In the late 20th century and even into the 21st century, technology has encompassed the implementation of securing information and transactions. One of the main methods used as a part of secure technology is that of having a username and a password. When accessing data that is considered to be private, it is critical to authenticate a user’s information so that the data remains classified to the general public. If you have sensitive information, only you should have access to such information because your access is granted based on your username and your password. Anyone who does not have access to your account or user information will be denied.
When it comes to our spiritual well-being, God treats every individual in the same way. Basically, the way to access Heaven, eternal life, and divine security here on Earth is through Jesus Christ. When you and I make the decision to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord & personal Savior, we will then have access to everything that God desires for us. In Matthew Chapter 7 verses 21-23, Jesus gives us the disposition that God has and will have toward anyone who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior:
(ESV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 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 workers of lawlessness.’”
When you look at this scripture, there are a few things that are clear that all of us should strongly consider:
1. It isn’t just about invoking the name of the Lord – Jesus clearly says in verse 21 that not everyone who calls out to Him, “Lord, Lord” will enter into the Kingdom Heaven. This means that just because the name of the Lord is invoked, doesn’t mean that God recognizes the individual who is calling out to Him. Take for instance the earlier example of entering a username and a password to access an account. If you are trying to access someone else’s account, it won’t work without their username and password. So, as hard as you may try, you won’t have access without the correct information.
God treats humanity in the same way in that, the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. Notice what else Jesus says in this scripture when he says, “but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” After you have accepted Christ as your Lord & Savior, there is more that should take place. Your words and your actions should line up with what you have professed. God isn’t just concerned with what you say, but He is concerned with your heart and the actions that are a result of your relationship with God.
2. We are not saved by works – For quite some time, the idea that one can be saved through works alone has been accepted as a barometer for salvation. However, Jesus says that on the day of judgment there will be many who will give God a list of their own examples of what they have done, which they think will be sufficient for entering into Heaven. However, works that a person does is not what qualifies a person to enter into eternal rest with God. Ephesians 2:9 in the NLT version says, “Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
The above scripture clearly states that salvation is not contingent upon our works, because if it were then it would be used as a tool to boast in our own abilities. Also, if salvation were based on works and not grace, then the sacrifice of Jesus Christ would not have been necessary.
It is important to note that a person’s works and service unto God is a product of a changed heart through Jesus Christ. In Matthew 7:16, Jesus says that you will know the tree by the fruit it bears. Basically, actions matter in the sense that it is a reflection of what is in a person’s heart. For your actions to change, you must spend time in prayer, worship, and the reading of God’s Word. By doing so on a daily basis, your heart begins to change because you are drenching yourself in the presence of God.
3. God does not recognize anyone who is not associated with Jesus Christ – It goes back to the example of using the correct username and password. If a user has the correct access, then they will be granted permission to the information within the account. In Matthew 7:23, Jesus tells us what will happen if someone does not have a relationship with God through Christ: “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
Our recognition by God is based on His son Jesus Christ. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord & Savior, then God will not recognize you as His own on your judgment day. God wants to know you for your allegiance and relationship with Him through Christ. There are many who do good works, but their heart has not been changed through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. In order for you and I to be received by God, our lives must be intertwined with Jesus Christ in the remission of our sins.
So then, what happens when you have a relationship with God?
1. You have access to His blessings and protection – Once you have decided to accept Christ in the pardon of your sins, you have become a child of God. Like a daughter or a son has access to the inheritance of their father, you will have an inheritance that God will provide to you. This even involves being protected from the snares of the enemy. Protection comes from being on the side of the one who the Psalmist David often references in the context of being His protector. The one who protects and delivers is the almighty God.
2. The life you live becomes a testament of God’s love for humanity – If you are actively pursuing God and spending time developing your relationship with Him, then your life will transform before the eyes of the world. One of the great things about salvation is that it isn’t just limited to you, but it is for the entire world. The salvation that God offers can be portrayed in your life by how you live and what you say.
3. God’s purpose for your life is revealed to you – Every life on Earth has a specific purpose for being. However, there are many who never discover what they were made to do or the impact that they can have in God’s Kingdom. By having a relationship with God, your purpose for the sake of God’s Kingdom is not only revealed, but it is completed as you live daily.
Do you have access to God through Jesus Christ? There are so many who have tried to access God through other means. Some have tried it by religiously attending church services. Others have tried it by serving in various ministries in order to perform “good works.” Then there are even those who believe that you can be saved and spared from Hell just by being a “good person.” The mistake in all of these methods is that they do not include an adherence to God, nor do they exhibit one’s need to be saved from their sin.
Jesus Christ gave His life for you so that you could have everlasting life. However, the gift of salvation is freely given for you to accept voluntarily. You cannot receive salvation by your own good works or by living morally. The only guidelines and way of living that apply to eternal salvation are the precepts that God has put into place. Accept Christ, and you will be granted access to a changed heart, a changed mind, and a changed life.