How should we respond to this fearful announcement? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Towards the end of Matthew 7, Jesus tells the crowd that many on that day will point to many signs and wonders that were done in the name of Jesus and He will say to them, “I never knew you.” The only ones who go in will be the ones who do the will of the Father.
First off, before we get to the scary part, let’s consider something about this. How is it that Jesus gets up and speaks to a crowd as if He is the final judge that will tell people what their destiny is in the end? How is it that He speaks of people coming to Him and calling Him Lord? How is it that He speaks of people casting out demons in His name and doing miracles in His name and prophesy in His name?
Either Jesus is severely deluded in this passage, severely wicked, or He is rightfully in the place of God. It’s easy to point to explicit passages on the deity of Christ. I think a lot of these more subtle passages can be far more powerful.
So now let’s get to the concern. A lot of Christians get absolutely terrified. What if I am one of those on that day? What if Jesus tells me I never knew you?
So let’s ask a question.
Why does that scare you?
If your fear is never getting to be in Heaven because you won’t see your loved ones and you will be in Hell forever, then you have a wrong perspective. It doesn’t mean you won’t get in, but I have a fear that many of us want to see Heaven for so many reasons and throw in as an afterthought that God is there, or else we just want to avoid Hell.
If you say though because you want to be with Jesus, then I really don’t think you have to worry. In reality, most Christians I meet concerned about not being saved I have no doubt really are saved. The fact that they ask the question shows that they have a deep concern for Christian matters.
That being said, we should always examine ourselves to see if our behavior is being what it ought to be. Are we truly living a Christian life? Do we need to repent of anything? Are we loving one another as Christ loved us?
Note also that Jesus’s requirements are not seen in what we consider grand achievements. It’s seen in doing the will of the Father in Heaven. What is that will? Love your God and love your neighbor as yourself.
When people ask me what God’s will is for their lives, I always tell them the same thing, because it’s the same for everyone. “Conform you to the likeness of Christ.” “Yeah, but what about who I marry or where I work or what I study in school?” “Do what you will provided your goal is to be conformed to the likeness of Christ.”
Instead of worrying so much about if you are saved or not, which accomplishes nothing, live as Christ would have you live, which you should be doing anyway. When you fall down, repent and seek forgiveness and move on. There is a proper fear to have of God, but remember He prefers to show grace rather than judgment.
And if you think you have grace, show it. Even if you don’t think you have it and fear you don’t, show it anyway.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)