Today’s Scripture: 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. Matthew 7:21–23

There is not a single person who will be in Heaven because they loved the Lord — not even Ms. Iva Goodheart. Years ago, I met a woman through our church’s visitation ministry. At first, she seemed like a spiritual, goodhearted person. When our visitation team stopped by her house to share our faith, she told us there wasn’t anyone who loved the Lord more than she did. That’s a good sign, right? Well, keep reading.

I asked this woman if she knew where she would spend eternity, and do you know what she told me? She said she’d be in Heaven — after all, she had been a good person. For someone who thought they had it all right, this poor woman had it all wrong. Just like having a good heart is no guarantee you will live a long life, having a love for God is no guarantee you will have eternal life in Heaven.

Jesus said, If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). Jesus gave us one commandment about the way to Heaven: ye must be born again (John 3:7). When it comes to eternal life, Jesus didn’t command us to love Him, serve Him, tell others about Him, turn from our sins, or even take Him into our hearts. We are born again when we simply believe in Him. Jesus died on the cross to pay for all of our sins, and He rose again to prove the payment had been accepted. The moment we believe He died for us, He gives us eternal life and a home in Heaven. This is the greatest news in the entire world.

Even the Ms. Iva Goodhearts of the world have wicked hearts which need cleansing (that’s why love won’t get us to Heaven). Only hearts which have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus can ever please Him. Before you try to impress Christ with your love for Him, be sure to completely trust in the payment He made on the cross.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder