“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. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Understanding And Applying the Text
This is one of the most frightening passages in the bible.
The use of the double name implies an intimate relationship. Not everyone who claims an intimate relationship with Christ has an intimate relationship with Him. Nor will they enter into the kingdom.
But the scary part is they believe they have that intimate relationship but do not. They don’t even know Him. And He does not know them. Here are a couple of examples. Mormonism: They claim to be Christians. But they have a different christ. Their christ is not the Christ of the bible. They serve a different Jesus. Another example is Oneness Pentecostals. They too have a different christ. Neither of these groups is trinitarian.
Notice this follows Christ’s warning about false prophets. The false prophets may not be hypocrites. They may believe their own lies. They had religious feelings. They did good works. They did good works in the name of Christ. They did miracles. They did miracles in Christ’s name.
This is a direct refutation of, “It does not matter what you believe. So long as you have a sincere belief and do your best.” I know many Mormons. They are good people, so long as we are using a human standard of goodness. But they are lost and condemned unless they repent.
Would you want an engineer building a bridge who thought he was right? Or would you prefer an engineer who was right? Believing in something does not make it true. Christ is the truth. Believing in another Christ, no matter how sincere that belief is does make your christ true. The standard of truth is external to us. You do not determine the truth. I do not determine the truth.
Christ said the only ones who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do the will of the Father. What does that mean? What is the Father’s will? Doing the will of the Father means more than living a good life. It is more than being a good person. It means belief in His son, Jesus the Christ. “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40.)
Christ does not exclude faith. But it requires more. It requires faith in Christ. For Christ is the source of all good works.