The Scariest Words in the Bible - "I Never Knew You"
Jesus said, “Not everyone that says ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? And in Your name have cast out devils? And in Your name done many wonderful works?
And then I will profess unto them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you that work iniquity’” (Matthew 7:21,22).
To me these are the scariest words in the Bible. It is a dire warning to those who profess faith in the Lord Jesus. At the same time it is a catalyst for self-examination, which is a healthy, good thing. I can picture the disciples sitting with Jesus at the last supper after He announced that one of them would betray Him. All but Judas replied, “Is it I, Lord?” The real betrayers of the faith do not examine themselves, or receive correction.
We also note that in the previous verses Matthew 7: 15-20, Jesus warns us about false prophets, that look and sound like the real thing, but there is no inward reformation. A good tree cannot produce evil fruit and an evil tree cannot produce good fruit (Matthew 7:18). We will know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:20).
Jesus is showing us a picture of a Charismatic/Pentecostal religious spirit, void of a genuine holiness. (After all Baptists generally do not believe the gifts of the Spirit are operational today and they do not practice casting out devils, Pentecostals do. I believe that Pentecost is operational in every generation, but in the latter days which we are in now, we must be aware of the deceptions that will be operating in every Christian camp).
Jesus sees the works of these ones who are attempting to justify themselves by what they have done in His name as works of iniquity. These works were then obviously not done by the Holy Spirit through them. We must conclude that they were operating under the auspices of another spirit.
Holiness cannot be produced without an intimate union with the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is only appropriated through repentance and faith in the atonement. Apparently repentance and faith in the atonement are the missing ingredients in the faith of these ones who have been relying on their own works to generate the Lord’s favor and their entrance into His kingdom. Salvation by grace has been subtly eliminated from their theology.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:24, “Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.” Jesus is that rock, the totality of Him as the Messiah, the Redeemer of mankind, which must include the atonement.
The word “wise” is repeated in Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25: 1-13. “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the Bridegroom. And five were wise and five were foolish” (verses 1-2).
The five wise virgins were prepared for the long wait for their Bridegroom, (Jesus’ return) and brought plenty of oil for their lamps, the foolish virgins did not and their oil supply ran out.
In the Scriptures oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13) which is the Spirit of Jesus (Romans 8:9-11,II Corinthians 3:17,18, Philippians 1:19 ) who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life" who is the Only Way to the Father, (John 14:6).
When Jesus comes for His bride the five wise virgins are accepted, the five who were unprepared and realized their error of neglecting the Truth when it was too late, were rejected by the Lord. Jesus tells them the same thing He tells those who thought they were serving Him, “I know you not” (verse 12).
I liken these unprepared ones to the spiritual condition of the church in Sardis, (Rev. 3:1-5). This church is warned to “Remember therefore how you have received and heard” because there is something in her that is ready to die, which can ultimately lead to having her name blotted out of the book of life. This is a liberal church that has forgotten the basics of her faith and is unaware that she is tumbling into apostasy.
I have heard some Christians say, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you have Jesus.” This theology is filtering its way into the church through teachers who are involved in the emerging church movement. In the early days of the church, the Gnostics also believed in Jesus. What was the difference between their Jesus and the true Jesus that our founding apostles represented? To the Gnostics there was no atonement, no grace. To them heaven was obtained by their own attempts to achieve an elusive pinnacle of higher spirituality.
The apostles prophesied of a last days apostasy, a falling away from the faith that would be characterized in part by an inability to endure sound doctrine (I Timothy 4:3). Doctrine, as it is taught by Jesus and the apostles, is vitally important. Beware of any teacher that downplays the need for sound doctrine.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:11,24 that in the last days there would be many false prophets, that if it were possible, could deceive the very elect. That’s you and me. The only way a believer can be deceived is if he allows himself to be disconnected from the actual Word of God, and allows himself to be pre-programmed by another’s theology. Children, you don’t need any guru except Jesus and the apostles.
The true Bride of Christ that has kept herself from apostasy is seen in Revelation 7:14, in robes washed white in the blood of the Lamb, the atonement. She knows there is only One Way to heaven and she is holding onto her Bridegroom for her dear life. She knows her only sanctification, the righteousness that makes her acceptable to God, and enables her to enter His holy Presence is only found One Way, through the blood atonement of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah.
The oil of the Holy Spirit, which can only be received through that atonement is found in the bride of Christ burning brightly through the darkness that is enveloping the world before Jesus’ return.
The marriage feast of the Lamb is being prepared, the table is set. There is a knock on the door, and we read in Matthew 22 another parable of warning to those souls who attempt to enter the Lord’s presence without that wedding garment washed white in His blood. –
And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
And he said to him, Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
For many are called, but few are chosen ( Matthew 22:11-14).
Does it matter what we believe? Yes it does.
The wise man builds his house on the Rock that is the Jesus of God’s Holy Word, the Bible. This is the one who is saved by grace through faith in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit is imparted to the believer and the fruits of an inner holiness and righteousness are produced and developed throughout a true believer’s life, resulting in service to others.
Jesus works through that believer’s life and He knows them.
My sheep hear My voice – (Jesus’ words written in the Scriptures and spoken through His Still Small Voice in a believer’s heart); He knows them, they follow Him (John 10:27) and He is not leading them into sin, but away from it.
They are willing to carry their cross for Him (Luke 9:23).
They are being made righteous from the inside out and we are known by our fruits (Galatians 5:22,23).
I was attending a Bible study and we began by singing “The Old Rugged Cross.” After we finished we sat in silence for a few moments meditating on the enormity of that beautiful rugged cross. Then someone made a comment about the humility we experience at the foot of that cross, watching Jesus being impaled for us.
Then someone else made this comment in response, “As long as we don’t stay there.”
I corrected this charismatic one who was preparing to be a missionary, reaffirming to him our need to remain humble before our Lord and dependent upon what was done for us on Calvary.
Remembering this incident, my thoughts return back to those prideful ones boasting before the Lord of their works in Matthew seven, obviously oblivious to the nail scars in His hands.
My children, as Jesus and His apostles warned, many false prophets have gone out into the world (Matthew 24:11, 24, I John 2:19) . Never forget to remember to wash your garments in the blood of the Lamb of God.
Copyright 2015 by H.D. Shively
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