|“Jesus here tells us we cannot be assured of entrance into heaven unless we do the will of His Father. Note with me that, like the children of Israel, the people to whom He refers in this passage are deluded. They think they are obedient followers of the Lord; Christ does not. From Paul’s writings we know that the ground, or basis, for our salvation is the blood of Christ alone, and faith is the condition for receiving that salvation. But the evidence for that faith is obedience. Biblical faith does not exist unless we have broken our wills and submitted to the Father. No man this side of eternity other than Christ has exhibited perfect obedience. But His expectation is that we believe everything that He tells us, acknowledging all of His commands as true and endeavoring with all of our beings to obey them. He is telling us that He is not our Lord because we call Him so, but when we submit to His authority to define truth and goodness for us.” from “The Discipline of Delusion: How Secular Ideas Became the New Idolatry” by Jerry Bangert
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he repented and went. And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.” Matthew 21:28-30
This parable of our Lord shows that people can say “no” to God in more that one way. The first son, when he said “no” meant by it, “I don’t really want to do it,” but because of who asked him, he went and did it anyway. Although Jesus never said “no” to His Father, He was sorely tempted to do so in the Garden of Gethsemane. He did not want to go to the cross, but went because of Who asked Him. When you find yourself in the position of the first son, you have nothing to fear. You may reason that it would be better if this son responded by enthusiastically going when first asked, but obedience without struggle reveals little of your true submission to Christ. Only when you don’t want to do it, but do it anyway, do you find your commitment confirmed.
The second son agreed to obey, because he did not want to confront his father with his rebellion. He passively agreed while actively rebelling. Jesus said the first son, not the second, obeyed the father. From this we learn that a “no” from the heart is more serious than a “no” from the lips. God listens to your prayers with a stethoscope. Irrespective of the impression you create to others, if, from your heart, you have said “no” to God, you cannot have a relationship with Him. Maybe you and God are the only ones that know, but He does know, and if you refuse Him, you can have no part of Him. “He who says ‘I know Him’ but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”232
232 I John 2:4
2 Chronicles 21-22 John 14 (New King James Version)
2 Chronicles 21-22
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Mark 11:24 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Colossians 4:2 2Devote yourselves to Prayer, being watchful and thankful.
James 5:16 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The Prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
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