THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 32
“I Never Knew You”
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ – The Words of Jesus, Matthew 7:21-23
This is a continuation of the thoughts and teaching of the preceding verses, which warn against false prophets. Jesus now expands His warning to include “everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, but do does not do the will of My Father who is in heaven.”
Consider the gravity of what Jesus is saying. On the one hand, Jesus says, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). Now, He says, “depart from me, you workers of lawlessness”?
This ‘lawlessness’ is disobedience to the Word of God which God considers a gross injustice, immorality, corruption and sin.
(The old question then arises, ‘was that person ever really saved’ or did they ‘lose their salvation’? Let me say this clearly: It does not matter what came before. It only matters that they are being cast out.)
Secondly, take careful notice that, ”On that day many will say to me…” To use a colloquial expression, ‘there will be a shockwave of surprise and disbelief’ when we get to heaven to see how many did not make it! Just make sure you are among the many who are not there.
The final exclamatory point is that ‘your works will not earn you a place in heaven’. No amount of good deeds, prophecy or casting out of demons will get you (or keep you?) saved.
Let’s all, please consider these things:
“But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]. For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do. But if you are guided and led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the Law. Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), idolatry, [k]sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (See Galatians 5:16-21.)
- These things keep you from doing the things you want to do.
- Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
If you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous–being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED [in his expectations]. (See Romans 8:10-11)
- Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.
- Believe in your heart that God raised Him from the Dead.
“Then, Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. (See Matthew 16:24)
- Deny yourself and take up His cross.
“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites.
If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage–our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit]. We must not become conceited, challenging or provoking one another, envying one another”. (See Galatians 5:22-26)
- We must walk by the Holy Spirit.
Let’s pray for and encourage one another to follow and obey Jesus.
Your Brother and Friend,
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
PREVIOUS: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them? “Beware of False Prophets”, Part 31
NEXT: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them?, “Build Your House on the Rock”, Part 33