Protestors at the Judgment
Protestors have been very much in the news lately. Our English word protest comes from a compound Latin word which means to testify in favor of. That is ironic in view of the fact that most protests are testifying against something.
Protests are common in centers of government. It is not at all unusual to see sizeable groups gathered near the Capitol Building as legislation is being considered or at the Supreme Court Building when “landmark” cases are under consideration.
Jesus foretold that there will be protestors on the judgment day. They won’t be carrying signs or marching hand-in-hand, they certainly won’t need masks!, and they won’t be protesting societal injustice. Their complaint will be the verdict in their own cases.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
Entering God’s kingdom, whether in the current sense of its existence on earth or in the future sense of its heavenly existence—the Bible uses the word both ways—requires obedience to the Father’s will.
One does not become a Christian by simply calling Jesus “Lord.” “Calling on the name of the Lord” is a confession of His lordship made in conjunction with baptism into Him (Acts 2:31, 37-41; 22:16; Romans 10:12-14), an act which itself is an appeal for cleansing by Him (1 Peter 3:21). How ironic it is that the vast majority of “Christians” dismiss baptism’s essentiality!
One does not live as a Christian by a verbal acknowledgment of Jesus but nothing more. Jesus asked, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).
One does not work as a Christian by doing his own will and attaching Jesus’ name to it. The judgement-day protestors will claim to have done great things in the name of Jesus. The problem is, they did not do what the Father’s will directs. “To be active in religious affairs is no substitute for obeying God” (D. A. Carson).
Modern-day protestors might occasionally sway judges; judgment-day protestors will not. “Depart from Me. . .” will be the verdict. Don’t let it be yours.