Summary: There are many who are in Christian circles today that profess to know Jesus Christ but, sadly, are not saved. What does Jesus say?

Spiritual Self-Deception

Griffith Baptist Church – 3/30/08

A.M. Service

Text: Matthew 7:21-23

Key verse: Matthew 7:21 - Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

The Introduction

The words of an engraving from the cathedral of Lübeck, Germany, beautifully reflect our Lord’s teaching here: “Thus speaketh Christ our Lord to us, You call Me master and obey Me not, you call Me light and see Me not, you call Me the way and walk Me not, you call Me life and live Me not, you call Me wise and follow Me not, you call Me fair and love Me not, you call Me rich and ask Me not, you call Me eternal and seek Me not, if I condemn thee, blame Me not.”

There are many who are in Christian circles today that profess to know Jesus Christ but, sadly, are not saved. They have never admitted they are a sinner, turned from their sin, turned to Jesus Christ as the only one to save them, and trusted Him by faith to redeem them. Churches are filled with them.

I am afraid to say that the likelihood that our church has religious, self-deluded, self-righteous people in it that have never really had a true salvation experience is very likely.

Transition Statement: What Jesus gives us first is a description of false belief


1. The Description of False Belief (21)

Behavior and belief - If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.

A. Signs of false faith (from 1st John)

i. Love for the world – 1 John 2:15-17

ii. Denial of Jesus and His deity – 1 John 2:21-25; 4:3, 15; 5:1, 10 – Matthew 10:32-33 - 32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

iii. Resistance to walking in the light of Christ – 1 John 1:6-8; 2:29

iv. Lack of repentance – 1 John 1:8-10

v. Chronic disobedience and rebellion – 1 John 2:4

vi. Ongoing disdain for other believers – 1 John 2:9-11; 3:10

vii. Love for the world more than a love for God – 1 John 2:15-17

viii. Continuous, habitual sin – 1 John 3:6-12 (It bothers you; want to change)

ix. Absence of love – 1 John 4:7-8, 11, 20-21; 5:1

B. Surety of True Faith – Romans 10:9-10 - 9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

i. Proof positive - 1 John 5:12-13 - 12He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Transition Statement: Deceit is powerful. Satan uses it (Garden of Eden on Eve), and he uses it on humanity constantly. Why not, it works? Let’s look at verse 22 on how people are deluded into a false peace through deceit.

2. The Deception of False Belief (22)

A. The magnitude of false religion – many

i. The same as in verse 13

ii. It means multitude, large, great

iii. There are many who are deceived

B. The emptiness of false religion:

i. Empty Love – not true love for God for nothing is mentioned – 1 Corinthians 13:1 - If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

ii. Empty Worship – Lord, Lord . . .

iii. Empty Words – prophesy in your name . . .

iv. Empty Actions – cast our demons

v. Empty Signs – perform many miracles

C. It all goes back to Jesus Christ and the relationship of a person to Him, whether lay people or preachers and teachers.

Transition Statement: What happens to those who have been deceived into false salvation? After all, we are still responsible to make the right choice.

3. The Declaration to False Belief (23)

A. The Judge Speaks – I will declare . . .

i. Christ states he will be the one in the end to judge every man

ii. Evidence is two-fold - 2 Timothy 2:19 - Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

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