Who Will Go To Heaven?
“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. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Jesus teaches us a startlingly and sobering truth in this passage. Even “many” religious people who believe in the Lord will be not go to heaven. Even those convinced that they have done so many wonderful things “in His name” will be rejected by Him in judgment. Why? Jesus tells them because they practiced lawlessness (cf. I John 3:4). Practicing “lawlessness” means they were committing sin by doing things that were contrary to the revealed will of God.
So who will be saved and go to heaven? Jesus clearly stated, “he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Yes, we must obey the commandments of God (I John 5:3). If we love Jesus, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). For “He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).
Yes, we are saved by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11-14), but that’s through faith – i.e., our humble obedience to the teachings of our Lord and Savior (Romans 6:16-17; 16:26; I Peter 1:22-23).