Summary: Lesson 34
As we approach the end of the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, we are faced with some of the most solemn, sober, soul-searching words ever to proceed from the lips of the Son of God.
I. THE DANGER OF DECEPTION vs. 21-23
In the previous verses Jesus encouraged us to be on the lookout for false prophets. In these verses the warning is against false professors. Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that it is possible to say the right things, do the right things, and look the right way, and still spend eternity separated from God.
A. The Words
1. There are people who are right in their belief about the nature and Person of Jesus Christ who will not enter heaven.
2. A mere intellectual assent to the truth is not sufficient for receiving eternal life.
4. Many have read the Scriptures, accepted their teaching, and have even argued in their defense, who have not truly trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
5. These same people are trusting in their knowledge rather than in Jesus Himself.
6. Those who have been raised in Christian homes, who have always heard the right things and have learned to accept them, and have, in a sense, always believed them, are especially prone to being deceived in terms possessing genuine salvation.
B. The Works
1. Some may not just "talk the talk", but they may also be very zealous as they "walk the walk."
2. This is seen in the double use of the word "Lord."
3. These professors are not responding from a mere intellectual standpoint, but there is an element of feeling and emotion involved.
4. Great enthusiasm in regards to spiritual things does not necessarily imply true spirituality. It is quite possible to get excited in the flesh about spiritual things.
5. While it is true that those who are truly born again will be doers of good works, good works alone do not automatically denote salvation.
C. The Waste
1. There will come a day when those who relied on their "words" and "works" will come to
the stark realization that they wasted their life as the Lord of glory denies ever having any knowledge of them in terms of them being His.
2. Note the word "many." The Lord is not talking about a few here and there, He’s talking about a multitude of people who professed Jesus Christ, but never possessed Him.
D. The Way
1. There is a way to escape the horrible scene described in verse 23, and it’s found in the phrase "I never knew you."
2. The Lord is not denying ever having knowledge of these individuals. What He is denying is ever having a relationship with them.
3. He never "knew" them in terms of salvation.
4. The way to avoid being cast out of the eternal presence of Jesus Christ is to know Him as our personal Saviour. Not merely knowing about Him, but truly knowing Him by placing all our faith and trust in Him.
6. One way of knowing for sure whether we’ve been born again is to measure our lives by the teaching of Jesus in this sermon. How do we measure up? Are we meek? Do we hunger and thirst after righteousness? Are we merciful? Pure in heart? Salt and light? Does our righteousness exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees? Are we trying to serve two masters? Are we seeking the kingdom of God above all else? How’s our prayer life? Why do we do what we do? Is to be seen of men or to honor God?