Thoughts on Matthew 7:21

21 “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. 22 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?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Many people struggle, or perhaps worse, never struggle with their salvation.  Some people never feel the security that comes with saving grace and a relationship with Christ, while others cruise through life relying on the old adage, “Once saved, always saved.”  In its most simple form, the saying is true.  However, there should always be the asterisk asking “…but are you saved?”

This is the very case we see in Matthew 7:21-23.  Jesus tells us of people who claim Jesus as “Lord”, but in reality did not follow Christ at all.  The people described in this passage believed that they were true Christians.  How could they have possibly gotten it wrong?  They seemed to have acknowledged Jesus as “Lord” and apparently even did wonderful things in the name of Christ.  Why did they fall short?  The answer comes in the form of a swift, verbal slap.

There was no relationship with Christ. There was no repentance of sin.  No one can claim to be a Christian without a living relationship with their Savior.  No one can claim to be a Christian, while living a “lifestyle” of sin.  Sure, Christians struggle with sin like everyone else, but the main idea is that we “struggle”.  Christians fight and resist sin.  Christians deny themselves things that they know displease God.  A telltale sign of someone pretending to be a Christian is a lifestyle that is completely devoid of repentance and who justifies their wickedness instead of crying out to Jesus for mercy and help.

No one is a Christian simply because they believe they are Christian. Only Jesus can determine whether or not you are His follower.  No amount of Bible study or church attendance can save a person outside of Jesus Christ reaching into their life and grabbing a hold of their soul.  Only within His grasp is one saved.

I am definitely not writing any of this in order to scare people or shake their confidence in Christ’s power to save.  Christ will not lose even one person that has been given to Him by the Father (John 10:27-30).  However, what I am doing, is trying to wake up a generation that is in danger of cruising through life/”Christian walk” and ending up like the people described in the passage.  Yes, as Christians, be secure in your relationship with Christ (Romans 8:16), but do not allow security to lull you into a spiritual slumber.  I have seen many, many brothers and sisters fall away from Christ on account of friends, drugs, boy-girl problems, etc… What shall I say about them?  Did somehow Jesus fall asleep on the job?  Did Christ just decide that He did not want them anymore?  No!  The answer is that they were never Christians in the first place.  The Apostle John made it clear; If you leave Christ, you never had Him (I John 2:19).

So what should we, as Christians do?  Fight the good fight! Run the race! Keep the faith!  The Bible tells us to do everything possible to not leave a shred of doubt about our salvation (Philippians 2:12-13, II Peter 1:10, II Corinthians 13:5).  A young Christian recently told me that he wished to not only run the race, but to get a head start.  That ought to be the attitude of every Christian no matter where they are in their walk.


Johnny Nguyen

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