Summary: First we must be following the right Jesus, and then we must ask ourselves if Jesus has authorized what we are doing for Him and in His name.
Jesus preached the greatest sermon ever preached. We know it as the Sermon on the Mount. And towards the end of this sermon we find this morning’s scriptures. It has caused me to examine my actions as it relates to discipleship.
Jesus starts off by telling us that not all people who sound religious are godly. They call Jesus Lord, but they do not obey His Father in Heaven. Obedience has always been and will continue to be the determining factor in being a true disciple of Jesus. You see Jesus tells us here in these three verses what makes us a true follower of Him, and we cannot challenge the words of Jesus and be His true disciple. We can all talk and play the game of discipleship, but one day there will be judgment.
Jesus says on that day “many” will tell Him all the things they have done in His name, and He will say He never knew them. That word “many” jumped out at me. Jesus will tell “many” who truly believe that they have Heaven and eternal life to go away. They are being sent to Hell. A place where they are separated from God, a place of total darkness, a place of solitary confinement, a place where there is weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Additionally, a place where they will be reminded forever of the many opportunities they had to be saved from Hell. We in the church must constantly strike a chord for people to make sure they are saved. The problem has been around for a long time. People have been pressured, pushed, pulled, shoved, and even dragged downed the isle to be saved by Pastors, Deacons, Sunday School Teachers, family, and friends. The sad part is that the ones doing all of this believe they are saving people. We must always remember that it is the Holy Spirit that causes people to be saved. God uses us to share the Good News, but He, and He alone saves. In the Name of Jesus, let the Holy Spirit do His work. If the Holy Spirit moves you to assist Him, then and only then are you authorized to do so.
In the New Living Translation verse 23 ends with these words from Jesus “the things you did were unauthorized.” Jesus tells us that God gave complete authority for Heaven and Earth to Him. We have no authority to do anything, anywhere, without direction from Jesus. What gives us the notion that we can do what we are doing without receiving the OK from Jesus? It does not matter why we are doing it, or that it needs to be done, or that Jesus has given us authority to do it in the past, unless we have continuous authority in any area of our discipleship, we must have Jesus’ authority first.
This morning I am going to ask you in the name of Jesus and with the help of the Holy Spirit if you have truly received the right Jesus as you personal Lord and Savior. It is never too late to make sure, for when you stand before Him on Judgment Day, which we must all do, I pray He will say these words “well done good and faithful servant, come and share my throne with me forever in Heaven, your home.”