in my opinion, your argument is unconvincing…in my view, the Lord seeks genuine true repentance, that is His will for us, therefore simply saying to Jesus ‘Lord, Lord’ without true repentance, is not enough to get a person saved…eventually though, everybody will truly repent, otherwise God’s promises such as Isaiah 45:23, which promise all will be saved and swear allegiance to God, will be unfulfilled…Isaiah 45:23, "I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. .’
I agree with some of your points, but Jesus didn’t say “just saying ‘Lord, Lord’ will not get you saved.”
No one enters the kingdom of God (== of “the heavens”, a respectful euphamism for God which Matthew usually prefers), who does not do the will of God.
Strictly speaking, Jesus doesn’t say there that those who are currently not doing the will of God will never come to do the will of God (and so shall never be entering into the kingdom of the heavens). He does say that not everyone empowered to know and to do such-and-such are actually doing the will of God; the point is the surprise unexpected reversal that they shall not be entering into the kingdom but shall be told to depart.
To interpret that as meaning they shall never learn their lesson and so shall never come to do the will of God (and so shall never enter the kingdom), would be to teach that the will of God shall not be finally done by creatures (against the Lord’s prayer earlier in the Sermon); and to teach that God’s tree bears bad fruit. Which is what the ravening wolf false teachers teach!
It’s a test for Jesus’ disciples, including us long afterward: a lot of Jesus’ judgment statements are set up like Nathan’s parable to David, to see if we’ll incriminate ourselves by being revealed to be who He’s talking about. (Jesus does the same thing to the Pharisees on occasion, too.)
The riddle spins out like this: despite their special knowledge and divine power given to them by God, those people were false teachers and unmerciful ravening wolves. Why? Because they were teaching that God’s tree will bear bad fruit, that God shall fail (or perhaps never intended) to bring all creatures to do the will of God (on earth as in heaven), etc. Therefore, although they thought they of all people would surely enter the kingdom (and are surprised to learn otherwise, as in 7:22), they turned out to be workers of injustice and are told to depart. Why are they workers of injustice? By teaching that God will never bring all creatures to do justice, and insisting on unmercy for other people. That’s the same as teaching that God is a bad tree which will bear bad fruit, and that God is more evil than human fathers who despite their evil would still give their children good and not bad things. Consequently, they will be judged according to the standard by which they insisted on judging: their tree, not God’s, will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
But that sets us up afterward to check whether we’ll be like them and judge that God won’t save them from their sins! If we interpret this to mean that God won’t save them, then we’re doing the same thing for which they’re going to be punished!
Nope, I’m not going to do that anymore. I learned the lesson.
I could segue from this into an extended contextual discussion about what God’s will for salvation is – the short point is that those ravening unmerciful judgmental wolves were falsely teaching against God’s will for salvation of sinners from sin, although God made good use of them anyway during their ministry. And not only falsely teaching by mistake (which could happen by mere lack of skill or other accident), but they had set themselves in their hearts to insist on something against God’s will for salvation, fundamentally against the doing of justice, thus becoming themselves doers of injustice.
Jesus did not say, “Not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven,” but rather:
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Jesus’ point is not that some people will never enter the Kingdom, but that they won’t enter on the basis that some think they will enter—namely by calling Jesus, “Lord,” and doing many wonderful or even miraculous works in Jesus’ name. Rather, doing God’s will is also required—indeed is the chief requirement.
An analogous situation might be the following: A teacher announces, “Not everyone who passes the final exam will pass the course.” He is not saying that not everyone in his class will pass the course, but that they won’t pass it on the basis of the final exam alone. For the basis of passing the course also requires completing assignments and projects throughout the year, as well as passing short weekly tests.
From my position “salvation” is seen from a number of perspectives and was part of what it meant, in biblical terms, to enter the rule and reign of God as redemption and reconciliation were being secured.
There was a ‘temporal salvation’ (literal deliverance i.e., divinely orchestrated escape) from the forthcoming “great tribulation” aka the Roman-Jewish wars of CE. 66-73. Specific to Jerusalem and her fall in CE. 70 was the escape of Christians within Jerusalem proper to Pella, all within a narrow time-frame in the cessation of hostilities at that time… in this regard Mt 24:13 comes to mind.
There was a ‘redemptive salvation’ ON BEHALF OF “all Israel” where “the sin of Jacob” were forgiven and overturned (Rom 11:15, 26-27; 2Cor 5:19; Eph 1:7; Col 1:13-14) which resulted in the broader reconciliation of man. “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jn 1:29. The only part Israel and humanity (whom she represented) played in this redemptive salvation was the sin that made it necessary.
There was/is a ‘transformative salvation’ that works on a more individual basis – where the Word and Spirit bring the glorious freedom of change – that which is called “sanctification” as demonstrated here… Jas 1:21; 2Pet 1:3-4; Psa 19:7.
Which of the three do you think Jesus was talking about in Matthew 7:21?
Jesus’ statement in Matthew 7:21 sounds like an “eternal statement” (for lack of a better term). I think that when someone states that X will not happen, unless the speaker expressly indicates that there is a limited time frame within which his statement is true, we should assume that the statement is eternally true; “X will not happen” is the same as “X will never happen”. Any other interpretation of such statements changes their meaning. But even if using the word “never” is necessary for making an eternal statement, the Bible has one on the subject of hopeless punishment: Mark 3:29 But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”
Can you think of any examples in the Bible where the Father or Jesus said something would not happen, and then it happened?
