(Article for publication week of 8- 22- 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’ “(Matthew 7: 21-23).
The “day” to which our text refers is, of course the Great Day of Judgment. Dear reader, do you not know that “it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this, the judgment? Every one of us must appear before the Great Tribunal of God to give an account of the deeds done in the body. In that day it will be revealed who was truly saved and who was not, and there will be no appeal of that verdict. Multitudes on that Day will hear the awful words of Christ, “depart from Me”!
We had previously shown two root problems with false Christians. First, they were shocked to find out they were lost after all. They never questioned their salvation. Then secondly, they were not trusting in Christ Alone, but their own good works (so-called).
But now the third thing I will point out to you that was wrong with these false converts who never questioned their salvation (although they should have), is that they did not the will of God. Our Lord plainly says here that the only folks who will enter into heaven are those who do God’s will. Now don’t put the paper down yet. The scriptures plainly declare that a sinner is justified by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ Alone. A sinner cannot save himself by his good works (Ephesians 2:8-9). We have already pointed out that one of the root problems with these lost church members was that they trusted in their works instead of in Christ Alone. Our best obedience dares not appear before God’s throne (Isaac Watts), yet the evidence of being saved is obedience to Christ. Christ became the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). God will take vengeance in flaming fire on those who “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Thessalonians 1:8). Obedience will not save a poor sinner, but a saved sinner will obey Christ. All those that God justifies, He also sanctifies. All those that God saves he gives a new nature in regeneration. God writes His law in a saved man’s heart, and works in him both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Christ’s sheep will certainly follow Him (John 10: 27). A Christian will be sincerely and consistently obedient to Christ, though very imperfectly.
Now dear reader, examine yourself. Are you doing the will of God? Are you sincerely and consistently obeying Christ? Are you following the Shepherd? Now, before some poor sensitive saint falls into despair, let me quickly encourage you that Christ’s sheep often stumble, but Christ picks them up and carries them when they cannot walk. Christ’s sheep sometimes wander off; but the great Shepherd goes and gets them and brings them back to follow Him. I pray the Lord will use this short message to awaken the lost and encourage the saved.