close is not in
"The reign of God is like a buried treasure which a man found in a field." —Matthew 13:44
Just because we're in the Lord's dragnet doesn't mean He will retain us at the end of the world (Mt 13:47ff). Just because we're in the Lord's field, it doesn't mean we are God's wheat. We may be weeds to be burned (Mt 13:40). Just because we go to church doesn't mean we are automatically living in God's kingdom. Doing Christian things and living in the midst of Christians doesn't make us Christians (see Lk 13:26-27).
We are Christians and followers of Jesus, the King of the kingdom, when we sell all that we have to buy God's kingdom (Mt 13:44, 46). We are living life in Christ when we, by faith, give our lives to Jesus, and are no longer living for ourselves but for Him Who died and rose from the dead for us (2 Cor 5:15; Gal 2:20). Being close to Christians doesn't make us Christians, but being close to and in Christ makes us Christians.
To those merely active in Christian activities but not living in Him, Jesus will say: "I never knew you. Out of My sight, you evildoers!" (Mt 7:23) To those living for Him alone, Jesus will say: "Come. You have My Father's blessing! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world" (Mt 25:34). Live in His kingdom.
Prayer: Father, may I seek first Your kingdom and Your way of righteousness (Mt 6:33).
Promise: "We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love" Him. —Rm 8:28
Praise: Praise You, risen Jesus! Your broken body has multiplied our healing. Praise You, Lamb of God, for shepherding us with Your love.
Reference: (For a related teaching on Am I Going to Heaven?, order, listen to or download our CD 54-3 or DVD 54 on our website or order our tape on audio AV 54-3 or video V-54.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 22, 2017
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