Jesus made the following statement during what has become known as the Sermon on the Mount: “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” (Matthew 7:21).
This teaching by Jesus was emphatic, not leaving anything for supposition. The will of the father must be done. Man has tried to get around this teaching, but the word of God stays the same — the father has a will, and it must be obeyed.
In the Garden of Eden, Satan lied to mother Eve, as he coaxed her into believing him and not obeying God. Adam and Eve had been told not to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eat thereof, thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Satan said they would not die, but if they would eat of the tree, they would be like gods, knowing good from evil. Eve was overcome by the attraction of sin. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Genesis 3:6). Sin entered the world, and man and woman were driven out of the paradise of Eden.
Many still believe the lie of Satan today. They fail to see that sin separates man from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). God loves mankind and wants mankind to be saved, but his will must be obeyed. That begins with a person understanding and obeying the gospel as set out in the New Testament. The book of Acts shows man how to obey the gospel, as case after case is shown as an example.
Some have said, “Well, different ones did different things.” The reason for that is that they were at different stages; some knew about Jesus, others did not know anything about him. On Pentecost, the Apostle Peter reminded his audience about Jesus and the things Jesus had done in their presence. He told of the miracles Jesus had done, and that they knew what he was saying to be true. When they realized they had crucified the son of God, they stopped his sermon and asked what to do. “Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost’” (Acts 2:38).
Later, when Paul and Silas were freed from prison by a great earthquake, the jailor asked them what to do. “And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.’ And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes and was baptized, he and all his, straightway” (Acts 16:31 – 33). This man needed to know more about Jesus so he could obey the gospel.
Satan tries to get man to forget to do God’s will. Many different ideas of how to please God are believed by man, but the only safe way is to do what Jesus taught: Obey the will of God.