“I never knew you”

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. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7:21-23

Right after He comments on false prophets, Jesus has a few things to say about false disciples. Many people say they believe in Jesus without doing the Father’s will; that isn’t going to cut it on the last day. I want to be careful here not to give the impression that I am suggesting that they somehow haven’t earned their salvation, for salvation is not something we earn; it is God’s free gift. However, receiving grace demands a response, and it seems to me that Jesus is telling us that where there is no response other than saying, “yeah sure, I believe in Jesus,” and then going on with business as usual, we have a false disciple. I say this because of the discussion in the last section; look at the fruit. If there is not fruit, then you are no disciple.

There are many groups out there who claim to be Christian, but who are not. There are many religious leaders who take on the form and appearance of following Jesus, but who do not, and they have many followers who do likewise, and are not followers of Jesus at all, in spite of what they may claim. This is what Jesus is warning us about.

Take particular note of verse 23 where He tells how it is that He knows this: “I never knew you”. Do you see the relational aspect of that? To “know” Jesus is to be in relationship with Him; it is quite a different matter than simply “believing in” Him… as the Devil and his demons do.

Here is a trustworthy saying: Relationship with Jesus always brings about a response; where there is no response, there is most likely no relationship.


About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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25 Responses to “I never knew you”

  1. paulfg says:

    I am so glad our Father connected us! Thank you.

  2. Wally Fry says:

    Difficult topic well handled. Bravo

  3. As usual, the Words of Jesus make a confusing situation very clear. Thanks for posting this today.

  4. sheppaja says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I recently had a discussion on this scripture recently and what you wrote helped confirm that I stayed true to scripture. There are many who use His name and attend church but the Love of Jesus is not in them I am sad to say. This also reminds me of the commandment not to take His name in vain. Which means more than to use it in foul language but to use it for empty self serving reasons that have nothing to do with His word or His love. It reminds me of the term gold digger a person in a relationship not for love but for what they can gain financially and materialistically. I pray for a more intimate relationship with Jesus and my Father. One based on His love and grace.

  5. gtemedtk1 says:

    Reblogged this on The Living Message of Christ and commented:
    I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

  6. nickyab says:

    Thank you for tackling those topics that others ignore! God bless you.

  7. dawnlizjones says:

    “receiving grace demands a response”, so great. Like Bonhoeffer’s concept of cheap grace. Thanks for the clarity of this concept.

  8. stephsx says:

    Thank you for this timely reminder! 🙂

  9. Resonates deeply with me, Don. Know Him vs. know about Him. Two entirely different ways of being.

  10. Bette Cox says:

    Fakes, like Judas, “prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles” – which is hardly business as usual. They act like disciples act, talk like disciples talk, but what they do is not what the Lord tells them to do. Eventually their true colors / fruit will show (e.g. the real source of their power), but in the meantime many people can be taken in and hurt by their deception. It takes discerning of spirits to spot these counterfeits.

  11. Yes there will be those who will say Lord, Lord Don and as Scripture confirms Jesus will send them away and the Scriptures below tell us why.

    Matthew 25: 41-45 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    1 John 3:16-18 Hereby perceive we the Love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the Love of God in him? My little children, let us not Love in word, neither in tongue; but in Deed and in Truth.(KJV)

    1 John 3:13-15 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we Love the brethren. He that Loveth not his brother abideth in death.Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.(KJV)

    1 John 4:6-8 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of Truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us Love one another for Love is of God and every one that Loveth is Born of God, and knoweth God. He that Loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love.(KJV)

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

  12. Thanks brother. Enjoy hearing such clear definition that interprets comforting ideas. You are anointed. Thanks for liking my post too. 🙂

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