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 Vol. 6, No. 9 

December 2004

~ Page 5 ~

Why Many Are Not Saved

By Ernest S. Underwood

Image Jesus dealt with this subject in Matthew 7. In verse 21 he concisely stated: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." There we have it! One is not denied entrance into the heavenly kingdom because of the pigment of his skin. He is not denied that entrance because he is either rich or poor, or because he is or isn't kin to certain people in power. That entrance into the kingdom above will be denied simply because one did not do the will of God.

Why did these to whom Jesus had reference fail to do the will of the Father? There are at least two factors involved in the general context. These two factors are: 1) They had been deceived by a false teacher. 2) They had used faulty building material. Let us notice each of these factors.

After stating the verity that more are traveling the broad way than are traveling the narrow or straitened way, Jesus immediately warned against false teachers. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves" (Matthew 7:15). What does a false teacher do? He speaks that which is false! Does he present himself to his audience as a vicious, ravenous beast who is about to pounce on his victim to destroy it? Not on you life! To the contrary, he presents himself as an innocent and harmless provider of that which is good and wholesome. Notice Paul's description of this teacher: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Never does a false teacher alert his hearers or readers of his true nature. He may even present himself as a 'good ole boy' who is just trying to help, and when he does so, his victims seem never to bother to question his teachings. Yet, John warned: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). Since one's soul's security depends upon his obedience to the will of God, doesn't it seem logical and reasonable that he should "test" those who teach him? Do you do this?

The second factor is that of faulty building material. Hear Jesus: "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall" (Matthew 7:24-27). The observant reader of this passage will notice that Jesus did not say that those who failed to do the will of the Father were not building at all. In chapters 7 and 15 of Matthew, he admits that such building and planting is done. However, he says that they are building in the sand, and are planting plants that will be rooted up by the Father. He further acknowledged that "on that day" many would claim to have spoken and acted by his authority. Yet, he said that he would tell them to "Depart!" Why? Because they had not done the will of the Father.

With these thoughts in mind, do we not need to ask ourselves if we are actually following the will of God, or are we following the teaching of men, teaching which is opposed to the will of God? Friend, are you building on the rock or on the sand? We may not want to face this question now, but the time will come when we each will be faced with it, and it will be God who will make the final judgment.Image

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