Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And all that is within me,   
bless His holy name.   
Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And forget none of His benefits.   
- Psalms 103:1-2   
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The Requirement Of Obedience

                John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Many have taken these words of Christ to mean that because God loves us so much, He sent His Son so that all mankind could have eternal life regardless of what they choose to do in their physical lives.  It’s the notion that we may live our lives any way we want to and regardless of our actions or the condition of our heart, Christ’s blood covers our sin and therefore we are guaranteed eternal life, even if we choose to live our lives in total disregard to God’s word. 


                However, the Bible teaches something far different.  We must remember that God’s word must be taken in its totality.  Taking one or two verses and “running with them” to the exclusion of the rest of God’s word is dangerous and has led to much sin and religious error.  Notice the passages below and how they disprove the notion that we are free to live our lives in any manner we wish and still be found pleasing to God.


  • John 3:5 “Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless on is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’.”

  • Luke 13:2 “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

  • Gal. 5:19-21“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, (20) idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contention, jealousies, outbursts or wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, (21) envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

  • Matt. 10:32-33“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. (33) But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”

  • Mark 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”

  • John 15:6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

  • Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”


                    These are only a few of the many passages in the Bible that teach that obedience to God’s word is required of anyone who desires a home in heaven.  God’s grace and mercy made forgiveness of sin and eternal life possible for all mankind but that doesn’t excuse mankind from the obligation each one has to live in total submission and obedience to the word of God.  Belief in Christ, confessing Him before others, repentance, baptism, living in obedience to God’s word each and every day, having a “living faith” as James talks about in James chapter 2, are all requirements (along with others found in the Bible) that God has given to everyone who desires a heavenly home.  The teaching that it doesn’t matter how we conduct ourselves in this life simply doesn’t agree with what God’s word teaches.  This is apparent in Eph 4:17-24 where we are told that as God’s people we MUST walk differently than the rest of the world.  “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, (18) having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; (19) who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (20) But you have not so learned Christ, (21) if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: (22) that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, (23) and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, (24) and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”


- Garrett Alsip