Summary: Knowing all the right WORDS and doing all the right WORKS are not enough. Do you KNOW Jesus?
RELIGION OR RELATIONSHIP?
Karl Barth was a famous theologian. He lived in Basel, Switzerland. One day he was on a streetcar. A tourist to the city climbed on and sat down next to him. The two men started chatting with each other. "Are you new to the city?" Barth inquired. "Yes," said the tourist. "Is there anything you would particularly like to see in this city?" asked Barth. "Yes," he said, "I'd love to meet the famous theologian Karl Barth. Do you know him?" Barth replied, "Well as a matter of fact, I do. I give him a shave every morning." The tourist got off the streetcar quite delighted. He went back to his hotel saying to himself, "what luck, today I met Karl Barth's barber."
You can know a lot about a person without actually knowing or even meeting them. When I was in Kuwait it was a large church with many different congregations. Many people would come up to me and start talking like they knew me. They seemed to know all about my family and my life. They ‘knew’ me but I didn’t know them. You can also know a lot about the truth without ever really accepting it and making it your own. Likewise we can know a lot about Christianity without ever having a personal relationship with Christ.
Matt. 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Christianity is based in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not a religion but a relationship with the creator God of eternity.
1. WORDS are not enough (vs. 21) – knowing all the right stuff
Many shall come to Jesus on the Day of Judgment and say “Lord, Lord …” – acknowledging that Jesus is God. However, that will not be enough. Being a Christian is not just about knowing the truth. You can understand and know what the Bible says and yet not be saved.
I have spoken to many Muslim leaders who would meet with me to debate Christianity. They would quote what the Bible said. They knew it better than many Christians. That didn’t mean they accepted it. Even the devil knows that Jesus is Lord
James 2: 14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds ? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds ." Show me your faith without deeds , and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.