The Importance of Obedience

"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

Jesus’ manifesto of the lifestyle of God’s kingdom people in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5–7) concludes with a startling disclosure and a stunning illustration. The illustration is a contrast between a house that stands solidly against hurricane winds, and one that is in shambles in the wake of the storm. Christ’s summary of the two is concise: The one which stood characterizes the person who hears and does what He commands. While the one that was ruined demonstrates the life which considers obedience as an option, not a requirement. The ruin of the latter and the steadfastness of the former are graphic in their message to us. Everything about our lives will rise or fall depending upon our obedience to His ways.

But an even greater issue appears. We have a future accounting also. On the one hand, Jesus relates the promise and reward of those who walk with Him in faithful service. One day, He will personally greet us with His ”Well done!“ (Matt. 25:21, 23). But inescapably present is the solemn reminder of today’s text. Appearances and words without commitment and obedience receive His final rejection. So today, tomorrow and forever, let us walk as kingdom people who obey Him as Lord, as well as, who claim Him as Savior.