“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 7:21).
The words of Jesus in today’s Gospel passage are quite blunt and direct. It is not all those who call on the name of God or identify as Christians that would behold the blessedness of heaven.
Who are those Jesus is referring to as saying ‘Lord, Lord’? We, the prayer warriors; we, who prophesy, cast out demons and do mighty works in God’s name. We are the ones who would not allow our neighbours to sleep because of the volume of our loudspeakers during all-night service. What happens after these mighty prayer sessions? What happens after all the shouting of “Amen, I receive it”? What happens in the secret of our homes when no one is watching?
As Jesus puts it: “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ (Matthew 7:22-23).
We may be prayer warriors, miracle workers, but so long as we allow sin fester within us, we run the risk of being kicked out of heaven on the last day. Don’t just listen to the Word, practice the faith. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock.” (Matthew 7:24).
Avoid shallow Christianity. Be a doer of the word. Let it not be that the only reason you are a Christian faithful is simply to receive miracles, breakthroughs and prosperity. If this is the case, you will not be able to withstand the rains, floods and winds that would come your way. If you are simply an Amen-I-receive-it-Christian, you would soon fall away when trials and difficulties come.
In today’s first reading, we see the story of king Jehoiachin who despite becoming king at a very early age continued to walk in the abominable ways of his predecessors. Rather than surrender to God, Jehoiachin thought he would be safe by surrendering to Nebuchadnezzar. It was his worst mistake. Trust in God, not in human beings.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace of authenticity as I follow you. Amen. Bible Study: 2 Kings 24:8-17, Psalm 79 and Matthew 7:21-29).