Love is a requirement of discipleship. It is the identifying Christian characteristic. The world is able to recognize one who is disciplined to Christ by his daily and practical acts of Christian love.
Real Christianity suffers when religion gets in the way. It has always been so. We are so given to accepting outward claims to piety that we often conclude the best Christians are those who put on the most religious airs. Platform prowess may convince the general public as to who is the spiritual one in town or in the local church. But polish and performance will not count at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Heaven will contain many surprises. The old song says: “Everybody talkin bout heaven ain’t goin there.” Many talk about heaven who have climbed the religious ladder to high positions in Christian work but are bankrupt of love. They are quick to judge and they major on criticism. The eloquent DeWitt Talmadge observed: “There are in every community, and every church, watch dogs, who feel called upon to keep their eyes on others and growl. They are always the first to hear of anything wrong. Vultures are always the first to smell carrion. They are self-appointed detectives. I lay this down as a rule without exception, that those people who have the most faults themselves are the most merciless in their watching of others. From scalp of head to soles of foot, they are full of jealousies, or hypercriticism.” In such cases, heaven may not be the destination. People who are truly born again have the Holy Spirit within. And the fruit of the Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22-23).