(Article for publication week of 8-1- AD 2013)
“'Not everyone 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 unto 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.’"
We are blessed to live in a part of the world where there is still some outward respect for Christianity, and where many people profess the name of Christ. Compared with most other places in the world, the people in our area are still well mannered and polite, generally. Many of the sales clerks give you your change with a smile and say, “have a blessed day.” Probably the majority of the folks here in Simpson county and surrounding areas are connected to the church. All the football teams here pray to the “man upstairs” to help them the knock the devil out of the opposing team on Friday nights. Most everybody in these parts is very religious.
But the reality is that many, perhaps most are religiously lost and will finally hear the awful words of Christ, “depart from Me’, and be doomed and damned forever. Our text here in Matthew 7 that we have been looking at applies to many of you. You are religious, but lost. I am laboring to awaken you out of your deadly sleep!
But most of you will dismiss me as crank and a fool and go on into eternity with a false profession and spend eternity where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Friend, I want to ask you a question. Would it not be better to be exposed now as a hypocrite and truly repent, than to wait until the day of Judgment when there is no time left to repent? Every one of us ought to take this in dead earnest and search our souls and examine our profession by the word of God and beg God that if we have not been truly saved to save us today.
I cannot emphasize this too strongly. Profession of Christ does not equal possession of Christ. Just because you have some kind of a profession does not mean you are saved. Just because you belong to the church does not mean you are saved. Just because you have been baptized or sprinkled does not mean that you are saved. This is what my text plainly says.
Now, I know it would be painful and embarrassing and humiliating for you to have to come before the church and admit you had been fooling them and yourself. I know from experience because I had to do that when the Lord truly converted me after I had been a lost church member for twenty years. But friend, who do you fear most, men or Christ? You had better fear Christ for He is your final Judge. It would be infinitely better to admit you are lost and seek Christ than to be cast out by Christ forever. May the Holy Spirit awaken many and reveal unto you your true condition.