Not “Do You Know Jesus?” But Does Jesus Know You?! (Mt 7:21-23)

First, our memory verse: “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. For this is the Law & the Prophets” (Mt 7:12). Now our “It’s next” passage… (Mt 7:21). Jesus says…

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, & cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’

I call this “The Judas Principle.” Why? Because I think Judas will argue this, attempting to escape hell. Not just him but man others too… “On that day MANY will say to Me…” How many is “many?” We don’t know, BUT if compared to a previous verse we can get an idea; Mt 7:13-14

The gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Here “many” is contrasted with “few.” The implication is the most are lost while few are saved. But it not just how many are saved/lost… it is who they are and what they DO. “Many” (Most?) will include those who believe themselves to be saved! Preachers… deacons… church members… religious people. Those who preached the Gospel and led congregations (Prophesy). Those who battled Satan (Cast out demons). And those who performed miracles… MANY miracles.

Last week we talked about false prophets. False prophets preach in Jesus’ name. They cast out demons in Jesus’ name. They perform miracles in Jesus’ name! And yet are NOT saved?! Judas did all those and more (Mk 6:7, 12-13)!! Yet he was NOT saved (Mt 26:20-25).

According to Jesus, not only will Judas use this line of reasoning, but many others! That means those who’ve: Preached The Gospel… Who’ve evangelized… cast out demons… done miracles, are not saved! And they won’t know it until they stand before Jesus on Judgment Day.

That will include: People who’ve “prayed a prayer,” walked an aisle, been baptized, served as Deacons, preached The Gospel, were missionaries, and many other “good” things. (Pause) This passage should cause us all to stop… reflect… & examine ourselves.

Being religious and doing CHRISTIAN religious things does NOT mean a person is saved! Paul strongly implored people to not take salvation for granted. He wrote this in 2 Cor 13:5

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

We must examine two things. First, Jesus when he said those who enter the kingdom of heaven is… “The one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Then Paul’s saying to “test ourselves to see if we are in the faith.” He warns we not to “fail to meet the test.”

I suggestion the answer to Jesus AND Paul are the same. Consider Jn 6:28

Then they said to him (Jesus), “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (The “Test,” the “will of My Father in heaven”) 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

Salvation is NOT what you DO, but who you ARE! The proof a person is saved is NOT what they DO! It is The Spirit IN a person proven by their GROWTH in the fruit of the Spirit!! Galatians 5:22

The fruit of the Spirit IS love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

2 Peter 1:4 He has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For IF these qualities ARE yours and are increasing… (You are saved).

Every person God saves… every person who trusts Jesus… every person with God’s Spirit in them WILL have God’s Spiritual Fruit. WILL! Look at the character traits Paul writes will be in a person! Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.

These traits are infused by The Holy Spirit! “The fruit of the SPIRIT IS…” Not may be, not hopefully, not possibly… ARE! Note these are A PACKAGE DEAL. A saved person will have ALL THESE TRAITS and they will increase!

And according to Peter the outworking of Spirit infused traits increase as the person seeks them. The person who IS saved WILL grow (Increase daily, monthly, yearly) in the fruit of The Spirit because they “make every effort” to become more like Jesus (Both the Galatians and 2 Peter passage).

And as we’ve said, God puts these traits in believers. Now, WE are responsible to “make every effort” to become more like Jesus. Yet (How this works I can’t reconcile in my mind), GOD is the one who works these in us so HE gets the glory & not us. Three passages we’ve read before. Ro 8:29…

Those whom He foreknew He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son

Phil 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” 2:13, “It is God who works in you, both to will & work for His good pleasure.” (God’s “good pleasure” is conformity to Jesus {Ro 8:29}).

“Predestination” in Ro 8:29 is NOT about salvation! It is about sanctification!! God does NOT leave the sanctification (Conformity to Christ) of His children to chance. He wills it to completion! Thus Phil 1:6 & 2:13. ((PAUSE))

Now to tie up the loose ends.

WHAT a person does, no matter how attached to Jesus it is, is not proof of salvation. Because most people think that IS proof of salvation, a great number will be surprised when they are told it isn’t about knowing Jesus that saves… IT IS JESUS KNOWING THEM (Mt 7:23). R-E-P-E-A-T

THE proof of Jesus knowing a person (Note how I worded that)… that they ARE saved… is fruit of the Spirit. The “will of God” and/or “work of God” is to… “believe in Him whom He has sent” (Jn 6:29)!

God’s will is to believe in Jesus… proved by being conformed to the image of Christ… while making every effort to be more like Jesus. Being a church member, deacon, minister, missionary, praying a prayer, walking an aisle, nor getting wet in a baptistery DOES NOT SAVE nor is it PROOF a person is saved. Those WILL use Judas’ objection in our focal passage in an attempt to escape condemnation… Including Pharisees.

This turned the world of those listening to Jesus upside down! The Sermon on the Mount destroyed all the people had been told by the Pharisees… and is why they hated Him. Jesus pressed this issue in 7:24, “Everyone who hears these words OF MINE & does them {believe} (Will be saved).” He made a clear & pointed break with religious leaders of the day. But the people loved it!

Note! God’s people LOVE truth. They LOVE God’s Word! Even when things read are hard, God’s people are always receptive. “Like new born babes they crave God’s Truth.” They will “Hunger & thirst for righteousness.” Let’s end by reading Mt 7:28-29

When Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, & not as their scribes.

Does Jesus astonish you? Are His words food & water to your soul? Does your heart long to see Him… to be with Him… to worship Him? Is the deepest desire of your heart to be more like Him… Do you believe everything about Him? Are you sensitive to sin… convicted of the sin still in your life?

If you’re not sure, then test yourself (2 Cor 13:5). Believe on the name of The Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!” (Ac 16:33).

(Picture Credit)