Summary: Depart from me I never knew you. Words that no person, let along one who calls themself a Christian wants to hear!
In his book, Growing Deep in the Christian Life, p. 159-60. Charles Swindoll, writes, Several years ago, in Long Beach, California, a fellow went into a fried chicken place and bought a couple of chicken dinners for himself and his date late one afternoon. The young woman at the counter inadvertently gave him the proceeds from the day-a whole bag of money (much of it cash) instead of fried chicken. After driving to their picnic site, the two of them sat down to open the meal and enjoy some chicken together. They discovered a whole lot more than chicken--over $800! But he was unusual. He quickly put the money back in the bag. They got back into the car and drove all the way back. Mr. Clean got out, walked in, and became an instant hero. By then the manager was frantic. The guy with the bag of money looked the manager in the eye and said, "I want you to know I came by to get a couple of chicken dinners and wound up with all this money. Here." Well, the manager was thrilled to death. He said, "Oh, great, let me call the newspaper. I’m gonna have your picture put in the local newspaper. You’re the most honest man I’ve heard of." To which they guy quickly responded, "Oh no, no, don’t do that!" Then he leaned closer and whispered, "You see, the woman I’m with is not my wife...she’s uh, somebody else’s wife."
Things are not as they always appear to be. The outside does not always reflect what is inside.
Have you ever been around a person who claims to have a friendship or a close relationship with another person only to find out that the supposed relationship was not as close as the person indicated?
Maybe you have heard of people who stalk stars or other famous people, claiming to have a love relationship with that famous person, only to find out the famous person never knew the other person. This person was fantasizing a relationship with a person who did know them.
As we close in on the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is going to speak to us today about what happens to us when we chose the wrong path and follow the wrong teachers.
One of the sad things about this passage is that many of the people on the wrong path think they are on the right one.
Is there more to entering heavens gates than many want to admit to?
Today the title of my message is, “One of the Scariest Passages in the Bible, “I Never Knew You”.
Let us see what Jesus has to say to us today.
I. STANDING (V21)
A. The Story
As we start in verse 21 we see a picture of people coming before Jesus at the final judgment. They are standing as they get to the end of the path they have chosen.
They have been on a path that they have made for themselves.
In the context the path may have included a little of Jesus mixed in with everything else they were doing in life.
I can picture some of these people being people who had been a member on a church, maybe they were a somewhat active part of the church.
They had heard the sermons on how Jesus demanded first place in our lives, but that thought really did not fit into their “lifestyle”. Jesus really did not mean those things about denying self or taking up your cross daily and following Him.
Jesus really did not expect us to let in reign as king in ALL areas of our lives.
As the people come to Jesus, this group will be in line calling out His name. (HEY JESUS, HERE I AM)
B. What Jesus has to say on the matter
READ VERSE 21
The fact that the people cried out “Lord, Lord” indicates that these people understood who Jesus was and that they thought they had made a commitment to Him.
John MacArthur Jr. in his commentary on Matthew says the following, “To address Him as Lord, Lord was to add a spirit of intense zeal to demonstrate strength of devotion and dedication. In verse 22, the three references to your name are emphatic and convey the significance of who He is. Jesus is therefore talking about those who make a profession of faith in Him.
Jesus is telling the people that lip service is not what God is looking for. Lip service without obedience is meaningless.
William Barclay in his commentary on Matthew say, “There are two great permanent truths within this passage There is only one way in which a man’s sincerity can be proved, and that is by his practice. Fine words can never be a substitute for fine deeds. There is only one proof of love, and that proof is obedience. There is no point in saying that we love a person, and then doing things which break that person’s heart. When we were young maybe we used sometimes to say to our mothers, “Mother, I love you.” And maybe mother sometimes smiled a little wistfully and said, “I wish you would show it a little more in the way you behave.” So often we confess God with our lips and deny him with our lives. It is not difficult to recite a creed, but it is difficult to live the Christian life. Faith without practice is a contradiction in terms, and love without obedience is an impossibility.”