At this point in our study, I feel that it is necessary to make a practical application of what we have been studying. We have talked a lot about works, obedience and doing our duty. These concepts are all in the Bible. Yet, what you mostly hear in the modern pagan churches of today is the concept of "relationship".
This is how you will most often come across this concept. "Oh, obedience is fine, but before we can be obedient, we must develop a relationship with Jesus." Or, "Keeping the Ten Commandments is fine, but before we can do that, we must have a love relationship with Jesus." Or, "Only through Jesus can we keep the Ten Commandments, therefore we must first develop a relationship with Him in order to keep them." Or, "We keep the Commandments because we are saved, not to be saved."
Then of course, they go on sinning. They talk about themselves as "having a relationship" and being saved, yet they continue to be disobedient. They negate their own arguments. Let me explain to you the one and only way to develop a relationship with Jesus, as outlined in the Bible.
Lucifer stood in the presence of God. He had a relationship with God, yet that did not keep him from being disobedient and sinning. Being disobedient got him thrown out of heaven. Now he is no longer able to develop that relationship.
The same goes with us. If you are living with someone in an attempt to know them, but do not obey them, you cannot develop a "relationship". If you go around the house breaking things, and hurting the other person, you will be asked to leave. Then, what relationship will you be able to build?
On the other hand,
if you are living with someone in an attempt to know them and to build a relationship, the first thing you do is be courteous. The second is be obedient. The third is to do your duty. By doing all of these things, you will be able to remain in the presence of that person. By remaining in the presence of that person, you will be able to develop a relationship.
This is why there is no text in the entire Bible telling us to “develop a relationship” with Jesus. What the whole Bible commands us to do is to be obedient. Only by being obedient to Jesus, following in His footsteps, will we be able to develop a relationship with Him. It is then, through that relationship, that we will be able to enter His home and spend eternity developing a closer relationship. Without obedience we will not be able to enter that relationship and will not be accepted into His home. We will spend eternity in death.
I suppose a good analogy is a person wanting to be in top physical and mental condition. He can either sit there dreaming about being in top physical and mental condition while pigging out on snacks and junk food; or he can get up and begin the process of eating and thinking and exercising in obedience to the laws of top physical and mental conditioning.
As in the physical world we must continue to workout and eat properly to keep our minds and bodies in top condition, so we must "...continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2:12.
Living a righteous, holy and perfect life yesterday will not get you into heaven today. The key word is "continue". I implore you not to listen to worldly humanism and the pagan teachings coming from the pagan churches that all we have to do is "believe" or "try" or "have faith" in Jesus. I can tell you that the devil believes and has greater faith in Jesus than you do. The only thing that separates the Christian from the followers of Lucifer is obedience. Listen only to Jesus and His teachings: "Stop sinning", "be perfect" and "keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life" will get into heaven. He is the only Way. He is the only Truth. He is the only Life. Anything else is eternal death.