Do You Accept Jesus as Savior but not Lord?

Posted October 9, 2017 by Amy Wang, Updated Nov. 4

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Will You Attend the Wedding Banquet Wearing a Rag?

In Jesus' parable, a king invited many guests to his son's wedding feast. Many rejected the invitation so they could attend to their businesses or other personal matters. They are the ones who refuse Jesus’s offer of salvation.

However, we find out surpisingly that accepting the invitation is also not enough to be saved. In this parable, someone tried to enter in without proper wedding garments only to be kicked out and left speechless (Matthew 22:1-14). This individual represents hypocrites who are barred entrance to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:22, Luke 13:23-26).

The lesson of the parable is that accepting Jesus' invitation is necessary, but not sufficient for salvation. We must also be dressed appropriately with robes of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10, Revelation 19:7-9, Revelation 7:14; Romans 13:14, Revelation 16:15, Revelation 3:17-19.) But if Jesus provides a cloak for our sins, doesn't that mean we can continue to sin without consequence? No, absolutely not. To obtain mercy, we are not simply to cover over sin, but confess and forsake sin (Proverbs 28:13). Filthy clothing is removed before putting on clean garments (Zechariah 3:3-5).

The Danger of Hearing Only Half the Truth

There is danger of receiving only half the truth. If faith comes through hearing, let us be careful how we hear.

  • You may have accepted the wedding invitation, but proper wedding clothes are still required (Matthew 22:1-14).
  • You may have accepted Jesus as Savior, but you need to also accept Him as Lord and do His will (Matthew 7:21-22).
  • You may have received new clothes, but have to keep them on (Revelation 16:15).
  • You may have obtained the oil lamp, but need sufficient oil to keep the lamp burning (Matthew 25:1-13).
  • You may have received a bath, but need God to wash your feet (John 13:8).
  • You may have entered the small gate, but need to continue to walk the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14).
  • You may have heard the truth, but you need to act on it— be a doer and not a hearer only (James 1:22).

The kingdom of God is very selective. The sheep who hear God, follow Him, and do God's will enter in, as opposed to the goats who do not.

Why Saving Faith is Not Just Mental Assent or Accepting Jesus as Savior

Mental faith alone is dead (Luke 4:41, Mark 1:23-24, James 2:14-19). Even demons believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, but are unsaved. Furthermore, confidence in our salvation is also not enough. If all we needed for salvation were to receive or trust Jesus as our Savior, John Piper says Satan would be first in line to trust Jesus as Savior while staying evil (ref.) Not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" enters the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of God (Matthew 7:21-22, 7:24-27, Luke 6:46). Romans 10:9-10 provides a clear requirement for confessing Jesus as one's Lord.

if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9-10 NASB)

Now is the Time to Prepare

If we rely on mental belief alone or only accept Jesus as Savior but not as Lord, we are in danger of being like the 5 foolish virgins who indeed had a lamp but were out of oil to keep the light on (Matthew 25:1-13). We need to really make a commitment to Jesus as our Lord and prepare for the wedding feast.

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