Summary: This is a sermon on perhaps the saddest passage recorded in the Bible
December 13, 2002
A. Tonight’s topic: Wish You Were Here
1) We are going to focus our study on perhaps the saddest passage in the whole Bible.
2) Matthew 7:21-23, “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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
3) Several elements that make this passage very sad:
a) Not everyone will be saved.
1. In spite of the many churches and cathedrals that Christianity had erected in the name of Christ, not all people will be saved.
2. In spite of the hundreds of Christian TV and radio channels that Christian churches have produced, not all people will be saved.
3. In spite of the missionaries that we send year after year to other countries, not all people will be saved.
4. In spite of the billions of money in the form of tithes and offering given for the spreading of the Gospel, not everyone will be saved.
5. In spite of the weekly church services and perhaps daily church services that are being conducted all throughout the world, not everyone will be saved.
b) Not everyone who expect to be saved will be saved
1. Many in the Pentecostal churches expect to be saved because they believe that their ability to speak in tongues is a proof that the Holy Spirit is in them. Not everyone will be saved.
2. Many among the Jehovah Witnesses expect to be saved because they are able to meet the prescribed hours that they have to devote on witnessing every week. Not everyone will be saved.
3. Many among the Catholic Churches expect to be saved because they give alms to the poor, they recite their rosary regularly, they participate in the Mass every Sunday, and they worship Mary the mother of Jesus. Not everyone will be saved.
4. Many within the Adventist churches expect to be saved because we keep the Sabbath holy, we abstain from eating unclean food, we faithfully give our tithes and offerings. Not everyone who expects to be saved will be saved.
c) Not everyone who calls Him Lord will be saved.
1. We call on the Lord when we are sick. But not everyone that calls Him Lord will be saved
2. We call Him Lord when we are troubled and desperate. Not all will be saved.
3. We call Him Lord when we are preaching. Not all will be saved.
4. We call Him Lord when we testify. Not all will be saved.
d) Not everyone who prophesy in the name of the Lord will be saved
1. We foretell future events in the name of the Lord. Not all will be saved.
2. Those who tell you your future in the name of the Lord; not all of them will be saved.
3. Those who can predict weather in the name of the Lord; not all will be saved.
e) Not everyone who cast out demons in the name of the Lord will be saved
1. Those who cast out demons and evil spirits in the name of the Lord; not all will be saved.
f) Not everyone who perform miracles will be saved
1. Those who performs faith healing; not everyone will be saved.
2. Those who claim to have the ability to speak to your dead relatives in the name of Jesus will not be saved.
B. Who then can be saved?
1) In Matthew 19:25, the disciples, after hearing the conversation between Christ and the rich young ruler, asked the same question: Who then can be saved?
2) The answer is found in our main passage: Only he who does the will of the Father.
3) William Barclay, in his commentary on Matthew wrote, “There are two great permanent truths within this passage. There is only one way in which a man’s sincerity can be proved, and that is by his practice. Fine words can never be a substitute for fine deeds. There is only one proof of love, and that proof is obedience. There is no point in saying that we love a person, and then doing things which break that person’s heart. When we were young maybe we used sometimes to say to our mothers, “Mother, I love you.” And maybe mother sometimes smiled a little wistfully and said, “I wish you would show it a little more in the way you behave.” So often we confess God with our lips and deny him with our lives. It is not difficult to recite a creed, but it is difficult to live the Christian life. Faith without practice is a contradiction in terms, and love without obedience is an impossibility.”