If you are planning to knock on the door of the white house in hopes of having dinner with the president and first lady, consider a few things first. What will be your opening line? Make sure you state your name clearly and smile. Tell the secret service how you just love Obamacare and show them the flag that you proudly wear on your shirt. Also, remind them that you are a U.S. citizen and very patriotic. Show them how you represent your country to the best of your ability and ensure them that you pay taxes every year. You would never dream of cheating our great government. Tell them how you publicly acknowledge the president every time he passes a law. Explain to them how you also tell others how much of a blessing it is to be a member of this country. You even suggest that citizens of other countries may want to consider obtaining a form of citizenship or alien resident status. You are American through and through. Now, wait for the secret service agent to respond as you smile at him. Hmm… that’s interesting. They are not opening the door wide for you? That’s strange, your exuberant citizenship should be a sure entrance into that special dinner with the president. Unfortunately, however, you are forgetting one small (or maybe not so small) detail. The president does not know who you are.
You may represent this country in your own personal life and you may express thankfulness when you enjoy its benefits, but you have yet to personally meet the man to whose house you are trying to gain entrance. You don’t know anything about his personal life and he doesn’t know anything about yours. You have never met or fellowshipped with his children. He cannot pick you out of a crowd. While he appreciates your dedication to this country, it will not gain you access to his secret chambers.
Now consider why so many people will hear the words, “I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23 KJV). Many people will make it to Heaven’s gate and then receive a horrible revelation. God will not let people into Heaven because they wear a cross on their shirts or because they have His name on their clothes. Being partakers of God’s goodness and even being thankful for it will not gain them access. Telling others that they should go to church will not gain anyone access either. Doing good works and speaking highly of God is great, but it will not get you into Heaven on that day. God is looking for specific requirements. Your name must be written in His book, meaning you have repented of your sins and changed your life over, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1 KJV).
We cannot live the life we have always lived and expect God to let us into His home on that last day. He expects us to surrender to His leadership, not just acknowledge our thankfulness or our willingness to represent Him. Being a citizen of this world is not enough, we have to go through the proper channels to receive our Heavenly citizenship, “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:16 KJV). We must acknowledge our sinful nature and be willing to change. On the day of Pentecost, a group of people suddenly realized that they were not in a relationship with the God of Heaven. They became painfully aware of their sin, “…they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter’s response was, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38 KJV). Even after the initial introduction to God’s kingdom; however, one must continue the journey to Heaven. We must walk with Him and talk with Him and allow Him to change us along the way. When we arrive at His door, He will recognize that His name is on our hearts and not just our clothing. Then, we can hear the words, “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:23). Then we will not call Him, “The Lord” but instead “My Lord.”