The Kingdom of Heaven

Blog - Joyful Curmudgeon - Blog

The Kingdom of Heaven - 27 Mar 2006

Every once in a while I find myself thinking about the passage in Matthew 7:20-23, when Jesus is speaking to the multitude:

20. "So then, you will know them by their fruits.

21. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.

22. "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'

23. "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'

(New American Standard Bible)

And then I think about another passage, John 14:12, which quotes Jesus as saying:

12. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.

(New American Standard Bible)

I also think about the hardness that I see in so many church folk, and immediately I remind myself of the much quoted “Judge not that you be not judged.” (It seems as though this saying is especially popular with those who are only interested in shutting someone up.) It would be easy to sit back and join the “cowardly submissive” (Revelation 21:8 of The Amplified Bible), but you know what the Bible says about them: They end up in the lake of fire!

When I put all this together, I come to the conclusion that “the greater works” may have to do with helping “the least” (Matthew 25:45) among us, both humans and other animals. Perhaps the “greater works” are the love and concern that are expressed in the courage to step out of our comfort zone and use our God-given abilities to bring positive, compassionate change to this weary, blood-drenched earth. Perhaps the works of those who will cry “Lord, Lord” in vain are done for motives of greed, ego, and showmanship, instead of heart-felt kindness and compassion, with no strings attached.

Further, I notice that in Matthew 7:22 the “Lord, Lord” people recount dramatic (self-aggrandizing?) acts (“fruits,” Matthew 7:20) performed in “your Name” [the Name of Jesus], not things done privately, quietly, or unobserved by others.

Continued tomorrow…
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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