Did you know it’s possible to say a prayer, go to church each week, be good people in society, and do good things for others and still not make it to heaven? The Bible tells us that it is possible, not just possible but very possible, to do all these things and think we are going to Heaven but never make it.

Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV) 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. 22 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?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Many miss what’s happening here because we just kinda read through it without thinking. If you’ve had children you would be used to hearing excuses. “But, I did [this]…”, “Didn’t I do [that]…?”. Excuses have a very distinctive start and we see an excuse right within this text.

In verse 22 we see, “…have we not…”. Seeing this excuse we then understand what’s happening here. Basically, in verse 21 these people heard the word “no” in regards to going to Heaven. They never expected to hear this response. In verse 22 they start providing excuses of why they believe they should be going. Notice in verse 23 that Christ does not correct them on what they did. Nowhere does He say, “No, you didn’t do these things in my name.” All He says is, “I never knew you…” which is based upon the issue in verse 21, they never did the will of the Father.

What is going on here? Matthew 7 is the ending of the sermon we know as “The Sermon on the Mount”. The sermon is a very hard sermon, teaching of actions hard to live by. This is what Yahshua is saying in

Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV) “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

He is not comparing the “church” with the world, He’s comparing the “church” with “church”. He’s saying, “There's an easy way to do this but you will not make it. The way to make it is a hard way to do this, the way I’m [Yahshua] teaching.”

One way we know that He’s not comparing the “church” with the world is by His next statement…

Matthew 7:15 (NKJV) “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

Those who will follow the wide and easy road and ultimately hear “no” in the end will be those who follow these “false prophets”. Unfortunately, the modern church world if packed full of these false prophets. There are two ways to know these people. Yahshua says we know them by what they do. These people may teach something halfway good but their life will not live it. There is a second way to know who these false prophets are and that’s if they make salvation easy. If they are teaching you to say a prayer and you’re saved and there's not much of anything you have to do, life is easy now, you will not get sick any more, you can just bind satan and bad things have to stop, and like things then they are teaching contrary to what Yahshua is saying… It’s hard, it’s difficult, it’s narrow.

When we understand this we start to wonder then, “What is the ‘will of the Father’?”

The key to the “will of the Father” is located within this sermon and all through Scripture; if we would just listen. First, lets clear up something that is the most popular teaching in the wide gate easy road salvation today.

People need to know that the prayer for Salvation is found nowhere in Scripture. Nowhere is there a prayer to be saved. There are over 30 salvations in Scripture and none are done in any way as we do them today. That should scare people.

The closest thing to a pray for salvation and the passage used to support it is found in…

Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Now that sounds like a prayer of salvation but we can’t just take a statement from the context of a letter and assume what it’s saying. We must keep the text within the context of the text along with the context of the culture. Let's look at this real quick.

If we back up to verse one we start to see the textual context.

1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for [a]Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

The statement used to support a prayer of salvation is taken from a text by Paul where he’s desiring his people, Israel, to be saved.

What Israel was doing? They were seeking righteousness but they were doing so through the Law of Moses. We don’t have time to go over all the text but if you were to turn back in the Old Testament you would find many rituals for salvation. There were lamb sacrifices and holidays and feasts that were specifically done to make one ceremonially clean. If you sinned you were dirty before God but if you did one of these things you would be ceremonially clean. You’re not really clean because we still are in this sinful flesh and that’s why Scripture states it as ceremonially clean.

Let’s look at a cultural context real quick. Rome controlled most of the world. While they controlled the world they let each group of people serve the gods of their choices. It was not illegal to be a Christian serving Christ therefore the Jewish leaders could not have Rome lay down any punishment for this. Therefore they went to the leaders of Rome and told them that Christians were serving a different King and did not recognize the royalty of Rome. This then made Christianity completely illegal. To make things worse, the colosseum was established where there were bloody games for the entertainment of the crowds. At these games, the workers of the royalty would give out bread for free and this appeased the crowds so that they would, with pleasure and delight, submit to their royal leaders. This was the perfect opportunity for punishment as they would carry these Christians who refused to support the King of Rome who provides such entertainment and food for the people and to kill these Christians as entertainment. So, to declare Christ as Lord over you’re life would be a death sentence in which you’d be arrested and sent to the colosseum where they would put you in the middle with hundreds watching and release lions to have their way with you. To declare Christ as Lord was not anything done lightly like can so easily be done in America today.

Let’s back up in the text a little because we need to see that this text is directed toward people who have a zeal for God. What does this mean?

