Question 3: You say only those who obey the will of the Father in heaven receive the way of everlasting life. Since we believed in the Lord, we’ve suffered much and paid much to spread the Lord’s gospel. We’ve shepherded the Lord’s flock, taken up the cross and followed the Lord, practiced humbleness, patience, and tolerance. Are you saying we haven’t been following God’s will? We know that if we continue, we will become holy and be raptured to the kingdom of heaven. Do you mean our understanding and practice of God’s word is wrong?
Answer: Many people have the notion that if they labor, sacrifice for the Lord, or perform good deeds, they are obeying God’s will. But are these imagined notions of men after God’s heart? Do they have a basis in God’s word? Let’s see what the Lord Jesus said. The Lord Jesus said, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23). From the Lord Jesus’ words, we can see that those who prophesy, cast out devils, and do many wonderful works in His name are the ones who suffer and do works for the Lord. They serve the Lord. It’s true that they devote all their time to Him and behave very well. But why does Jesus call them those who work iniquity? How should we understand this? By man’s notions, any who suffer and do works for the Lord, and devote their time to Him, are obeying God’s will. The priests and scribes and the Pharisees in Judaism also appeared very pious. They traveled far and wide to preach the gospel. But why did the Lord Jesus condemn them and also curse them? That’s something worth reflecting on, isn’t it? We can’t determine obedience to God’s will using the notions of man. True obedience to God’s will refers to those who can obey God’s works and words, practice God’s words, follow God’s commandments, and fulfill their duties according to God’s will and requirements. You say any who suffer and do works for the Lord are obeying God’s will. Then let’s evaluate them using the Lord Jesus’ requirements. What was Jesus’ most important commandment for man? Jesus’ most important commandment for man is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). But are people doing this? Obeying God’s will means loving God with all of our heart, and soul, and mind. No matter how much work we do or how much we suffer, there shall be no impurity or ambition, just pure devotion to satisfying and obeying God, to carrying out God’s will. We should be happy to sacrifice everything for God, without demand for recompense. In the face of trials and tribulation from God, we should not complain or betray Him but put ourselves at the mercy of God’s arrangements, like Abraham, Job, and Peter. When God’s trials come, we should accept with utter obedience and without complaint, and bear good and resounding testimony for God. And this is obedience to God’s will. Given those demands, it should be obvious whether or not we are people who truly obey the heavenly Father’s will.
We see many are capable of suffering, doing work and sacrificing in the Lord’s name, but in their suffering and sacrifice, there’s personal ambition and desire. They seek to enter the kingdom of heaven. Is this not using and defrauding God? How is this practicing the truth to satisfy God? But there’s an even bigger tragedy going on. Although the religious pastors and elders often work and preach in their churches, and outwardly appear to do good acts, and yet when Almighty God does the work of judgment in the last days, to protect their own influence and their position and income, they wildly judge, condemn, profane Almighty God, and try to stop people from seeking the true way. Doesn’t this make them enemies of God? How is this any different from the crimes of the Pharisees who resisted the Lord Jesus? These facts are enough to prove that people have no knowledge of God, that people’s satanic nature remains and people haven’t gained truth as life. Even those who can suffer, labor, and sacrifice for God do so to barter with Him. They believe in God with the aim of gaining blessings for themselves. Such people are not practicing God’s words at all and do not care for God’s will. They’re not testaments of obedience and love for God. How could such people obey God’s will? And how could they be qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven and gain the way of everlasting life? Almighty God says, “I decide the destination of each man not on the basis of age, seniority, amount of suffering, or least of all, the degree of misery, but on whether they possess truth. There is no other choice but this. You must realize that all those who do not follow the will of God will be punished. This is an immutable fact” (“You Ought to Do Enough Good Deeds to Prepare for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God decides the destination of each man not on the basis of how much work he does or suffering he undergoes, but on the basis of whether he possesses truth, practices God’s word, and obeys God’s will. Because only those who obey God’s will can enter the kingdom of heaven and gain eternal life. This is decided by God’s righteous disposition and cannot be changed. So, we all need to reflect on the path we’ve taken to belief in God. Why, while we believe in and follow God, do we also sin and resist God? It’s caused entirely by the sinful nature hidden within man. With man’s sinful nature, it’s very difficult to truly obey and love God. Thus man’s sinful nature makes it hard to avoid trying to barter and gain blessings while he sacrifices for God. And man’s sinful nature creates complaints, betrayal and negativity in man when faced with the trials of God. So, with man’s sinful nature, how can he become someone who obeys God’s will? How can he become holy? It’s completely impossible! For man to truly obey God’s will and become holy, the problem of his sinful nature must be solved. If people don’t accept Almighty God’s work of judgment and chastisement, then they will never be approved by God. If they don’t experience God’s work of judgment in the last days, they will never receive the truth, achieve dispositional change or be after God’s heart. That is a fact that no one could ever deny.
from the movie script of From the Throne Flows the Water of Life