heart, purifies the soul from
defilement, bears fruit unto holiness, we may know that it is the truth of
God. When benevolence, kindness, tenderheartedness, sympathy, are
manifest in our lives; when the joy of right doing is in our hearts; when
we exalt Christ, and not self, we may know that our faith is of the
right order. MB145-7

The reason why our people have not more power is that they
profess the truth, but do not practice it.  They have but little faith
and trust in God.  There are but few who bear the burdens connected
with His work. The Lord claims the strength of brain, bone, and
muscle; but it is too often withheld from Him and given to the world.
The service of God is made a secondary matter, while worldly
interests receive prompt attention.  Thus things of minor consequence are
made important, while the requirements of God, things spiritual and
eternal are treated in an indifferent manner, as something which may be
taken up at will and let alone at pleasure.  If the mind were stayed
upon God and the truth exerted a sanctifying influence upon the
heart, self would be hid in Christ.  If we realize the importance of
the truth which we profess to believe we should feel that we have a
sacred mission to fulfill, a responsibility involving eternal results.
All temporal interests would yield to this.  4T613

There is only one way in which a man's sincerity can be proved,
and that is by his practice. Fine words can never be a substitute
for fine deeds. There is only one proof of love, and that proof is
obedience. There is no point in saying that we love a person, and then
doing things which break that person's heart. When we were young maybe
we used sometimes to say to our mothers, "Mother, I love you." And
maybe mother sometimes smiled a little wistfully and said, "I wish you
would show it a little more in the way you behave." So often we
confess God with our lips and deny him with our lives. It is not
difficult to recite a creed, but it is difficult to live the Christian
life.  Faith without practice is a contradiction in terms, and love
without obedience is an impossibility. [Barclay Commentary]

It is not verbal commitment to the Lord that counts. Only doing
His will is an adequate expression of a relationship with Him.
[Victor Bible Reader's Companion]

Jesus exposed those people who sounded religious but had no
personal relationship with him. On "that day" (the day of judgment), 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.  [Life  Application SB]

We cannot be ready to meet the Lord by waking when the cry is
heard, "Behold, the bridegroom!" and then gathering up our empty lamps
to have them replenished.  We cannot keep Christ apart from our
lives here, and yet be fitted for His companionship in heaven.

When he came in the flesh, he called sinners to him ,
but when he shall come again in glory, he will drive sinners from
him. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)

Missing Heaven by 18 Inches
Does this title startle you?
How can anyone get so close and yet in the end hear the Lord
say, "I never knew you: depart from me''?1
However, this will be the terrible result of many in our
churches today who are professing Christians, often with responsible
positions, but who have had only a head acceptance of the Lord Jesus
Christ. Tragically enough, even teachers, preachers and religious
workers are not exempt from the possibility of this chilling
The distance between the head and the heart is 18 inches.
Unfortunately, a head--intellectual--knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, fully
knowing and giving mental assent to the plan of salvation, without also
a heart acceptance that brings the personal relationship that the
Bible demands, avails nothing to any man.
Listen to Paul's heart cry concerning Israel as he spoke under
the guidance of the Holy Spirit, " For I bear them record that they
have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."2 He was speaking
about misdirected efforts, energies expended in the strength of the
flesh but not under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The lack of
power today in many of our churches as well as the lack of power today
in the lives of many professing Christians can be laid directly to
It is only as we see ourselves in the mirror of God's Word as
without excuse and without hope, utterly lost and undone, that the truth
of the Scriptures convicts us, for the Bible clearly reveals that
this is how God sees man.3
Then, when the glorious truth of the gospel brings us to
recognition of our own sinfulness, and in true repentance we cry out to God
asking forgiveness and help, asking Him to come into our hearts, not
our heads, we experience the new birth.
Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no
man cometh unto the Father, but by me."4
The Bible also tells us that "He that hath the Son hath
[eternal] life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.''5
Furthermore, the Bible promises "That if thou shalt confess with
thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God
hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the
heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation."6
Christ wants your heart, not just your head because "The Lord
seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but
the Lord looketh on the heart."7
It is vitally important that you make sure it is not just head
knowledge and mental assent you have given to Jesus Christ. He needs the
complete surrender of your heart and life so that you may be truly born
Eighteen inches can mean an eternity with Christ or an eternity
without Christ. Are you sure of your personal relationship to Him? Why
not settle the question in your heart once and for all right now?
Paul W. Empet, American Tract Society, P. O. Box 462008, Garland.
Texas 75046