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Summary: A word of warning from the Sermon on the Mount: we must make certain our walk with God.

Not Everyone’s Coming Home

Matt. 7:21-23

Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You can’t go home again.” Robert Frost wrote, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.” I suppose there is an element of truth in both of these ideas. Wolfe wrote from the perspective of the change that comes into a person’s heart after they’ve left home—home will forever be changed. Frost wrote from the perspective of one who truly belongs to the family—he or she will always have a place in the home when they need it.

Today, we are going to look at one of the most frightening passages of Scripture within the Word of God. It is focused on a “homecoming” of sorts. And it should cause everyone in this building to look deeply into his or her own walk with God. You see, in this text, Jesus declared that some professing believers will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. In short, not everyone’s coming home. In light of our passage, I believe that each one of us should make certain our commitment to God. As we explore the text, let’s observe the reasons not everyone is coming home.

I. Not everyone who thinks he or she is part of the family really is.

A. The picture Jesus painted was one of the end of time.

1. “That day” references the time of judgment.

2. Before Jesus, many would come and declare that they were part of the family.

3. Many of them would be proven wrong.

B. Jesus isn’t interested in religious words.

1. These phony family members knew the right words to say—and say them fervently, “Lord, Lord!”

2. To this day, many people believe that being part of the family of God is simply knowing the “right” words—“orthodoxy.”

3. The truth? you can “believe” the right things and not be part of the family of God.

C. Jesus wants surrender of the will—obedience to his cause.

1. Now, I’m not preaching a works salvation—this text will shortly deny such salvation.

2. What I believe the text is saying is echoed throughout the Word of God—we must yield our complete selves to Jesus—we must be willing to let him be Lord.

D. So many are not really willing to yield their lives over into God’s control; so many are not going to give Jesus anything more than their words, and so my friends . . .

Not Everyone’s Coming Home.

II. “Connections” to a family do not make one part of the family.

A. The next part of the scene given shows a loud protest given by those who claim to be part of the family.

1. Not only do they know the right “family” words, they know the right family actions.

2. They’ve outwardly acted like members of the family.

a. Note that they did the works of apostles—including the working of miracles.

b. In their minds, this proves they belong in the family of God.

B. Jesus isn’t interested in outward acts alone.

1. These so-called family members believed that all they had to do was say the right things and do the right things.

2. To this day, many people believe that they will earn their way into the Kingdom of God—doing good works equals being part of the family — “orthopraxy.”

3. The truth? you can work your heart out trying to be good enough, to do good enough to be part of the family—and still not belong.

C. Again, Jesus searches the innermost part of our being—is our will surrendered to his own.

1. You see, my friends, outward actions mean nothing if there is not a change of heart

2. We must have a new motivation for life, a new reason to obey: love for our God and each other.

D. So, even though we say the right things and do the right things, many are not willing to be right—to let Jesus change their hearts, and so, my friends . . .

Not Everyone’s Coming Home.

III. The head of the family will know if we belong.

A. Jesus made his point clear with the final words of judgment.

1. Notice, he did not say to them that he once knew them, but in their dishonoring of the family he was disowning them.

2. He told them to “I never knew you, away from me you evildoers.”

3. These people had never been part of the family—even though they claimed to be: you see, the fruit of their lives proved them false, no matter how eloquently they profess themselves to be true.

B. Relationship with Christ is the key to family membership—not orthodoxy or orthopraxy.

1. Are our hearts yielded to his control?

2. Are we open to being loved by him and returning his love?

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