The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Matthew 7:21 never enter heaven?


Trouble that notion is… there is absolutely NO mention of a millennial age made. Verses 20 and 24 make it clear the whole context is about the works/fruit of the faithful, i.e., the wise.


It seems to me, davo, that one of several conceivable “troubles” with - any - interpretation is that “that day” (Mt.7:22) is not defined by the context:

Mt.7:21 Not everyone saying to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of My Father in the heavens.
22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’

How do Pretesists & Pantelists interpret “that day” (v.22)?

Universalist futurists could interpret v.21 in light of the “that day” of v.22 & claim that all the passage says is that on “that day” of Christ’s future return will those who do not do “the will of My Father” (v.21) be excluded from “the kingdom of the heavens”. So Mt.7:21-23 does not necessarily rule out anyone (e.g. those in Hades or the lake of fire) from eventually doing His will, entering the kingdom & being saved. So it is harmonious with Scriptural Universalism.


As a pantelist Jesus’ “that day” = his AD70 parousia where…

1Cor 3:14-15 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.


The Bible nowhere teaches that dead people go to a place called heaven, the Kingdom of Heaven I suppose is the millenium, not all people will reign with Christ, even not all Christians.


There seems to be some overlap between the use of “heaven” and The Father’s House–the celestial city Jerusalem.

2 Kings 2:11
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went UP TO HEAVEN in a whirlwind.

2 Cor. 12:2
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was CAUGHT UP TO the third HEAVEN . Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.

Acts 7:55, 59
But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, LOOKED UP TO HEAVEN and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. …While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Rev 4:1
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in HEAVEN. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “COME UP HERE…

Rev. 11:12
Then they heard a loud voice from HEAVEN saying to them, “COME UP HERE.And they WENT UP TO HEAVEN in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.

John 14:2-3
MY FATHER’S HOUSE has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I AM GOING THERE to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

2 Corinthians 5:1
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal [aiōnios] HOUSE IN HEAVEN, not built by human hands.

Philippians 1:23
I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.

Philippians 3:20
But our citizenship is in heaven.

We know that eventually the celestial city will come down to the new earth and be visible:

Rev 21:10
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, DESCENDING out of heaven from God.


Back to Cornelius for just a second. Peter had been instructed by God that the Gentiles were to be included in God’s work of saving the world; a bitter pill for a Jew, most likely.
Cornelius, testified to be ‘a righteous man’, was such a Gentile. Peter preached about Christ and forgiveness of sins, and Cornelius and all who were with him experienced the filling of the HS.
Why I stress ‘forgiveness of sins’ is because, when Peter returned to Jerusalem to share the experience with the apostles and others, they then “gave praise to God and said 'this means that God has granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles also.”
So - a righteous man needed to hear about Christ and forgiveness of sins - so we know that that ‘righteous’ man was not sinless.
We learn in Jerusalem that ‘life-giving repentance’ was offered to the Gentiles.
I don’t see any reason to think that things are different now.


Great. There’s hope for even the zombies of Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4).

But first, an interesting story from today’s Patheos Evangelical newsletter

You know what? A few years ago, I was hanging out with Duke Big Feather. He was the spiritual leader, of the Two Feathers Medicine Clan (A Native American group,of medicine men and women). But his first statement to me was:

There are no saints here

So when I sent an email, to the head Eastern Orthodox priest…requesting to become Orthodox, I stated (regarding me):

There are no saints here

But added this:

Through Christ, I am a work in progress


The fruit are a means of identifying & distinguishing the false prophets, who are not saved, from those who do the will of God, i.e. the saved. It’s all part of the Matthew chapters 5-7 sermon of Jesus, including references to Gehenna, i.e. the lake of fire where the unsaved go.


This is one rare case in which I agree with Davo, that “Jesus was NOT talking about who does or doesn’t get into heaven postmortem.” One of the most enlightening passages concerning the Kingdom of God is found in the words that Jesus spoke to the Pharisees:

Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (Luke 17:20,21 ESV)

The Kingdom of God IS (present tense) right in the midst of you Pharisees, so how can you ask when it is coming? A kingdom consists of a king and his subjects. Jesus is the King, and His disciples are His subjects.
Thus Jesus and His disciples comprised the Kingdom of God at that time—the Kingdom in its infant stage.

Jesus gave parables about the Kingdom in its infant stage, parables about its growth, and parables about its final stage Very little is said in the NT about heaven as a dwelling place for the saints post-mortem.

We’ve all heard about the “mansions” in heaven that Jesus has gone to prepare for us. (John 14:2,3). Jesus hasn’t returned yet; is He still busy preparing a luxurious mansion for each one of us?

