A scripture that worries some Christians, but shouldn’t
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matt 7:21-23)
While the true believer cannot lose his salvation, not all miracles are performed by true believers. However, your salvation is not based on what you do or don’t do for God. It is based on whether he knows you. Jesus prophesied that in the end many will claim to have done good deeds in his name but he won’t know them (Mat 7:22-23). God wants you not your works.
1. On that day
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord…’” On what day? On that day of judgment when the nations are gathered before him and Jesus separates his sheep from the goats (and wolves). Today (as in right now) there are only some who recognize Jesus as Lord, but on that day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess him as Lord. On that day it won’t take any faith to recognize Jesus as Lord because he will appear as he truly is.
2. I never knew you
Jesus is not speaking to Christians who have somehow missed the mark, because he says “I never knew you.” Not, “I knew you once but now I’m writing you off.” Nor does he say, “I wrote your name in my book but now Iam blotting it out.” Jesus is talking to people he never knew.
We may not be 100 percent faithful but Jesus is. If you are his you can rest assured that he will never let you go (John 10:28-29). God does not break his promises and unchild his children. If you have been born again you can’t be unborn. What God has joined together, no man can separate. We are already joined to the Lord and one with him( 1Cor 6:17)
3. You evildoers
Jesus calls them evildoers which seems harsh for people who have gone around helping others. “Did we not prophesy, drive out demons, and perform many miracles in your name?”
First, they are self-righteous and they say, “Jesus, here is my resume. You have got to let me in because I am an accomplished individual. Look at all I’ve done!” What they are basically saying is, “Jesus, you died for nothing. Keep your grace; I don’t need it. I stand on my own merits.”
Second, Jesus was addressing ravenous wolves/ false prophets NOT born-again Christians. No one was born-again before the cross. There was no church before the cross! Before the cross, people could not receive the Holy Spirit to dwell permanently in them.. Read Jesus’ words in context and you will find this warning: Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matt 7:15).
The third thing to note is they are liars. They claim to be doing good but a “bad tree cannot bear good fruit” (Matt 7:18). They’re putting on a big show, they’ve got their perfect smiles on the posters, but it’s all smoke and mirrors. They may look good on stage, but in private they are different people. They are bad trees with bad fruit.
Put it altogether and you have some very dangerous sheep-rustlers insulting the Son of God to his face, bragging about how awesome they are, and Jesus says, “Not in my house. Away with you evildoers!” This ought to make us happy. We may occasionally be fooled by charlatans, but Jesus is never fooled. We may let them into our houses, but he won’t let them into his, which is good, because they’d ruin the party for everyone.
What is the will of my Father?
Jesus says only those who do the will of the Father enter the kingdom of heaven. What is his will? Jesus answers with a word picture in the verses following. It’s building on the rock. It’s hearing the words of Jesus and putting them into practice. It’s banking on Jesus. It’s believing in Jesus (John 6:29). In short, the will of God is SALVATION (1 Tim 2:3-4).
And this brings us back to Paul who said “If you declare, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart…” This isn’t rocket surgery and you don’t need a seminary degree to make sense of it. Ravenous wolves who eat sheep will eventually have to deal with the Good Shepherd. But bet your life on Jesus and he will never let you down!