The Gospel of Matthew: The Scariest Verses in Scripture.

21 “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. 22 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?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21–23 (ESV)

“Dr. James Montgomery Boice pointed out the special irony of Jesus’ warning about the wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15) when considered it within the context of modern academia. Diplomas are referred to as “sheepskins” because that is the material on which such diplomas were originally printed. Today, many with “sheepskins,” or higher-level degrees, are teaching rank error in our colleges and seminaries. These are clear instances of wolves speaking with the “respectability” of the sheep,” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.

What is the destiny of false prophets, and all who would distort the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:5-10)? Jesus makes a clear statement in today’s text that should give everyone pause.

Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven.” The phrase “Lord, Lord” is an address of intimacy (Gen. 22:11; I Sam. 3:10; 2 Sam. 18:33; Luke 22:31). However, claims of personal intimacy of knowing Christ is not the test of a true disciple. Rather, it is obeying the will of God.

Jesus said that on the Day of Judgment, there will be many who will claim to have done works in Jesus’ name and for His glory. These false teachers will refer to prophecies spoken, exorcisms performed, and mighty works done in the name of Christ. None of this will matter.

What matters is obedience to the Word and will of God as a result of faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. Genuine intimacy with God means knowing God and being known by God (I Cor. 8:1-3).

“Those who teach falsehoods usually have no desire to follow God’s Word and care little if Scripture endorses their positions. We will probably not be taken off guard on judgment day when Christ banishes such hardened individuals. However, today’s passage warns us that some will be surprised when many who appear to be believers are barred access to glory on that day. Not everyone who calls Jesus “Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven (vv. 21–23),” states Dr. Sproul.  

“This teaching should instill within us a healthy fear and trepidation. It is possible to do great works in our Savior’s name and to assent to His Lordship without really trusting Him for salvation. The people in today’s passage have a false assurance of their Christian faith. They know the right things, but they have not done the right things. Their faith is dead, for their works are not done in obedience to Jesus (James 2:14–26)”  

John Chrysostom says that we may claim to know the Lord, but we “derive no benefit as long as the actual fruits of good living are not present.” (Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, 23.7).

I encourage you to read 2 Peter 1:3-11concerning how to make certain your calling and election in Christ. Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria! 

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