We can assume we do God’s work, but still do lawlessness. The lawlessness I mention here translates to anomia. This word means the total disregard of God’s written and living word. Here, it is important to note that God’s word is also Jesus. Thus, anyone who disregards Jesus Christ falls into this category of lawlessness. It might be difficult to accept we live in such lawlessness if we deceive ourselves to think we do what God wants. However, whatever we trick ourselves into thinking is God’s work will not last.

Two Builders

To make this point clear, Jesus gives a parable about two builders. Whereas one of these builders builds his house on sand, the other builds his house on a rock. Sand, here, represents the disregard of God’s word. In contrast, the Rock represents Jesus and the acceptance of God’s word. In this parable, Jesus says,

Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house: and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house: and it fell. And great was its fall (Matthew 7:24).

Same Work, Different Word

Jesus points out that although both men do the same work, their foundations differ. That is to say, two people could be “doing God’s work” but not in the same manner. In other words, say Jalen and Jalil both sing in the church choir. They also volunteer on Wednesdays at the mission to help feed the homeless. Both of them teach Sunday school. 

On one hand, Jalen is content with singing in the choir, helping the homeless when he can, and prays for the people he comes in contact with. On the other hand, Jalil intentionally starts fights in the choir to see people’s reactions, volunteers at the mission but steals food for himself, and teaches Sunday school lessons to impress the single and married women of the church. In fact, Jalil occasionally tells people they can go to hell. Here, both Jalen and Jalil build the same “house.” However, one house is built on lawlessness, the other on Jesus.