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (NKJV)

The first thing of which we should be aware is that the word that the NKJV translates as “mansions” should be translated as “dwelling places.” Oh, “mansions” was all right in the 1600s, for the word MEANT “dwelling places” at that time. When you read Jesus words here in context it becomes plain that Jesus was going to prepare His Body, the Assembly (later called “the Church”) where there would be places for each of his disciples to occupy a special dwelling place for himself. And that Assembly came into being on that special day of Pentecost of which we read in Acts 2.


Yes… grasping a hold of forgiveness (which is what repentance enables) through hearing the gospel is what makes one a servant-disciple of Christ — that’s the narrower micro story of service within the broader macro story of God’s greater reconciliation of man… wherein He ceased imputing trespasses, i.e., you’ve been forgiven, there are beneficial blessings to be found living within that… if you will but grasp it.


:place_of_worship: :hugs:


From my perspective, I would agree but putting that firmly in the historical context of a now past judgment, i.e., were not saved from Gehenna, aka Israel’s ‘lake of fire’… Jerusalem’s AD70 conflagrations etc.


There’s a tendency in the church to think just about everything about judgment and rewards is about postmortem. But I think the kingdom pertains to life on earth, whereas heaven is a postmortem destination.


Maybe you’re right. I can’t quite grasp it however. Repentance is for:
Acts 17:30 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him.”
Everyone is commanded to repent.

Acts 3:19 “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.”
Not for service, but for sins.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Of course, we all know those verses, nothing new here - but it at least looks like everyone needs to repent, not just for service, but for life and forgiveness of sins.


Yes, and what was Jesus’ prayer… “Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” i.e., in its fullness.

This warning to change their minds (repent) about the message given was pertinent to THEM… the context and Greek text show this… this was not a carte blanche injunction beyond their age.

Acts 17:30-31 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He is about to (μέλλω) judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

<μέλλω> mellō means about to = judgement was on the point or verge of occurring (present tense-active-indicative), i.e., this fits the AD70 scenario.

As for both Peter’s passages you reference… they were to Israel, so yeah, to escape that adulterous generation they needed a change of mind and listen and take heed of THEIR gospel.

Well like I already stated… to embrace the beneficial blessings of this in life a change in mind is what grasps this.


Davo, as DaveB points out in Acts 17:30,

[quote=“DaveB, post:34, topic:13766”]
Acts 17:30 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him.”
Everyone is commanded to repent[/quote]

God was forgiving of sins if He was overlooking people’s ignorance prior to the judgment of 70AD. So this would have been an imputing of trespasses unless you were repenting of your sins.


There has always been the general rule of actions for consequences… hence once the message of a soon (mellō) coming end-time judgement (AD70) was given they had a choice (repent) to make as to how they would be positioned through that time. We typically focus on Palestine, BUT Rome ruled the then known world and any group that was seen as contrary or potentially dangerous (as was the Christians who were simply viewed as one of the countless sects within Judaism) were summarily put down… thus the general maintenance of the Pax Roman.


The 70 A.D. and the 135 A.D. Jewish problems were not, I don’t think, in Paul or Peter’s minds as they preached to the Gentiles - and their preaching was about repentance, just as their preaching to the Jews was.
Of course, like every other single thing to do with religion, the date of the writing of Acts is disputed. I’m convinced that the mid-80’s is probably correct, which puts said writing well after 70 A.D. If that is correct, the preaching of Christ to the Gentiles would be normative for the message those Gentiles would pass to their descendents. I believe it was the purpose of God to appoint Jesus his Son as head of the church, which was and is still now His body, gifted with the forgiveness of sins and given Life as befitting repentence and faith, and declaring the reality of the living Christ by love of neighbor, and of enemy, and particularly of God.
I am more than reluctant to state that Apostolic preaching was just ‘for them’.


Yes, there are consequences for our actions. This is the Law of reciprocity, what comes around goes around, you reap what you sow etc.etc. Man didn’t make this Law,God did. And it applies to all mankind.

There have been adulterous generations of people since the beginning of time. The word was not just for them.


Interestingly and oddly IMO Wikipedia makes this claim…

While no proposed date for the composition of Acts is universally accepted, the most common scholarly position is to date Luke–Acts to 80-90 AD, on the grounds that it uses Mark as a source, looks back on the destruction of Jerusalem, and does not show any awareness of the letters of Paul (which began circulating late in the first century).

When I read the portion I’ve underlined I was left scratching my head BECAUSE the DoJ isn’t anywhere mentioned let alone near hinted at in Acts, at all in fact evidence far to the contrary seems on the face of it to be mitigating against such a proposed late date.

Logic suggests Dave that if their repentant preaching was the same, as you note, to both Jews and Gentiles THEN clearly what that was in regard to had some direct bearing with and or correlation to each other. As I’ve noted myself many time on this forum… the early church was heavily Hebraic which helps explain the gospel’s early take-up in areas beyond Palestine, i.e., the Diaspora…

Acts 15:19, 21 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,… For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” Cf. Acts 2:5; 18:10-13; Jn 7:35; Jas 1:1; 1Pet 1:1