As I read 1 Cor. 16:22, I thought of Jesus' message to the church in Sardis, "....thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." (Rev. 3:1). Outwardly, the church of Sardis appeared alive and active, and more than likely had a reputation for success and spirituality. It may have had an exciting form of worship, but not the true power and righteousness of the Holy Ghost. Jesus saw the inner lives and hearts of the people as He sees ours today. He said in Matthew 7:21, "Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven." (emphasis mine) (I will share more on that verse specifically in my next blog entry)
The Bible makes it very clear that it isn't enough to merely claim to be a believer. We must obey His Word and do His Will. It is a narrow way and we must continue to strive to enter in at the strait gate. Oh, the joy of hearing Him say, "Well done, thou good & faithful servant!" Let's examine ourselves by the Word of God (2 Cor. 13:5) to be sure that we are in the faith....to be sure that we don't have a name to live but be dead!