Spoken from a missiological view to people who care for such issues, but you can’t miss the bottom line…. obedience.
“In his manifesto of Kingdom culture (the Sermon on the Mount), Jesus articulated in one short paragraph the difference between religious culture and his countercultural Kingdom: “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.” (Matt. 7:21).
Jesus holds up as ‘exhibit A’ an example of a spectacular profession of orthodoxy and testimony of sacred involvement, yet these are a people who are completely unknown to him. As we read Jesus’ words, we scratch our heads in incredulity; this seems like a model statement, a beautiful confession. What’s wrong with it?
And therein lies the problem. There was nothing wrong with it. It was correct on every level. But correctness alone can never give us eternal life.
Sacred belief and practice apart from humble obedience to God’s Kingdom-revealing directives ensures no “shibboleth” before the Father.
According to Jesus, sacred confessions and sacred practices without simple obedience to the Father are sacred only to the dominion of darkness. Thus, our confessions and sacred services are actually acts of evildoing (Matt. 7:22-23
Those who rely entirely upon the unconditionality of God’s love miss the part about the uncompromising standard of his holiness. We will still be loved even if we are disobedient…always loved…but we will not have the blessing of God’s fellowship and joy in being with him face to face if we refuse to live in accountability with God and one another to “be holy” as he is holy.
Those who see only the former, the unconditional love, are seeing God’s character only through the monocular lens of his incarnated immanence and grace.
If they lack the reverence, honor, and loyalty to God to be faithful in walking in holiness as Christ does, then their other eye is blinded to God’s might, power transcendence and righteousness – which was displayed in his brilliance on the mount of transfiguration…. in a dimension in which those few who got to witness it were denied the privilege of abiding with him there and having him dwell with them.
It is only when one grasps and embraces BOTH- loving immanence of God and holy righteous transcendence of God – that one is privileged to remain and dwell with him in eternity.