I think the ongoing-ness of the sin is the important thing; being in that state of deliberately blaspheming cannot be forgiven while it continues. But God will bring that one to repentence as well.
I would say Jesus probably had Israel’s eschatological horizon in view, so predominately #1, but also a healthy dash of #3 relative to the inner man reflecting the grace of the Kingdom Jesus was hinting at.
On your rebuttal theory, Jesus must be saying that no one ever shall enter the kingdom of God, since we’re all sinners who have at some point not done the will of our Father in the heavens but have done injustice instead, also thus sinning against the Holy Spirit (since the Holy Spirit is God and every sin is a sin against God).
Nope, don’t try to get around it: Jesus said those who sin shall never, never enter into the kingdom of the heavens, that’s an eternal statement and unless the speaker expressly indicates that there is a limited time frame within which his statement is true we should assume that the statement is eternally true: “X will not happen” must be the same as “X will never happen”. Any other interpretation of such statements changes their meaning.
DON’T TRY TO GET AROUND THE OBVIOUS TOTAL AND HOPELESSLY PERMANENT DAMNATION PREACHED IN THE BIBLE! YOU CAN NEVER EVER EVER BE SAVED FROM YOUR SIN AND ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS!
If your rebuttal was correct in principle, no one could ever be saved.
But I don’t think I’m unbiblically changing the meaning of Jesus’ statement in that verse, if I conclude from other verses (including closely nearby) that Jesus does in fact think people who do not do the will of God can be empowered and led by God to do the will of God and so enter into the kingdom of the heavens.
That’s why I wrote, “No one enters the kingdom of God (== of “the heavens”, a respectful euphamism for God which Matthew usually prefers), who does not do the will of God. Strictly speaking, Jesus doesn’t say there that those who are currently not doing the will of God will never come to do the will of God (and so shall never be entering into the kingdom of the heavens).” And then pointed out, in some detail (which I could add to), that to interpret that saying as though such people told to depart shall never come to do the will of God but shall be bad fruit produced by God (since God was clearly empowering those of all people to do and know various miraculous things), would thus put us on par with the false teachers being condemned by Christ there.
The sin against the Holy Spirit isn’t an exception (though by now you’ve probably gotten through the video lecture(s) on that). The Pharisees being thus condemned are also being put into the same situation as the man they insisted God wouldn’t or couldn’t save, but whom Jesus saved anyway. I’m sure as hell not going to insist that Jesus can’t or won’t save them! – I’d be doing what God will be punishing them for doing! Besides if God can save Paul and Peter from doing the equivalent of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, then He can save those Pharisees, too.
That still doesn’t mean anyone can or will be entering into the kingdom of God while still sinning against the Holy Spirit and otherwise refusing to do justice. Never and not are still one hundred per cent true, but that’s what Jesus is talking about. He isn’t talking about doers of injustice as such never-not ever being saved into doing justice and cooperating with the Holy Spirit and honoring the Son and the Father (and the Holy Spirit).
The following was from another forum discussion:
[QUOTE=“BNR32FAN, post: 73453134, member: 401065”]On that day they will say to me. This changes nothing. Nowhere does he say they will not enter heaven on that day. He said not everyone who calls Lord Lord will enter heaven. If at a later time everyone does enter heaven then this statement is false.
The reason they won’t enter on “that day” (Mt.7:22) is because they are unrighteous (Mt.7:21-23), just like those Paul refers to here:
1 Cor.6:9-10 “Know ye not that THE UNRIGHTEOUS shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
Are you implying that Paul was lying when he later says those unrighteous ones became saved & therefore could inherit the kingdom of God:
1 Cor.6:11 “And SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
And if Paul wasn’t lying when he said that, why would Jesus be lying if He believed like Paul that unrighteous people can enter God’s kingdom of heaven?
The context is speaking of actions in this life (Mt.7:13-19, 22-23) & their consequences on a certain “day” (7:22), not final destiny or eternal destinies. On that “day” (7:22) some will suffer punishment by “fire” (7:19). On that particular “day” not everyone will enter “heaven”, even if they say “Lord” (7:20) & claim to have done miracles in His name (7:22).
Jesus clearly connects verses 21 & 22 by using “Lord, Lord” in both verses. Verses 22-23 explain Jesus’ meaning in verse 21 of the immediate context.
Berean Literal Bible
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. (Mt.7:21)
Only those - “doing” (present tense, Mt.7:21) - the will of God will enter the “kingdom of the heavens”. While - you - were not “doing” His will, you were disqualified. So there was a time when - you - & all other rebels like you - would not have been able to “enter into the kingdom of the heavens”. To enter this kingdom rebels must change their ways and do the will of God. Mt.7:21 places no time limits on when rebels may change their ways & do God’s will. Mt.7:21 does not say anyone will never enter the kingdom.
Matthew 7:21-23 tells us, like 1 Cor.6:9-11, that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom. First the unrighteous must change & become righteous so that they may enter. Paul says some of those who became righteous were formerly those who could not enter the kingdom because they were unrighteous:
1 Cor 6:9-11
“Know ye not that THE UNRIGHTEOUS shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
“And SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
As a commentator says:
“Wait a minute. If the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God, why does Paul say “and such were some of you?” If they were unrighteous, then how did they inherit the kingdom?”
“They had to be cleansed first, of course. As long as anyone is not cleansed, they have no part inside. But once cleansed, they entered the kingdom.”