I remember when I was twelve years old my family went to visit some friends. They had a moped. It those days it was the beginning of the mopeds. They actually had pedals in case you ran out of gas and you’d have to pedal this heavy machine to a gas station. I rode that moped and fell in love.

For the following days, weeks, and months, I would lay in my bed and just imagine owning one of those mopeds. I would imagine what it was like to have my own and ride it out through the country. I would close my eyes and think about this for long periods of time. I would pretend I was riding one in my room. I would dream about it constantly.

This is a zeal for a moped. This is how bad Israel wanted God. They wanted Him so bad and they were doing all the Law of Moses rituals to gain righteousness in order to obtain God.

Do we have a zeal for God or do we have a zeal to save our skin? Maybe a zeal that a miraculous change will be made that we will no longer do what we did before. Maybe a zeal that we don’t have to be where we are any longer. Maybe a zeal that we can escape hell. The truth is, the zeal for God is what changes us through the life of Christ as our example.

When we understand the context of this statement it changes everything about how we understand this text. We take a text that is directed towards people with a zeal for God but were seeking through the works of salvation of the law of Moses instead of Christ, and who, if they confess they follow Christ, will be murdered in the most unimaginable ways, and we tell any drunk on the street to say the prayer and they are saved. This is not rightfully using Scripture and it’s not the truth.

If we turn to John 3:16 we see the most famous verse of the entire Bible:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

So, we get stuck on this thing of “believe” but “believe” in this time of history did not mean exactly the same thing it does today. We understand this by the translation of this word just a little further down the text in verse 36:

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

To read over this it sounds like a simple to understand statement. If you believe you’re saved and if you don’t you’re not. Yet, that’s not what this is saying. Notice there’s a word missing in the second portion of the text.

He who believes IN the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

I put in all caps a two-letter word that is not located in the next statement. If you were to look at the original Greek language that this text was translated from you’d see the second “believe” actually means to “obey”; which is properly translated in some new Bible texts. Even here, it’s not far from the proper translation. You can believe IN the son but if you don’t believe Him, or believe what He says, which is to say, “You don’t follow His instruction” then we see the wrath of God instead of everlasting life.

What’s Christ showed is how He lived and it was an example of the will of the Father by which we should live. The will of the Father is in the context of the Sermon on the Mount where Yahshua is finishing when He gives us the “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord, will make it…” statement.

I’m going to throw out all kinds of text from the Old and New Testament for you to view and we will finish this up. I’m going to put the message I want you to catch in all capital letters.

1 John 2:3-6
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him OUGHT HIMSELF ALSO WALK JUST AS HE WALKED.

What are Christ’s commandments? How did He walk?

Isaiah 48:9-11
FOR MY NAME’S SAKE I defer my anger, FOR THE SAKE OF MY PRAISE I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. FOR MY OWN SAKE, FOR MY OWN SAKE, I do it, for HOW SHOULD MY NAME BE PROFANED? MY GLORY I WILL NOT GIVE TO ANOTHER.

God chose his people for his glory:
He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 TO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE. (Ephesians 1:4-6, cf. vv. 12, 14, NASB)

God created us for his glory:
Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created FOR MY GLORY. (Isaiah 43:6-7)

God called Israel for his glory:
You are my servant, Israel, IN WHOME I WILL BE GLORIFIED (Isaiah 49:3).

God rescued Israel from Egypt for his glory:
Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works . . . but rebelled by the Sea, at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE, THAT HE MIGHT MAKE KNOWN HIS MIGHTY POWER. (Psalm 106:7-8)

God spared Israel in the wilderness for the glory of his name:
I ACTED FOR THE SAKE OF MY NAME, THAT IS SHOULD NOT BE PROFANED IN THE SIGHT OF THE NATIONS, in whose sight I had brought them out. (Ezekiel 20:l4)

God gave Israel victory in Canaan for the glory of his name:
Who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, MAKING HIMSELF A NAME and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods? (2 Samuel 7:23)

God did not cast away his people for the glory of his name:
Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord . . . For the Lord will not forsake his people, FOR HIS GREAT NAME’S SAKE. (l Samuel 12:20, 22)

God saved Jerusalem from attack for the glory of his name:
For I will defend this city to save it, FOR MY OWN SAKE and for the sake of my servant David. (2 Kings 19:34; cf. 20:6)

God restored Israel from exile for the glory of his name:
Thus says the Lord God, It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but FOR THE SAKE OF MY HOLY NAME.. . . And I WILL VINDICATE THE HOLINESS OF MY GREAT NAME . . . And the nations will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 36:22-23; cf. v. 32)

