It’s impossible to get away from John 14:15. Jesus says if we love Him, we will obey His commands. We’ll live as He told us to live. Otherwise, we risk hearing the Words He warns us about in Matthew 7:21-23, where He sends away those who professed Him but never actually knew Him. They didn’t know Him because they didn’t love him.
We know they didn’t love Him because they lived their lives the way they wanted to, rather than obeying the commands of Christ. How close are we to suffering a similar fate? Readers of this blog are by and large professing followers of Christ. But do we really love Him? Are we proving it by obeying His commands?
If you aren’t going to live for Jesus by obeying Him, there is no point in following Him at all. You can follow a dozen other religions and live a good moral life if that’s your goal. Following Jesus simply isn’t worth it if morality is the driving force of your decision. No other belief system will open you up to as much persecution, ridicule, and discrimination as will Christianity. Following Jesus is only worthwhile if you are going to be all in. If you have no intention of surrendering your life to His Lordship, don’t even pursue the thought of following Christ.
The last thing I want for anyone is for them to believe they have salvation in Jesus, only to find out too late they were mistaken. It’s why I’m grateful Jesus spoke so plainly on this topic. He is the only way to eternal life (John 14:6). Those who truly surrender to Him as Lord will obey His commands (John 14:15). Our life and eternity are secure in Him (John 10:28), and He will cast out all those who only gave lip service to His Lordship (Matthew 7:21-23). There’s no gray in any of that. No new revelation or fancy twisting of the scriptures will change the words and meaning of what Jesus said.
If we confess Him as Lord with a genuine heart (as evidenced by our subsequent obedience), we will be saved. If we confess Him before men, He will profess us before the Father. It all comes down to the genuineness of our belief and our confession. If He is the Lord of our hearts, nothing can ever separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). But woe to those who confess Him with their lips and deny Him with their lives. Their fate is sealed, and it won’t be the one they’re looking for.
If you want to follow Jesus, you must do it with all your heart. You must die to yourself by surrendering your dreams and desires to Christ (Matthew 16:24). Your aspiration must be to spend every waking moment working to further His mission and His Kingdom here on earth. The life you knew or dreamed of ends the moment you surrender to Christ. But in the greatest of all paradoxes, it is then that your life truly begins (Matthew 16:25). Your dreams pale in comparison to what Jesus has in store for you (John 10:10). Trust and obey. There is no other way.