Article: Does Jesus Know You? THINK ABOUT IT! | Jacob Varghese

We read in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you evil doers!’
My dear brothers and sisters, the gospel passage that we just read, I often take time to read this passage and reflect the shocking statement of our Lord Jesus Christ and imagine myself after death standing before the throne of judgment. This particular text is likely one of the frightening texts in the entire Bible, and it comes directly from the lips of our Lord. Jesus has just finished speaking to his disciples concerning false prophets, and has told them to beware of false prophets, or those who come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. False prophets are purposeful imposters, they are posers, and posing as someone they are not. Knowing the correct password and saying ‘Master, Master,’ but it is not going to get them anywhere with the Lord. What is required is serious obedience—doing what the Father’s will is. I can see it now—at the final Judgment, thousands swaggering up to the Lord and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we knocked out the demons, done so many projects in your Name’. Do you know what the Lord is going to say? ‘You missed the boat. Who are you? I do not know you, where are you coming from? That could be the most shocking thing that can happen with any one of us. May be Jesus would say all you did was that you used me and my name to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You are out of here.’
The greatest danger we face today is not the changing world around us which can only affect us outwardly. Personal finances can change, but that only raises or lowers our standard of living. The decline of social morality may make it more difficult to live a holy life, but it cannot change who we really are. The political climate can change, but that will only increase or decrease governments’ intrusion into our daily life. Even if direct persecution come upon us that cannot change our eternal destiny. But the most dangerous to us are those things that can affect us internally. In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus warned about the danger of false prophets that lead many astray. They are dangerous because if we believe their lies, they will change us internally. They can affect who we really are and our eternal destiny. They come and deceive by presenting falsehood as the truth. Jesus gave warning about them because they do not appear as the wolves they really are, but as friends of the flock. They come wearing sheep’s clothing, the garments of the shepherd. They appear as those who come to feed & lead the flock, but instead, they feed off the flock and exploit it for their own gain.
Jesus warned us to beware of false prophets and He told us how to recognize them. Examine their fruit. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.” We must keep in mind that throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has been presenting the nature of true righteousness as compared with the self-righteousness seen in the Scribes and Pharisees of that time. The fruit Jesus is talking about is the fruit of righteousness as compared to the fruit of self-righteousness.
Can you even begin to contemplate the horror that these people will suffer when they hear these words? To have lived our life thinking that we were truly serving the Lord, doing many things in His name, and then to find out that He rejects us as never knowing us and sends us away to eternal judgment. It is not just the horror of the thought that is terrifying, but the fact that there may well be people listening to me today that will hear those words applied to them, and that I too had to better examine myself carefully to make sure that Jesus is not talking this about me.
Sin is deceitful itself, but self-righteousness is the most deceptive of all sin because it gives you the illusion that you are doing what is right, true and good before God, yet the whole time you are an abomination to Him. Consider the Scribes and Pharisees. We have spoken often against them, but by most standards they were good people. They were kind to other Israelites. They taught their children about God and the Law of Moses. They were often generous to the poor. They followed all of the moral rules of their society, and they were zealous for God. Consider the Pharisee named Saul of Tarsus, later named Paul the Apostle. He says of himself that he persecuted the church out of his zeal for God and that he was blameless according to the righteousness found in the Law according to the Pharisees. He was sincere and zealous in his pursuit of what he thought was pleasing to God, yet he was wrong. Except for God’s wonderful saving grace, he would have died as sinful Saul rather than Apostle Paul, the servant of God made righteous by Jesus Christ.
Jesus lays down the principle in Matthew 7:21 and then illustrates it in Matthew 7:22& 23. Notice the foundation “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” There is more to entering the kingdom of heaven than just what is professed by the lips. There has to be an accompanying direction of life. Some might object that this sounds like a works-based salvation, it is not. Let us get the whole picture again of what is taking place. Jesus says that “many will say to Me on that day.” Which day? The Day of Judgment! The phrase, “that day,” is a frequently used reference to the time of divine judgment known throughout Scripture as the day of the Lord. It is in connection with His promised second coming which will bring judgment. The picture is that these people are standing before the Lord and giving an account of themselves to Him. Isaiah 2:12 says the LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted and they will be humbled. Joel 2:1 says let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming and it is close at hand. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 says for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 2 Peter 3:10 says but the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. However in Matthew 24:36 says, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.
Now notice again their claims: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ These are the cries of people who are in shock over where they find themselves. They are astonished to be standing before the Lord in judgment. They are now trying to justify themselves. ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ In short, they argue, “look at, all we have done for you; surely you will accept us into your kingdom!” Are you starting to get the idea of how self-deceived they were and that we can be? Here in Matthew 7:22 we find these people standing before the Lord trying to justify themselves because of all the wonderful things they did in the name of Jesus, yet the sad truth is that they were completely self-deceived. Their lives and their words here show they loved and trusted themselves and not God. If their trust had been in God then their appeal to Him would have been based on what Jesus had done for them. Instead their appeal is based on what they thought they had done for God. It does not matter how good or how zealous for God you are, your righteousness before Him is as a filthy rag. Isaiah 64:6 says all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrink up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. You come to God based on the righteousness of Christ, or not at all.
Many times we think we are doing exactly what the Lord is telling us to do. And with that impression in our mind we are going ahead in life but then the Lord says on the Day of Judgment, this is something a reality that the Lord is bringing before us and the Lord is asking us to wake up from our slumber.

