“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)
I think there are a lot of good people that will not go to heaven. I really do think so. They can do good things their whole lives, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will go to heaven. What would keep them out? Just one thing: rejecting the only thing that matters. And that is Jesus. Grace! Just doing good things isn’t enough. They have to be done from the graced idea of living by the Spirit of God.
Think about it. None of Jesus’s works happened before the Spirit came upon him. He only started doing miracles, signs, and wonders when the Spirit came upon Him. He only started speaking in the Temple when the Spirit came upon Him. God came to Jesus and said, “This is what I need you to do.” And that’s when His work began.
It’s the same for us. If the Spirit is in you, then you’re going to live by the Spirit. But if you live in the flesh, you’re going to do things in the flesh. What is the flesh? It is selfish. It has no sense of service. It’s all about me and what can I have. As long as we live on earth, we will do things of the flesh. But with the Spirit upon us, we are forgiven. We live in grace, and we do the things that God wants us to do.
So when someone tells me that they said the prayer and were saved, but their lives didn’t change, I wonder. Have they asked God to send His Spirit?
The Bible says there will be people who say, “I cast out demons in your name,” and yet Jesus will say, “I never knew you.” You have to get into grace. That means you have to get to a point where you realize what Jesus did. He didn’t just die for us. He resurrected! He didn’t just die to works. He resurrected to grace! That’s what He did!
He said, “I have not come to break the law. I have come to fulfill it. I’m going to die, so you will know that the law has been satisfied. The law will become the old covenant. Then I’m going to resurrect, and this will be to new grace. That’s the way this comes into play.”
And did you notice? It was after the resurrection that we stopped needing to make animal sacrifices. It was after the resurrection that we quit stoning our wives for disobedience. Jesus put a whole new deal in place. The curtain was ripped, and the Holy of Holies was accessible to all. Because of Jesus, we all have access to the kingdom of heaven.
So no matter how good you are, if you’re not willing to go and access God, then all your works mean nothing. They mean nothing because they are not done with the backing of the Spirit.
In 2010, the Giants made a clerical error and accidentally added an extra half million dollars to my contract. I reported the error, and got the contract fixed. People said to me,”Oh, man, you could do a lot of good with that $500,000.” But I couldn’t have done any good with it, even if all my works were really good. It wasn’t my money! Right? This is what I’m talking about. You can do all the good you want. But if you do not carry the Spirit of grace, which is Jesus, I don’t know what it’s going to get you.