The greatest form of deception is when you are deceived and you don’t even know! When you are wrong, and you think you are right! When you are living in lies and you believe with all your heart that you are living in the truth! There is nothing more terrible than being deceived all your life, only to find out that you had been deceived only after you get before God! This is going to be the fate of many people. Don’t be quick to exempt yourself by declaring God forbid, take out time to examine yourself and REPENT!
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ – Matt 7:21-23
A contemporary version, just in case that’s too hard.
21-23 “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’
This is a passage in scriptures that should guide everyone who serves God in any capacity. It leaves no one off the hook! Let’s examine very cogent realities here.
1. There are people who call Jesus Lord, they accept his lordship, they are found in the company of believers, but they shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. They go to church on Sundays, go to conventions, but they will not enter.
2. Calling Jesus Lord – Confessing his lordship by mouth in a sinners prayer is different from really having him as Lord. Lordship means you are a slave to your lord, you have no want, no agenda, no desire, you are totally submitted, at best you are a steward of all you have access to. They don’t do anything without getting his counsel. They meditate on His words day and night!
3. There is a particular set of people who will enter God’s kingdom, they are the ones who know the will of God and DO it! They are not asking for God’s will for their lives, they know that God has a will, and it’s their lives purpose to find and live it. They are not worried about roles specific to them, they are concerned about using their gifts and specific talents to do God’s will.
4. The shocking part is that they will be shocked by this verdict by Jesus! They will have the audacity and effrontery to challenge Jesus and tell him, how can this be? This means these are people who won’t believe that they were living a lie. Yes, people like me, people like you, and people like your pastor.
5. See some of the credentials of those who won’t enter God’s kingdom? Some of them are higher than you or your pastor – they prophesied and preached in Jesus name, they cast out demons in Jesus name, they did wonders, did sponsored God-projects that got people talking, all in Jesus name! Looking at some of these credentials, many of my readers may not even have made it to this point.
6. Jesus says, he’ll declare about these people “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”. I don’t know you again would have given some comfort, I never knew you is absolute. This would be Jesus’ declaration!
7. How can people do so much in Jesus name and Jesus would not know them? Well, Jesus says it’s possible. They did it to make themselves important. It wasn’t about Jesus, it was about them. They may put Jesus 20 times in their testimonies, the reality is, who is really getting the glory? Who do people defend when people criticize or condemn them? These people or Jesus?
8. Jesus’ Summary of all their works is – Practice of Lawlessness! What does this mean? It simply means those who operate outside of obedience to God’s instructions. Who are these people and what does obedience look like? The Bible is full of analogies all the way from Genesis. Cain – Offered God sacrifice based on what he thought, rather than what God said. The Human race building the tower of Babel – Building a monument or mega structure to keep people together rather than obey God’s injunction for them to go and spread out – very much like building a mega church to hold people together and break records, rather than get them going to obey the great commission. Practices of Lawlessness!
Who then will be saved?
1. Those who do the will of the Father.
2. Those who don’t call him Lord, Lord but OBEY his instructions, not invent for themselves.
3. Those who may or may not cast out demons, preach to crowds or run projects that get people talking.
4. Those who were not distracted by false prophets and teachers – whose look like Jesus, speak like Jesus even do miracles, but are really exploiting your emotions or your pocket book. (Go a few verses earlier to see the roots)
Those whom God will save will RUN! Those who will be destroyed will hang around in the House of SAUL until they die with him.
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