Talk is just talk until somebody commits.

If you’ve ever been in charge of something that had a registration deadline, like summer camp, a retreat or little league; then you know it seems built into people’s DNA to register at the last possible moment. No matter what date you set, most will wait until that final second to register.

I know this full well. I’m in charge of a basketball tournament. Every year, no matter the deadline, teams will come as close to it as they can before sending in their registrations. Even though I know this, I still get nervous during the final two weeks when there’s only a handful of teams signed up. I’ll go to a school event and hear students talking about the tournament.

“Pastor Layton,” they’ll say, “we have a team for the basketball tournament.”

“That’s great!”, I reply. “Don’t forget to register.”

I always remind them to register. Why? Because talk is just talk until somebody commits. Each year one or two groups will say they’re going to play in the tournament, yet never end up registering. They talked it up. They sounded like they were going to come out and beat the competition. But in the end, they never did commit.

In Matthew 7:21 Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”

Just because you claim faith in Christ doesn’t mean you have it. The proof is in doing. Those teams that don’t register for the basketball tournament will never win a trophy. That only comes to those who register and make it to the end. The same is true for us. If we claim to know Christ, yet never commit to following His way, then we’ll never receive “a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). We’ll be among those to whom Christ says, “I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:23)

Are you a member of the kingdom or simply claiming to be? Be certain you know the difference. Talk is just talk until you commit.

Also see: Jeremiah 23:30-31, Titus 1:16, James 2:14, 1 John 2:6