|Matthew 21:31-32 |
31 Which of those two sons did the will of his father?" And they said to him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that the tax collectors and prostitutes will enter into the kingdom of God before you.3
32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. But you, after you had seen it [his righteousness], did not repent afterwards and believe him.
3 The Pharisees did not do the work of God; they did not repent because they thought they were righteous. They claimed to be righteous based on their works of ritual and ceremony, rather than a change of heart. Because their hearts were still full of evil, Jesus told them that tax collectors and prostitutes would enter before them. Why? Because the prostitutes and tax collectors did not think they were righteous, therefore they sought the changing power of God's grace to change them, making them fit to become partakers with the saints in the light.
Now, if you are one who claims to be a Christian, are you resting on your having been baptized, calling Jesus Lord, eating bread and grape juice at you sect's ceremony, paying tithes, studying the Bible? Do you think you are righteous because you believe? Do you think you have a free pass to heaven, excusing all your past, present, and future sins? If so, you are exactly like the Pharisees, whom Jesus severely warned and criticized. The Lord said he would reject many who thought they were Christians, because they still sinned. Your hearts must be purified by faith, your souls must be purified by obedience to the truth, before you can have any place in heaven. Jesus is the source of salvation to all who obey him. Mark! obey.
I have come into the world for judgment, that the blind might see; and that those who see might be made blind... If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains. John 9:39-41. Understand that if one claims he 'can see,' he is claiming that he is righteous; and then he has no hope of attaining sight or righteousness; the Lord will deliberately blind him even further. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Mat 5:6