Say What?

August 19, 2020

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 (Matthew 7:21).

Things are repeated in the Bible for emphasis. The fact that some who will stand before Jesus Christ on the day of judgment and say, ‘Lord, Lord’ stresses the fact they know who Jesus is. This is further demonstrated in verse 22 when they repeat ‘Your name’ three times. So, these are people who, in this life, professed to be Christian.

Is their profession of faith legitimate? John MacArthur believes some of them are, others are not. “That some of the ones Jesus is talking about here are true believers is shown by His saying, ‘Not everyone’ and ‘many’”. Adam Clarke disagrees, “ou pas is an Hebraism for ‘no one’ . . . the sense of this verse seems to be this: no person, by merely acknowledging my authority, believing in the Divinity of my nature, professing faith in the perfection of my righteousness, and infinite merit of my atonement, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven . . . .”

The clincher is the last clause, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. What is ‘the will of God’? The primary will of God is that a person experiences and expresses faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for life, salvation, and eternal life (2 Peter 3:9). That these people recognize who Jesus is (‘Lord, Lord’) does not mean they ‘know’ Him or that He ‘knows’ them. Nor does it follow that the things they do reflect obedience to Him. False prophets can ‘prophesy’, they can ‘cast out demons’ and do ‘powerful works’ and use the name of Jesus while doing it. Furthermore, Jesus stated (v. 23), I never knew you, which speaks of experiential knowledge - fellowship, personal relationship.

The indictment of the Lord against Judah that led to its destruction was, . . . this people draw near with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, while their hearts are far from Me, and their fear of Me is a commandment taught by men. . . . (Isaiah 29:13). We call this ‘lip service’ today, “an avowal of advocacy, adherence, or allegiance expressed in words but not backed by deeds” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). God is not interested in our lip service - He’s interested in our life service. Words can mean anything you want them to mean (President Clinton proved that). But one’s life can only prove one thing - faithfulness or faithlessness; you will recognize them by their fruits (Matthew 7:20).

“Impress upon me daily, Lord Jesus, that Your will is to be continually sought after and followed in my life. I struggle with my will vs. Your will, but may I surrender daily to do as Your Holy Spirit leads me to do so that Your name will be honored and Your Kingdom advanced in my life, my family, my church, and my community. Amen”


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