In Matthew chapter 7, verse 21, Jesus tells us, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”
This is a heavy concept to ponder. Jesus tells us many times in the Gospels that the vine that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut off. He talks about his father pruning the branches of trees that do produce fruit and cutting off the branches of those that don’t.
These verses make it very clear to us that our Salvation is not a one-time event, but that there is a path that we have to walk in order to ensure our souls will rejoin God and Christ in heaven when we die. Jesus tells us elsewhere in the Gospels that there is only one work that God requires of us, which is to believe in the one that he has sent. And Christ tells us that we must remain in him, as he is in the Father and the Father is in him.
In this verse, Jesus tells us explicitly that we have to live a life of obedience to his teachings in order to enter heaven. He commands us to love God with all our hearts, and to love others as ourselves. When we ask him into our hearts, repent of our transgressions and ask his forgiveness, we are submitting to his spiritual authority and allowing him to cleanse and purify our soul of our wrong-doings.
Once we allow him in, he and God begin to prune our branches, so to speak, directing us toward spiritual purity and away from things which will endanger the life of our soul. This is a gradual process, one we must strive to follow, or we risk drifting away from Christ and his direction in our life. Christ undertook his human incarnation of tremendous suffering so that he could explain the path to salvation to us, and he loves us which such an inconceivable depth that he wants desperately to lead us to our heavenly home. It is up to us to maintain our relationship with Christ by following his lead, and letting go of habits and behaviors that threaten to pull us away from him.
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