(Article for publication week of 11-7- AD 2013)
“And then will I profess unto them, ‘ I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’ ” (Matthew 7:23).
For the past several weeks we have been considering this awful passage in Matthew 7:21-23. At the last Judgment many will meet their awful and eternal doom and the Lord Jesus Christ will say unto them, depart from me, I never knew you”! We have been showing how multitudes have a profession of religion, but are not saved. We have seen from the text that they did not the will of Christ and were antinomians. We made the connection with verses 13 and 14 and showed that they had never entered into salvation by the strait gate of conversion. Now we come to consider what is possibly the root of the matter. Christ said He never knew them.
Now, we know that Christ knew about them. Christ is omniscient God and knows all things (John 21:17). The Lord Jesus Christ knows about everybody, everywhere. No one escapes His all- seeing eye, and none of our deeds or thoughts are hidden from Him. Christ knows everyone in this sense. But only His elect are known to Him in the sense of our text today.
In Galatians 4:9, the inspired writer uses this terminology as the essence of salvation: “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God”. In John 10:27 our Lord said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them.” In II Timothy 2:19 we read, “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His.”
Christ knows every one of His sheep in sovereign, electing love. He has known them from eternity (Romans 8:29). Having loved and known them from eternity, He entered into a covenant with His Father to secure their salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the eternal and coequal Son of God, came into the world at the appointed time and joined His glorious Deity to sinless humanity and laid down His life for all those that He knew. Thus He is indeed a personal Saviour to everyone for Whom He died. When He was on the cross, each of them was on His mind (as a hymn writer expressed it). Though He died for a number that no man can number, He died for each of His sheep personally. He would have died for one of them, if that one was the only one in need of salvation. Christ foreknew His sheep and has secured their everlasting salvation by His bloody sacrifice. “Not one shall ever perish, or be lost; His blood has bought them, dear they cost” (author unknown).
Now, here is the awful truth of the word of God. Though a person may be as religious as all get out, if Christ does not know them, they will be lost world without end. I am shut up to the truth of God. I cannot tickle your fancy with idle tales of your ability or your pretended free will or your imagined merit. I leave you right where the Bible puts us all, in the hands of a sovereign Christ Who is obligated to save no man, but will certainly save everyone He knows in covenant love.