Mark 12.34 observes, realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, You are not far from the Kingdom of God.
Knowing and doing are not the same. We inherently know this in our dealings with people, especially family. We know our spouse loves us but sometimes their actions are hurtful. We know our children know what they are to do but they often fail to do what they have been made responsible to do.
On and on it goes in our experience of the gap between knowing and doing, both in our own lives as well as the lives of others.
God too knows there is a gap in our lives; the gap between believing in Him and obeying Him. There is a gap between the concept of God that exists in our heads and the acknowledgement of God demonstrated through our words and deeds. This gap will keep us from heaven if we don’t close it.
It will not work for us to defend ourselves at judgement with the plea that we meant to obey God we just couldn’t, wouldn’t, or forgot. A perfect God, a just God, a holy God must require no gap between knowing what we are to do and actually doing what we are required to do. If He did allow such a gap then He would no longer be just, He would be subjective, He would be discriminatory, biased and prejudiced. This would make Him more like us than God.
This by the way is how all the gods are outside of the One true God, the God of the Bible. The other gods are made by man which causes them to have human tendencies and so they discriminate among gender, race or income. Not so the Christian God.
The gap between knowing and doing has been bridged through Jesus the God-Man Who lived among us as Savior. His cross is the symbol of His reach between man on one side of the gap with God on the other. He pulls us together closing the gap. He knew God perfectly and He obeyed God perfectly. Since He rose from the dead after being punished for the gap all of humanity could never bridge He now lives to pardon everyone who comes to Him for mercy.
Our good deeds, our good intentions, our choosing to ignore God, will not bridge the gap between what we know or are to know about God and what we are to do in obedience to God.
We either face judgement alone and try to explain why we failed to close the gap with God or we face judgement behind Jesus Who closed the gap on our behalf and led us to peace with God.