Summary: Even if churches, ministers, or ministries cast out demons in Jesus name, they can miss heaven. How? By not being authorized to do the things they are doing.
Are you Authorized?
21 "Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as `Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. 22 On judgment day many will tell me, `Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, `I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.*’
I want us to look at the word tonight and then reflect on what we have been or done in the past and see how it measures up to the word of God.
There are many ministries, ministers, and churches that sound religious. I am not here to judge them, just point out the biblical standard for inspecting the fruit.
The word tells us in Matthew 7:20 “Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced.”
This is true also in churches and ministries.
Herein lies the delima: Jesus said, On judgment day many will tell me, `Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’
Jesus is talking about churches and ministries that Prophesied in His name, cast out demons in His name and performed many miracles in His name. How then can He follow up this teaching with the next verse?
But I will reply, `I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.*’
What is Jesus talking about? How can the things that seem to be Godly be unauthorized and lead Jesus to say he never knew us and to go away?
I think the answer is that churches, ministries and ministers become too dependent on what others have done in the past and fail to seek the face of God to find what he wants them to do.
Mark 16:17-18 “ These signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak new languages.* 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them."
These are the signs that the word tells us will follow those who believe, but yet we find that the word also tells us some who do these things are not authorized to do them.
I believe that every church has a unique ministry to fulfill and that each church must find it. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.
The word tells us They will cast out demons in his name. I have known people that intentionally go looking for demons to cast out. I do not recommend this and I can find no scripture to support this type of action. These people seem to see demons in everything.
We are told to seek that which is lost, but no where that I have found are we told to seek out that which is demon possessed. I am not afraid to face the demons, but I prefer to do it on God’s time and God’s place and with God’s help. Let them come to the church where the power of God is available.
Acts 19:13 A team of Jews who were traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus. The incantation they used was this: "I command you by Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!" 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. 15 But when they tried it on a man possessed by an evil spirit, the spirit replied, "I know Jesus, and I know Paul. But who are you?" 16 And he leaped on them and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and badly injured.
Why, because they were Jews? Why because they were traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits? Why because they didn’t believe?
No, It was because they were not authorized to do it. They were following the example that Paul had used, they had watched Paul cast them out, but God had not called or authorized them. They decided to do it on their own.
That is why the opening verses become vitally important to this church. What are you authorized to do?