Posted by: missionventureministries | June 14, 2018

TRUE AND FALSE DISCIPLES – Matthew 7:21-23

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

According to these verses, who enters the kingdom? It is “…he who does the will of My Father in heaven”. Now what does it mean to “do the will of God”? 

Jesus warned His disciples about the broad road that leads to destruction, and following in verse 15 He warns about the danger of false prophets who lead people down that broad road. Verses 16 through 20 He tells them how to distinguish a genuine prophet from a false prophet. Very simply, Jesus says you will know them by their fruits. You must examine them very closely, because the better the counterfeit, the more carefully it must be examined before it is possible to determine that it is counterfeit. Jesus is saying that the doctrines they teach and the character of their lives reveal whether they belong to God or not. 

Then in verses 21-23 Jesus enforces His warning by saying that many of the false prophets will do and say wonderful and impressive things – “…they prophesied in His name, cast out demons in His name, and did many wonders in His name.” They do some very impressive things, but they are not of God. In verse 20 Jesus again says: “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” 

So, the context of verses 21-23 is dealing with the false prophets. These false prophets may say, “Lord, Lord”, but they are not of God. 

A person can call Jesus Lord and not know who He is. The title “Lord” does not indicate that a person has a belief in Christ. Before Paul was convicted on the road to Damascus he called Jesus Lord but did not know who He was: “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:3-5). As we see, he calls Him Lord but doesn’t know who He is. 

Many could also be calling Jesus Lord in a hypocritical sense, meaning they’re calling Him Lord, but they don’t really believe in Him. Jesus called them: “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. ‘But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men'” (Matthew 15:7-9). So, the fact that they call Jesus Lord does not mean that they believe in who He truly is. 

We need to remember what Jesus said: “but he who does the will of My Father in heaven”. Jesus is clearly saying that only those whose life is characterized by obedience to all that the Father has commanded will have the privilege of being with Him for all eternity. He told them: “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.(John 6:35-40)

Being a Christian is more than just believing the right things, you must obey, which means to hear God’s Word and act accordingly. Biblical obedience to God means, simply, to hear, trust, submit and surrender to God and his Word. “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (John 8:31).

The New Testament teaches that salvation is by grace through faith. Faith is the instrumental means; grace is the efficient means of our salvation. We’re saved by Jesus Christ. We’re saved by His grace through faith. But we need to realize that Jesus also said:  “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). That means that we need to be obedient.

Many people think getting saved means saying, “the sinner’s prayer” and then living life the way they used to. They believe some mystical thing happens at reciting a few words.

We need to understand that we must repent and forsake our sins and obey God’s word. As we keep reading the Bible and obeying what we read, the word will wash us and, by God’s grace, incredible changes will occur. Grace is defined as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; it is a virtue of divine origin.

1 Peter 1:15-16 tells us: But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 

And Paul writes to young Timothy: “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19).  

The world is filled with false prophets who are speaking from lying spirits. These false prophets claim to speak for the Lord. But their message is not a message of repentance and obedience. It is a message of prosperity and blessings. Certainly we are blessed by the Lord, but our message is always to be a message of turning from the world, and turning to the Lord.

People say, “I believe Jesus is Lord,” yet they use filthy language, will not hear of repenting and stopping of doing evil, love everything this wicked world has to offer, don’t feel convicted of sin, and are not interested in the things of God. Does this person really believe they are going to heaven?

Many professed Christians do whatever they feel like doing no matter what – fornicating, watching all manner of wickedness and blasphemy on television, going to the movie theater to watch demonic movies, reading “satanic books”, etc. while claiming to be saved. 

Unsaved people do what Satan wants them to do.  Saved people are under the Lord’s commands. Where do you stand? We are either obedient or disobedient. Those who are living without regard for the righteousness of God, using God’s grace as a license to sin, and trusting grace to cleanse of sin are giving church people a false name. If Jesus is not your Lord and Master, he is not your Savior.

Saving faith will manifest itself in change. If no change occurs in a person’s life, we have plenty of scriptures to let us know that true conversion never took place to begin with.

We are not saved by our works, but when we are saved; our life will certainly reflect that decision by our good works. “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). Do you obey God’s word?

The kingdom of heaven is not for those who merely address Jesus as Lord with their words, but who acknowledge Jesus as their Lord in their behavior. This contrast is made clearer in Luke’s version where Jesus says, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46) 

If you do not do the will of the Father, if you call Jesus Lord but don’t do what He says, you need to examine your relationship with Him. If you suspect that Jesus does not know you as this passage describes, you need to address it with Him in prayer right now. Go to Him and ask Him to save you and that you want Him to be the Lord of your life. 

  • Admit – and confess that you are a sinner and cannot attain eternal life by myself. Repent and turn away from your sin. (Romans 3:23)
  • Believe – and trust that Jesus Christ is God’s only Son who was crucified for your sins. (Romans 5:8)
  • Commit – and give your life to Jesus Christ and ask Him to be Savior and Lord of your life. (Romans 10:9) 
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