Summary: A study of the Gospel of Matthew 7: 21 – 23
Matthew 7: 21 – 23
The Scariest Words You Never Want To Hear
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
In case you are just joining us, let me inform you that Matthew was the first apostle who put down on paper the words and acts of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The second person who wrote about the earthly life of our Messiah was Mark who received his information from Peter. Approximately 15 years after Matthew’s Gospel was in circulation the disciple Luke came back to Israel and interviewed eye witnesses. He interestingly lists in two different parts of his text what Matthew had originally addressed. Let’s see what he wrote also.
Luke 6:46, 46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?’
Luke 13:26-27, 26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’
Today’s topic to me is the scariest of all verses. Can you imagine going all through life thinking you are a Christian and then find out from our Master that He never knew you as one of His. Wow!
In these couple of verses our Adoni Yeshua – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ now widens His words to include all who profess to be disciples. He declares that a man may be totally orthodox in what he says, but that that is not enough. The true test of whether a man is acceptable to God will come out in his life. A faith that does not result in obedience is no faith at all. These are solemn words of our Holy King Jesus and we dare not water them down.
Not every one who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father, Who is in heaven.
Our Lord Jesus now faces all His disciples with the question of their genuineness. It is not sufficient to call Him ‘Lord, Lord’. (He repeats the words, and then the idea, twice for emphasis). Words and outward gestures are not sufficient, even when they demonstrate a kind of submission to Him. In order to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, it involves submission to His Father’s will. That is actually only commonsense. For entering under the Kingly Rule of Heaven must involve precisely that, submission to His Father’s Kingly Rule.
Here in this verse ‘Lord, Lord’ does not necessarily indicate more than the respect due to a revered Teacher, although its repetition indicates urgency. But it is in verses 22-23 that it clearly signifies more. Thus He is simply pointing out here that acknowledgement of Him is no guarantee of their security. The only security lays in a genuineness of heart that result in a genuinely changed life.
What you were in this life has got to change. For example if you are an alcoholic, the power of the Holy Spirit will change you. You will walk away from alcohol.
Note the change to ‘My Father’. All the way through the Gospel it has been ‘your Father’. But here He Is dealing with matters of distinction between true and false disciples, and He does not want there to be any doubt about the fact that God is only the Father of those who are truly disciples. In such circumstances He never says ‘our Father’. The use is building up to what follows, which is the result of the very fact that His position before the Father is unique. Thus He wants them to recognize that the Father is not their Father in the same way as He is His Father. It would not necessarily be something that they would grasp straight away. But remembering His words they would eventually recognize more and more of their meaning.
Today, even believers do not know The Lord’s Prayer. How about you? If you say it is, ‘Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.’ – you are wrong.