We will all stand before the Judge! Nobody is exempt. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10, CSB).
Jesus warned the Jewish religionists of this inevitable event, saying, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!’ ” (Matthew 7:21–23, CSB).
Read that again. Some who have said, “Lord, Lord” will be rejected and condemned on the day of judgment. Some who claim to have prophesied, driven out demonic spirits, and done miracles in God’s name will be turned away. There may be Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Pentecostals who hear the chilling words, “Depart from Me!” Isn’t that what Jesus is saying?
So, how can we know? How can we be sure? To help us understand, Jesus told a parable.
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash” (Matthew 7:24–27, CSB).
Both men worked hard and built houses. From the outside, they may have look very similar. Windows with shutters. Doors with a brass doorknocker. A whisp of smoke coming from the chimney. But the houses were fundamentally different and weathered the storm in opposite ways. One house stood against the ferocious winds and rain. The other house collapsed.
The difference: a decision. The man who “dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock”(Luke 6:48, CSB) is the one who heard the Gospel and placed his faith in Jesus. Before he began to build, he decided. He chose. He believed the simple Gospel. “Everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, CSB). “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31, CSB)
John said, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13, ESV). God’s Written Word affirms our eternally secure salvation.
“The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16, CSB). God’s Spirit assures the believer of an everlasting salvation.
Jesus is not suggesting that we should doubt our salvation. He is begging us to be certain. Salvation is a gift of grace, received by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross, not by religious activity or by good works. Lives built on the Rock will endure!