In Matthew 7:21 Yeshua tells his Talmudim (Disciples) this:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
He goes on to say that just because some people declare they did miracles and wonders in His name doesn’t mean they will enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, he says He will tell them that He never knew them!
It seems that we get these different messages: all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13) yet here Yeshua says that those who call Him, “Lord! Lord!” will not be saved! And we are told that the gift of salvation is an irrevocable gift, but Yeshua says (and Paul reiterates this in his letter to Timothy) that those who hear the Word and accept it can still fall away, i.e. lose their salvation.
So is the gift of salvation truly a guarantee? When we call on the name of the Lord, are we really saved? Can we trust God?
The answer to these question is Yes….and No. Except for the last one- we can always trust God. Always. Who you can’t trust is yourself.
Yes: the gift of salvation we receive from God (through Messiah Yeshua) is guaranteed and is irrevocable. No one can take it away from you, ever. And Yes: if you call on the name of the Lord you will be saved.
The reason the answer can be No to both of these questions is because no one can take away what God has given to you, but you can throw it away.
Do you really think that if someone who is not truly repentant and calls on the name of God for salvation will receive salvation? There are so many parables Yeshua tells us that show how some are going to be able to enter the Kingdom of God and others will not because they didn’t do as they should have, even though they were there. The bridesmaids without oil, the tree in the garden that didn’t produce fruit, the slave that buried the Talent: all of these parables are clearly stating that just knowing Yeshua is the Messiah, and acknowledging that He is the Son of God, is not enough. The bible tells us that even the demons know and acknowledge who Yeshua is. You think they are going to heaven? Will they be in Paradise with God for all eternity?
I don’t think so.
The most important part of Matthew 7:21 is the end of the sentence:”… but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven.” We can have salvation for free, we can know absolutely that God will grant us forgiveness of sins, but if we don’t really mean it, if we haven’t done T’shuvah (turning from sin) in our hearts, and if we don’t walk the walk, then what God has done we will undue. No one can take it from us, no one can change it, and God will not renege on His promise, but the promise that we will be saved is not an unconditional promise. It is free, it can never be bought, and it can never be revoked, but….we have to do our part. God will do His part but if we don’t do our part He hasn’t weaseled out of the deal- we have.
You buy life insurance, you are guaranteed that your family will receive the benefit if you have an accidental death, and then you jump off a bridge. Do you think the insurance company will pay out on that? Of course they won’t- suicide is not an accidental death. You didn’t meet the conditions of the agreement; the insurance company’s promise is still valid and trustworthy, you are the one who failed to meet the requirements.
Calling on the Lord and receiving the gift of salvation is absolutely the best insurance policy there is. But if you continue to sin on purpose, if you never had (or don’t now have) any desire or intention of changing your sinful ways, then no matter how many times you go to church/synagogue, no matter how well you tithe, no matter how many “nice” things you do, you are going to be told, “Be gone- I never knew you.”
God isn’t stupid. He can’t be fooled, and when He says He will save you it is based upon you doing what you should do, which God has outlined very clearly in the Torah.
If you don’t know what the Torah says, you can still do what Yeshua told you to do and be OK because (here it comes…) Yeshua taught nothing but Torah. Torah was what Yeshua told us to follow, that He did not change any part of it (Matthew 5:17) and Shaul backed Him up on that in every single letter he wrote to the Messianic communities he formed throughout Asia and the Middle East during his ministry.
What Yeshua and Shaul said is that just obeying the letter of the law in Torah is not going to get you saved because, quite simply, it can’t be done. Attaining salvation through Torah is like taking a test with questions you cannot answer, so you can never get 100%, and you have to attain 100% to pass. That’s why we need Messiah- He is our “spiritual grading curve” that allows us to get that 100% we can’t get on our own. We still have to take the test, we still have to study to be able to do as well as we can, and the curve is available to all. But it’s only given to those that try to pass.
If you never show up to take the test (never call on Messiah Yeshua for forgiveness) or if you never study (live as best you can to obey the commandments) then you will not receive the curve. In fact, you will fail miserably. And failing the test means being left back when everyone who passes goes to the next grade, which is being in God’s presence forever. You will be “left back” in the cold and the dark where people wail and moan and gnash their teeth.
So don’t listen to those religious leaders who fill you up with bad test answers by telling you you only have to be a good person, or Jesus died for your sins so you can just live your life any way you want to, or who tell you that because you have been baptised you will be able to enter heaven. None of that will get it done. You need to show that you love the Lord by following the commandments He gave us in His Torah. Then He will know you.
God gave us Torah, Yeshua provided the forgiveness we need because we can’t live according to Torah, and we have to do our part, which is to let the Holy Spirit shape us into the likeness of Yeshua; for that to happen you have to be willing to change.
God and Yeshua have done their part- it is all on you now.