(Article for publication week of 7-18- AD 2013)
"Not every one that sayeth 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' " (Matthew 7:21-23).
As dear old R.F. Gates said when preaching on this text, 'if I could read this text without getting disturbed, I would be disturbed!" Indeed, it is a most disturbing text, for our Lord warns us that many who profess to be saved are simply fooling themselves and others. At the final judgment MANY will hear the awful words from Christ, "depart from me" forever. There are many of you reading this who will find out too late that you never had anything but an empty profession. There are many of you who are nothing more than nominal professors, but you do not know Christ, and He does not know you. There are many of you who are preachers who are lost yourselves and though you prophesy in the name of Christ, you will end up in hell forever.
One thing that I must point out from this text is that we have here a plain, clear, and irrefutable declaration of the Deity of Christ. I never want to miss an opportunity to preach the Deity of Christ, for it is constantly being attacked by Satan. See here- the Lord says HE will be on the judgment throne at the last day. He will send lost sinners to hell. No one but God can or may stand in final judgment. No one but God can or will send lost sinners to hell. (See Genesis 18:25, John 5:22, and Matthew 25:31-46.) Those of you who deny or doubt the Deity of Christ will have a rude awakening as all lost men will. Christ proclaims that He is God by telling us we must stand before HIM at the final judgment.
Now the thing that is so disturbing about this text is that many (note well MANY will be doomed to hell forever) who acknowledge the Lordship of Christ are not really saved. There are multitudes right here in Simpson County who say they believe in Christ who are not saved. There are some of you who claim to believe the Bible who are lost. There are some of you would fight for creationism who are lost. There are some of you who believe much truth, but yet you have never been genuinely converted. You have never entered into salvation by the strait gate of Matthew 7:13-14. You are not in the narrow way that leads to life, but the broad way of nominal profession.
Then there are many of you who are works mongers and think you are doing much service to God and man. You go on "mission trips" perhaps to feed the hungry, or provide medical care to the poor. There are some of you who are active in social activism or perhaps political activism, or "community service". You think God is impressed by all your "wonderful works", but you have neither part nor lot with Christ. You are in the "gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity."
There are many of you who belong to a respectable Church. Perhaps you teach "Sunday school". Perhaps you are a deacon , or a preacher. You have a respectable place in the eyes of men. But your heart is far from God. You will hear your awful doom, "depart from me", FOREVER.
There are many of you who were coaxed to "walk the aisle", or sign a decision card, or "go forward" when the "invitation" was given. You made a decision or a profession, but you have not been born again. You are a stranger to Christ and His saving grace.
Now I want to say a word to you who are irreligious before I close. There are probably some of you so stupid as to think that my warnings against false profession has nothing to do with you. Perhaps some are even thinking, "Floyd is sure right. There are so many hypocrites in the Church. I don't even profess Christ, and I am better than some of them." Friend, there is not a word of encouragement in this text for you. If the hypocrite must be doomed and damned forever, where does that leave you who will not even acknowledge Christ?!! You who will not profess and acknowledge and follow Christ will also hear those terrible words, "DEPART FROM ME"!
May the Holy Spirit awaken many this very hour. To professors and non-professors alike I cry, "examine yourselves whether indeed you be in the faith." Now is the day of salvation. Tomorrow may be too late.