Jesus, during his ministry on earth, addressed a lot of issues. His responses to the various issues were different depending on the nature, circumstances and the type of audience. The message of Jesus was about the Kingdom of Heaven. He addressed it in clear terms.
Now let us examine a passage in Matthew 7:21-23, (New King James Version) Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into 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!”
Let me start by saying that Jesus was talking to believers in this passage; those who are born again, washed by the precious Blood of the Lamb. Many believers are doing their own will thereby making them unfit for the Kingdom. They are treading on the broad way that leads to destruction; Matthew 7:13 says, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”
What are the proofs to show that Jesus was talking to believers? In Matthew 7:22, He says, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name?” Firstly, only those who have the Spirit of God can prophesy in Jesus’ name. Secondly, in the same verse they said, in Your name have cast out devils? It is only believers that can genuinely use the name of Jesus to cast out devils. Finally, in the same verse 22, people will say, …And done many wonders in Your name? It stands to reason therefore, from the following that Jesus was talking to believers who have prophesied, cast out devils and done many wonderful works in the name of the Lord, but have refused to do the will of God. The response of Jesus in verse 23 was, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.”
Why this sharp rebuke from Jesus Christ? It means that these sets of believers will not be allowed into the kingdom of heaven even though they call on the name of the Lord, serve the Lord, perform miracles, do ministry work, etc. This passage should give those who want to make it to Heaven cause for great concern by asking the question, “What else must I do, since I have given my life to Jesus, to make it to Heaven?” Jesus Christ never leaves us without an answer to such a question. Let us take a closer look at the last part of verse 21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in Heaven.”
What Jesus said here is crystal clear; doing the will of God is the prerequisite for making it to heaven. So many believers are living in disobedience. They listen to the words of God and even study it, some even preach it but refuse to do it. We can read how God feels towards his children who are disobedient in the book of Ezekiel 33:30-33. He says that His children will listen to the word of God, but they will not do them. They may even receive all kinds of revelational teachings on Faith, Prosperity, Fruit of the Spirit, Holiness, and Walking with God, etc. God emphasizes again and again that they will not do them. Show me any father who is happy with a disobedient child! James 1:22 says, But be doers of the word, and not hearers only deceiving yourselves. When someone hears the word of God and refuses to respond by doing what it says, such a person is deceiving himself or herself. Nothing can be worse than self-deceit!
It is therefore important at this point, as you read this message, to respond by examining yourself before the mirror of God’s word, by searching your heart. Let your conscience be your judge. Am I doing what God says I should do or have I been deceiving myself by my act of disobedience? Do I want to face the judgement of Jesus Christ hearing, “I never knew you: depart from me, you who practice lawlessness” or “Well done, good and faithful servant …enter into the joy of your Lord.” Repent and ask for forgiveness now, decide to obey God from today and ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to do the will of God. Shalom and remain blessed.