By: Michael Kaplan, author of "7 Pillars of an Unshakable Christian Faith"
Humans are a finite creation; our lives in the physical world are short, and tomorrow is never a guarantee. At the end of life, we’ll shed our physical bodies and stand before the Creator of everything, the final Judge of Man. In the instant of our passing, we’ll see the face of a God so powerful, to look upon him in human form would kill us: “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (Exodus 33:20).
The most critical question Christians can ask themselves before this inevitable event is, “Am I ready to face God on His Throne of Judgment?” To say “yes,” without thought, is reckless.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus didn’t reveal this truth to atheists; He spoke these words to believers adhering to the strictest orthodox practices. Externally, their actions showed the highest level of love and commitment to God possible. Despite their outward appearance, Jesus knew their hearts: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
It’s terrifying to think one could live their life believing they’re going to spend eternity in Heaven, only to discover in Judgment they’re not.
Have we, as Christians, truly grasped Jesus’ mission, and do our actions and character faithfully reflect His authority as our Lord and Savior? Do we profess Christ externally in word and song, without having an obedient heart that lovingly submits to His authority?
When we face our God in unapproachable light, will we hear, “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:16), or will He tell us, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23)? The answer to that question dictates eternal existence, and deserves serious and thoughtful consideration. It’s the most important answer we’ll ever give.
There are two distinct categories of people living in the physical word: those who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and those who don’t believe in Him. There are also two distinct categories of Christian in the physical world: those who subjugate their will to Him in obedience, and those who profess Him in the visible church, while leaving obedience to others.
Those in the first category hear God’s Word, believe God’s Word, and act on God’s Word: “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24). They will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” and enjoy the loving embrace of their merciful Lord for all eternity.
Those in the second category hear God’s Word, agree with most of it, but choose not be changed by it: “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matthew 7:26). Scripture reveals the words they’ll hear, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:23), and their terrifying fate is certain.
Jesus describes two identical houses (Christians), built in the same location (church), facing identical storms (Judgment). The only difference between them is the part that we can’t see: the foundation (heart) on which they’re built. I hope to inspire you to build your home on a foundation of rock that can only be found in Christ, supported by an unshakable faith that’s able to withstand the trials of life, and the storm of Judgment.
Geoffrey O'Hara, a Canadian composer, said this well in his hymn, “Why call Me Lord, Lord and do not the things I say?”:
You call Me the Way and walk Me not!
You call Me the Life and live Me not!
You call Me Master and obey Me not!
If I condemn you blame Me not.
I pray the Holy Spirit leads you to an intimate relationship with Christ, and we personally meet in Heaven in God’s Gory!
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in
the faith.Test yourselves. Do you not know
yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?
- unless indeed you are disqualified.