”Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21 NIV)
We sometimes believe that the age in which we live is totally unique and it’s never been more difficult than today to be a Christian. The truth is, truthfully, that Christians in every era had its own battle against unbelief and different attacks on Christianity’s expectations.
Catherine Booth who lived at the end of the 1800s had a well appreciated preaching reputation along with her husband and they witnessed large numbers of people accepting Jesus in their lives. She said on one occasion:”… we can’t reach the masses – they have such disturbing preconceived notions against all that resembles sects that they’ll never come… May the Lord show us what to do… I believe…. that the religion that pleases God lies more in doing His will than in exhibiting positive feelings…” Large numbers of people came to faith. Nonetheless she was conscious of the difficulty in reaching the masses due their preconceived notions. Does it feel familiar?
But the most important message is perhaps the last of her utterances, where she describes two forms of Christianity, one that does God’s will, and the other that wants only to experience wonderful feelings. If we want to please God and if we want to enter the heavenly Kingdom one day, we must pose the question to ourselves. Do I want to do God’s will or do I only want to experience wondrous feelings?
Jesus, thank you for all the wonderful experiences You allow us to share with You. However, help us not to become so occupied by the beguiling feelings that we forget to do Your will.