“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he 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 perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.’” Matthew 7:21-23.
These are sobering words, aren’t they? They tell us a lot about God and about human nature.
Firstly, God is neither impressed nor fooled by our “good works”. How many people are there in the ministry and in the church who are faithfully using their spiritual gifts, and yet Jesus said that He would send them away because He never “knew” them. What does that mean? Knowing Jesus is much more than just knowing who He is or knowing about Him. It’s even more that accepting Him as Saviour or answering an altar call.
Knowing Jesus means being so intimate with Him that we know how He thinks and feels and what is important to Him. It’s like the intimacy between a husband and wife where they fully know and fully accept one another. Intimacy take time to get to know a person and to find out what pleases them and communication with him – talking and listening. Jesus is not interested in people who run around “working” for Him without finding out what He wants.
Secondly, people who do “good works” without listening and getting to know Jesus were actually called evildoers. That’s harsh, isn’t it? After all, they were working for God, weren’t they? But that’s just the point! God does not want people to work for Him. We are not slaves. He wants us to work with Him as His sons and daughters. Jesus showed us what God wants by His life of fellowship with the Father and through His trust and obedience.
Thirdly, people are very good at deceiving themselves. Since they are working for God, they think that God is satisfied with what they are doing. Jesus made it clear that it does not work that way. On another occasion He asked (Luke 6:46), “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” The point is that no one can call Jesus, “Lord,” in one breath and then do what they want to without listening to Him and obeying His instructions in the next. When we call Jesus, “Lord,” we are stating that He is the boss. He is in charge and our job is to find out what He wants and do it.
When we stand before Him we will have to answer two questions: “Why did you do what I did not tell you to do?” and “Why did you not do what I instructed you to do?” Of course Jesus told us to heal the sick and cast our demons in His name. That is not His point. His point is that there is no intimacy with Him out of which your life flows. Without knowing Him, everything else is irrelevant.
In His prayer in John 17, He said, “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3.
If you spend time getting to know God and His son, Jesus, He will direct you to do for Him and through Him what He wants. Then you will please Him and He will welcome you into His home when you leave this life.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
Watch this space. My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, will soon be on the bookshelves.