A.W. Tozer once said, “The final test of love is obedience.” This is such a profound truth, yet one that is consistently overlooked or ignored in our modern version of Christianity. Ours is an era of “cheap grace”, meaning salvation is ours for the asking and requiring no more of us than the request itself. Following Jesus requires more than mere belief that He is the Son of God; it requires more than believing He was crucified and rose from the dead. Even demons believe this (James 2:19)! To be welcomed into the Kingdom of God, we must not only believe, but also be madly in love with Jesus. And the final test of love is obedience.
Tozer went on to say, “The Christian cannot be certain of the reality and depth of his love until he comes face to face with the commandments of Christ and is forced to decide what to do about them.” Jesus put it quite simply: “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)” Raising your hand, going forward during an invitation, or saying a prayer does not gain you passage to Heaven. The way into the presence of God is sold out, uncompromising love for Jesus Christ. Again, our love is demonstrated by our obedience.
The commandments of Christ are simple and straightforward. Love God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength (Mark 12:30). Love everyone else as much as you love yourself (Mark 12:31). Feed the hungry, provide water to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, provide clothing to those in need, care for the sick, and visit those in prison (Matthew 25:31-46). Go out into the world and tell everyone you meet about the good news of the Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). These are the commands of Jesus. In a nutshell, humble yourself before God; put the needs of others before your own, and treat everyone as you would want to be treated. Serve everyone. Love everyone. Be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Obedience to Christ means giving up all the things this world tries to convince us we need. It is to live a life of servitude and humility. All selfishness must be banished. Our life is not our own. It belongs to Jesus for the purpose of serving the world in His name. The mission of our lives is to reflect the beauty, the glory, and the love of Christ at all times.
There is no other way into Heaven except through Jesus (John 14:6). If we love Him, we will spend eternity with Him (John 14:2-3; John 14:23). If we don’t, we’ll be banished from His presence forever (Matthew 7:21-23). The stakes could not be higher. The mission could not be clearer. If we are to be His disciples, we must demonstrate our love for Him by our obedience to Him. It’s not enough to just believe. Love is the ultimate test of our faith, and obedience is the final test of our love.