Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven…
This passage bears internal and intrinsic evidence of standing in the original position at the end, and as the end of the discourse. Its connection with what precedes is also apparent. "Fruits" have been spoken of as the test of the false or the true prophet. And the discourse finishes with a forcible setting forth of the fact that practice, not profession, is the passport, whether into the kingdom of heaven on earth or into the kingdom of "that day." There would seem in form to be allusion to both of these, though we should confess their reality to be but one in either case. Notice -
I. THE INTRINSIC AND ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATION ]FOR CITIZENSHIP IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. "But," says the Supreme Authority on the matter, "he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Dwell on:
1. The highness of this type.
2. The encouragingness of it. It is not offered as a mocking of our feeble power of excellence, feeble grasp of high conceptions, or feeble, inconstant purposes.
3. The condescendingness, withal, of it. What life of reality should it pour into our pictures of the future and our attempts of the present! What happy natural agreement there is between this statement and the formal petitions of the prayer, "Thy kingdom come; thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven"!
II. THE DISTINCT PROPHETIC DECLARATION OF MOST SAD, SOLEMN IMPORT, TO WHICH THE MIGHTY SEER COMMITS HIMSELF. Notice how:
1. Christ specifies the number of the deluded and the presumptuous: "Many."
2. Christ specifies the matters of their delusion and presumption. We have furnished to us hereby both constant warnings for all, and help, not extended for uncharitable use, towards judging of the too transparently impeachable motives of some very busy outer works of men.
III. THE THRILLING DISCLOSURE IN PART OF THE JUDGE OF "THAT DAY," AND IN PART OF HIS JUDGMENT. Notice:
1. The long forbearance that had been shown is here witnessed to: "Then I will profess to them." How long had he waited, tried, given room for repentance and for reality!
2. The terrible indictment of the wasted, deluded lifetime: "I never knew you." Christ will not disown, in his glory, majesty, power, and in the startling day of their astounding manifestation, those whom he had once in the day of his hiddenness, or in the yet earlier days of his mortal sorrows, acknowledged. But Christ will say what none had the sure right to say before, "I never knew you," if this be indeed the awful truth!
IV. THE SIMILITUDE BY WHICH CHRIST NOW SETS FORTH THE DECISIVE AND DISASTROUS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIM WHO HEARS ONLY THE SAYINGS OF CHRISTIAN REVEALED TRUTH, AND HIM WHO ALSO DOES THEM.
1. The man who hears and does the "sayings" of Christ makes knowledge, and the graces that abide, which are realities to abide, to abide here, and to abide evermore.
2. The man who hears indeed, and who does not, makes knowledge, perhaps very much knowledge; it may tower aloft, it may make him tower aloft among men; but he grows no grace; which can come only of work, of discipline, of "much tribulation," and which is the only structure that abides. The exceeding directness, simplicity, and force of these similitudes, and of the comparison instituted by them, have always arrested attention. To "do the sayings" of Christ is the way, and the one only way, to build that holy "house" called a holy nature, a Christian life, the enduring character. Anything less than "doing" the things Christ says may make show; may rise, a very vision, it may be; and may have some sort of foundation; but it will not be the foundation called a rock, and least of all that called the Rock, which is Christ Jesus. - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
WEB: Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.