“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 23:13
It’s easy to point the finger at others and point out how they are like the scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites. But, I wonder, is there anything we do, anything I do, that “locks people out of the kingdom of heaven”?
In general terms, we had a discussion about this in a church cabinet meeting yesterday. We talked about some of the negative perceptions people have about Christianity, about how Christians seem to be more about judging than about the love of Christ. And, believe me, I know, there are very few Christians who wake up each morning and think, “I wonder who I can judge and lock out of the kingdom of heaven today.”
But, whether we do so intentionally or not, the end result is the same…so, it’s time for us all to carefully evaluate our lives (I’m not talking about calling anyone out here except yourself.) Perhaps the absolute best thing we can do is to try our best to figure out how we, as individuals, can live for God and point to God and share God’s love with our lives. If we focus on doing all we can to be a shining light for God in this world instead of expending our energy to focus on what other people should be (or shouldn’t be doing), we’ll probably make a much greater difference for God.
At the end of the day, it’s up to God, not us, to choose whether or not to lock anyone out of the kingdom of heaven. – Pastor Brad