Jesus said, “Not everyone 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. Many will say to me in that day ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils?
And in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
God made a promise to give eternal life to all who obey him. This means those who do what is commanded by God without addition or subtraction. That is pretty simple to understand — do what God says, and he will keep his end of the deal.
However, some misunderstand God’s promise of eternal life. They think they can do what they want in the name of religion, and it will be acceptable to God. God has never allowed man to dictate what was to be done in obedience to his commands. He did not allow Adam and Eve to ignore his commands, nor did he allow his people to ignore his will. Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden of Eden, and the Israelite nation was taken into captivity by its enemies.
The idea of getting to do whatever one wants in religion was going on even in the time Jesus lived. While speaking with “religious people” of his day, he said, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). By the words of Christ, man will be judged. “He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
Mankind must follow his word and obey it. For as sure as his promise of eternal life is true, so is his promise of eternal damnation to those who fail to follow him. “Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth — they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29).
The spiritual promise of all families being blessed through Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) came in the form of Jesus Christ being born in this world, living among men, dying on the cross and rising on the third day (Galatians 3:6-29). By obedience to the Gospel of Christ, all men can be saved; that is a promise from God, and God cannot lie. Paul wrote, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour” (Titus 1:2-3).
God wants all men to be saved, but man must obey God on God’s terms. Do not misunderstand the plain teachings of God’s word. His way is the only way. Take the time to read the Bible, study it and then obey it.