Read the following verses carefully and notice the rejection because of the requirement that was not met.
”Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matt. 7:13-14
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt. 7:21-24
Once Saved, Always Saved Advocate teachers will tell their students that these people thought that the many “religious works” they did in the name of Christ would let them enter heaven. In other words, they were depending on their own “good works” to save them (which are named in the passage). They are taught that those standing before Christ did not believe Christ did all that is necessary and will ever be necessary for them to stand in the sight of God. Since they were trying to enter on the basis of their “good works,” they are considered legalists who “denied grace”. So the passage is interpreted as, “Depart from me you who are attempting to be saved by works!” That’s not what Jesus said, he said, “depart from me YE THAT WORK INIQUITY.”
Read the verses again. The reason for their rejection is that they failed to meet the requirement. Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that DOETH THE WILL of my Father…”
It is obvious that their rejection was because they were WORKERS OF INIQUITY. They did not do the will of the Father. This tells us that holiness is imperative for salvation’s sake. (Heb. 12:14; Heb. 5:9) What Jesus rejected were HYPOCRITES. Even though they may have done some good works, they still did WORKS OF INIQUITY. Their works of iniquity voided the good works! (Just as the unforgiving servant forfeited his forgiveness by not forgiving his fellow servant.) They did not have an obedient faith. They did not have a faith that works by love (Gal. 5:6). They were never his no matter how many good works they did.
The teachers of today preach a distorted and false view of the gospel, grace, works, imputed righteousness, forgiveness, justification by faith, eternal security, etc. etc.. They cry from the pulpits, “It’s not of works! It’s faith alone!” Nowhere in the Bible does it say this. There are only two type of works, BAD (iniquity=sinful deeds) and GOOD (holiness=good deeds). One is either working out sins or working out holiness. To enter heaven one cannot do both. In other words, one cannot be doing good deeds and a few hours later doing works of inquity. The two can’t mix. We cannot serve two masters, and no one will enter heaven serving two masters.
Martin Luther preached the lie, “Faith alone.” He ADDED to the word of God. Martin Luther hated James because James says,
I WILL SHOW YOU MY FAITH BY MY WORKS. (James 2:18)
Repentance (stopping sin) is a requirement for salvation and leaning on the mercy of God for the forgiveness of those sins committed. Salvation then is not a pit stop. Jesus is eternal life and we must continue to abide in him and continue in good works that he wants us to do (Eph. 2:8-10). The narrow road is a one way street. We either fall off or stay on the road. It is never too late if you have fallen off the road. God is patient, but we should not test his patience, for the time will come when it is too late. (2 Peter 3:9)