Wrong Paths in the Right Direction

Jesus has some harsh words for those who operate in His name but who, instead of steering those seeking Him, actually keep people away. What a terrible thing to follow someone who claims to be a spiritual leader, only to discover that he's not going in the right direction.

Jesus said: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" —Matthew 7:21.

Apparently these people are even able to perform miracles in God's name, but have never belonged to Him in the first place. Jesus describes them as "false prophets…in sheep's clothing" who are "ferocious wolves" —Matthew 7:15. They look good but their acts will show them to be what they really are. The miracles would look good to a seeker, but Jesus suggests that we look beyond the performance to the man who does the performing.

This warning is tucked in between two of the strongest evangelistic illustrations Jesus used. The first is a warning about how narrow the entrance to the kingdom is; so narrow that few even find it (Matthew 7:13, 14). Beware of those who offer an easier entrance than the one God has designed.

The second illustration is the story of the two men who built their homes on different foundations: one on the solid rock, the other on the sand. When things got tough, the house built on the rock stood, while the other was destroyed. Another solemn warning to make sure that the foundation of our lives is Christ, and nothing else. The underlying idea is that building a house on rock is harder than building it on sand—beware of the "easy believe-ism" of the false prophets.

How terrible to get to the gate of heaven, and to discover that we took the wrong path even with all the right intentions.


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