Who Will Enter The Kingdom Of Heaven?

Matthew 7:21-23


A. Most people believe they will go to heaven when they

1. Their hope is fostered by the comforting words of many
preachers, priests, and rabbis

2. Their hope is based upon the idea that heaven is for all
believers, or for those whose good works outweigh the

B. But are such hopes well-founded?

1. Will most people go to heaven when they die?

2. Is salvation based upon good works? Is it based upon faith

C. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus gave some very serious

1. Few, not many, would be saved   – Matthew 7:13-14

2. Many religious people, including some believers in Jesus,
will learn that they are lost!   – Matthew 7:21-23

D. Friends, “Who will enter the kingdom of heaven?”

E. Before considering this question, perhaps this is good
opportunity to answer another one first…



1. The term “Kingdom of Heaven” is synonymous with the
“Kingdom of God”

a. Compare Matthew 4:17 with Mark 1:14-15

b. The term “Kingdom of Heaven” refers to God’s
kingship, or rule, from heaven

1) The kingdom of heaven is focused in the Person of
Jesus Christ, and is especially manifested where He
rules in the hearts of men

2) Luke 17:20-21

2. In brief, the “Kingdom of Heaven”

a. Is spiritual in nature

1) John 18:36

2) Romans 14:17

b. It began when all authority (rule) was given to

1) Matthew 28: 18

2) Ephesians 1:20-23

c. Today, it includes the Lord’s church on earth (for
those who submit to the Will of Christ are added to the

1) Colossians 1: 13

2) Revelation 1:9

d. In the future, it will involve the “new heavens and new
earth,” where we will be with God and Jesus for

1) Matthew 13:40-43

2) 2 Peter 3:10-13

3) Revelation 21:1-22:5

e. The kingdom of heaven was “inaugurated” on the
Day of Pentecost, and will be “culminated” when
Jesus returns to deliver it back to God –
1 Corinthians 15:23-28

3. The Kingdom of Heaven in our text

a. It appears to have the future aspect of the kingdom in

1) Note that Jesus says “in that day…” (Mt. 7:22)

2) This is an apparent reference to the day of judgment

a) 2 Timothy 1:12

b) 2 Timothy 1:18

c) 2 Timothy 4:8

b. Thus Jesus is talking about who will enter the
kingdom in its future aspect

1) Of which He spoke on other occasions –
Matthew 25:31-34

2) Of which Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:10-11

4. What a wonderful blessing, to have an abundant entrance
into “the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ”! But…


1. Not everyone who professes Jesus

a. Matthew 7:21a

b. There are some who teach that as long as one believes in
Jesus, they will be saved

1) That salvation is by “faith only”

2) Even though the only time “faith only” is found in the
Scriptures, it says: James 2:24

c. But there is such a thing as “an unsaved believer”

1) The demons believe, but are not saved James 2:19

2) There were some who believed in Jesus, but were not
saved – John 12:42-43

3) Jesus described a true disciple as one who not only
believes in Him, but does what He says

a) John 8:30-32

b) Let no one think that just because they “believe” in
Jesus, they have a free ticket into heaven!

2. Not everyone who does many good works

a. Matthew 7:22

b. Here were people who not only believed in Jesus, but
believed they had:

1) Prophesied in His name!

2) Cast out demons in His Name!

3) Done many wonders in His Name! – that is, they
thought they had been empowered to do such
wonderful works!

c. Such good works certainly did not earn their way to

1) Indeed, salvation is by grace, not meritorious
works – cf. Titus 3:3-7

2) Good works had not saved Cornelius, he still
needed to be told what to do to be saved – Acts
10:1-5; 11:14

d. Indeed, sometimes what we may think is a good work is
without any authority… Jesus condemns these as those
“who act without authority” – Matthew 7:23

e. We might be very religious, and do many things in the
name of Jesus, yet He might still say: “I never knew you;
depart from Me…”

f. Who then will be saved?…

3. Only those who do the Father’s will

a. As Jesus said, Matthew 7:21b

1) Here is the dividing line: those who DO the Father’s

2) James 1:22-25

b. Is this legalism?

1) No! Legalism is salvation by perfect law-keeping,
believing that one earns salvation by merit

2) Salvation by grace does not preclude obedience

c. The Father’s will, while it offers salvation by grace, does
require obedience!

1) Only those who obey from the heart will be delivered
from sin – Romans 6:17-18

2) Christ is the author of salvation to all who obey Him
– Hebrews 5:9

3) Christ will come in judgment against those who obey
not the gospel – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9


A. Who will enter the kingdom of heaven?

1. Not those who profess to believe, but do not obey

2. Not those who think they are doing many religious things,
but without authority

3. But, only those who do the Father’s will!

B. This is why we must take an earlier statement in Jesus’
sermon so seriously…

1. Matthew 6: 33

2. We must make the finding of God’s will and rule the
number one priority in our life!

C. Are you doing the Father’s will?

About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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