Jesus sought the glory of his Father in all he did:
The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but THE ONE WHO SEEKS THE GLORY OF HIM WHO SENT HIM IS TRUE, and in him there is no falsehood. (John 7:l8)

Jesus told us to do good works so that God gets glory:
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and GIVE GLORY TO YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN. (Matthew 5:16; cf. 1 Peter 2:12)

People think this is telling us, those letting their light shine before others, to give Glory to the Father. It’s not wrong, in fact totally right for us to give Glory to God but this is saying we need to let our light shine before men so others will give Glory to God. Look at where the comma marks are. Let your light shine before men… comma… so that they [others] may see your good works… If there was a comma at this point it would be telling those who are letting their light shine to give Glory to the Father but there is no comma thus those who “see your good works” will not give you glory but give Glory to the Father. This is the reason for doing good works so that the Father receives Glory.

Jesus said that he answers prayer that God would be glorified:
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, THAT THE FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED in the Son. (John 14:13)

Jesus endured his final hours of suffering for God’s glory:
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, GLORIFY YOUR NAME’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I HAVE GLORIFIED IT, AND I WILL GLORIFY IT AGAIN’ (John 12:27-28).
Father, the hour has come; glorify your son THAT THE SON MAY GLORIFY YOU. (John 17:1; cf. 13:31-32)

God gave his Son to vindicate the glory of his righteousness:
God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation by his blood . . . TO SHOW GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS. . . It was TO SHOW HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS at the present time. (Romans 3:25-26)

God forgives our sins for his own sake:
I, I am he who blots out your transgressions FOR MY OWN SAKE, and I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25)
FOR YOUR OWN NAME’S SAKE, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. (Psalm 25:11)

Jesus receives us into his fellowship for the glory of God:
Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. (Romans 15:7)

God instructs us to do everything for his glory:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD (l Corinthians 10:31; cf. 6:20).

God tells us to serve in a way that will glorify him:
Whoever serves, [let him do it] as one who serves BY THE STRENGTH WHICH GOD SUPPLIES – in order that in everything GOD MY BE GLORIFIED Jesus Christ. TO HIM BELONG GLORY AND DOMINION FOREVER AND EVER. Amen. (l Peter 4:11)

Jesus will fill us with fruits of righteousness for God’s glory:
It is my prayer that . . . [you be] filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, TO THE GLORY AND PRAISE OF GOD. (Philippians 1:9, 11)

All are under judgment for dishonoring God’s glory:
They became fools, and EXCHANGED THE GLORY OF THE IMMORTAL GOD FOR images. (Romans 1:22, 23)

Herod is struck dead because he did not give glory to God:
Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he DID NOT GIVE GOD THE GLORY. (Acts 12:23)

Even in wrath God’s aim is to make known the wealth of his glory:
DESIRING TO SHOW HIS WRATH AND TO MAKE KNOWN HIS POWER, [God] has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order TO MAKE KNOWN THE RICHES OF HIS GLORY for vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory. (Romans 9:22-23)

Everything that happens will redound to God’s glory:
From him and through him and to him are all things. TO HIM BE GLORY FOREVER. Amen. (Romans 11:36)

In the New Jerusalem the glory of God replaces the sun:
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for THE GLORY OF GOD GIVES ITS LIGHT, and its lamp is the Lamb (Revelation 21:23).

When Jesus heard Lazarus was dying
John 11:4 (NKJV) When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but FOR THE GLORY OF GOD, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Jesus prayed for answers so God is glorified through Him
John 11:41-42 (NKJV) Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, THAT THEY MAY BELIEVE THAT YOU SENT ME.”

Our prayers are not answered because we DON’T do it for the Father
James 4:3 (NKJV) You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Remember 1 John 3:3-6 we should walk as Jesus walked.

Jesus did nothing on His own. He only did what the Father told Him and He only said what the Father told Him. (John 8:23-30)

John 8:29 (NKJV) And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”

Everything Christ did was for the Glory of God and never for His own Glory.

Luke 18:19 (NKJV) So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.

When we look back at the message of the Sermon on the Mount we see over and over that we do things in a manner that will not bring us glory but it will bring God glory.

This is the will of the Father and the root of salvation. Salvation is not about a prayer or going to Church. Salvation is about our giving up our glory and turning that over to God. The very fall of Satan was he wanted the glory. This is exactly how he comes after us. When we turn from the way God desires us to live and treat the people around us we are giving glory to ourselves and taking it from God. When we think first, “Will this action I’m about to do give glory to God or me?” and we act upon the “glory to God” part we then are walking the way Christ walked and we are walking in true salvation.