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What is it Jesus trying to convey here, it is not the activities that we are doing which is going to count at the end of the day. It is not the activities that we did or the achievements that we accomplished; but at the end of the day Lord is going to ask how well did you love me? That is the question that He is going to ask each and every one of us. It is true that we did lot of activities in His name, we preached His word, we did all kinds of things that is one thing but the most important thing Jesus is asking us is this do you love me? Do you have a heart that was full of love for me? In the book of Revelation chapter 2 verse 2 onwards in the message given to the church of Ephesus we read- Jesus is conveying the message and John is writing down. What is he writing down? Jesus says I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. There is nothing that hidden from the Lord. I don’t have to go and tell the Lord, all the activities that I have done but Jesus knows everything that we have done. But Jesus says I have this one thing against you. You have abandoned the love you had at first. Now that is possible, my heart could be devoid of the love for the Lord. It is not at all necessary that if I am doing the works in the name of the Lord my heart is full of love for Him. It can also happen the word of God says I might be doing lot of works but at the same time I do not have love for my Lord. Jesus is not saying that you have lost your love for me. But you have abandoned the love you had at first. There is a lot of difference between loosing something and abandoning something. We lose things without willing to lose, I have a purse and I lost the purse without knowledge. I lost the purse that is one thing but abandoning something is a willful thing that you did. You have abandoned your love for me. Abandon means to give up or discontinue any further interest in something because of discouragement, weariness, distaste, or the like. So it is high time that we pray desperately and with the help of the Holy Spirit we can analyze ourselves, examine ourselves and come back to the Lord.

Jesus says to them in Matthew 7:23, “I never knew you.” Go away from me, you evil doers. They did not know Jesus and Jesus did not know them. Jesus knew about them and they knew about Jesus, but there was no intimacy of relationship with the Lord. They claimed that they did all sorts of things in Jesus name, but they did not love Him. Those who love Jesus obey Him. It does not matter how much head knowledge we have about God, if we are not adopted into His kingdom as one of His children, then we are not going to enter because Heaven is not our home. If you want assurance of salvation, then you better check in with the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:16 tells us that the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” Do you know God personally as one of His children? Intellectual knowledge is not enough. Does Jesus know you? Does He have a personal relationship with you? If you want assurance of salvation, then you need to examine yourself. Do you know Jesus Christ? Does He know you? What will He say when you stand before Him? Will He say, as He does in Matthew 25:34 onwards, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” or will it be, Depart from Me, who are cursed, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” THINK ABOUT IT! God is merciful and gracious – and as the Bible says, He doesn’t wish anyone to perish. But on that day, His mercy will be only a memory. Jesus will say, “Depart from me.” He won’t say, “I’ll give you one last chance to turn and honor me as the Lord.” This means quite simply that now is the time. 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 be your Lord. He is calling will you come?
Jacob Varghese

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