Martin Cheah with John Lee (Added Input)
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!’
Is it possible that the omniscient Almighty God does not know you? Could you have somehow slipped under his radar? If so, how would Jesus then know you? In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Contrast this with what He says in John 10:26, “…but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.”
Believing in Jesus, be His sheep, assures us that we are known by God and that we are truly saved; i.e., have eternal life. (John 10:28)
Some people asked Jesus “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (John 6:28). By this question, they betrayed their naïve imagination that they needed to perform some meritorious deeds to earn their salvation.
Jesus responded, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:29)
The phrase “that you believe” means continuous believing, relying for salvation wholly on Christ.
The Father’s will is that we believe in Jesus whom He sent and that we place our faith in what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.
A person might claim to follow Jesus, with great theological insight, serving in the church, but it is only those who do the Father’s will are known by Him.
Am I Depending on Works?
Many who stand before the Righteous Judge on that day will cry out to justify themselves based on their own works, but they will have failed to have faith in the only work that counts for eternity—Christ’s work on the cross.
These people are counting on their good works to make them righteous, rather than the finished work of Jesus and His imputed righteousness. They have not understood that there isn’t any good work that man can do to earn salvation. Salvation is never earned. It is freely given by God to those who are humbled and repent and trust in Christ’s good work. The people claiming the merit of their good works are demonstrating pride, not humility, before God.
Does Jesus Know Me?
When Jesus said, “I never knew you,” He was referring to fake Christians, false teachers, and those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelations 22:15) As Christians, we should understand this message as a warning. There are “wolves” who look like sheep. There are non-Christians who look like Christians because of their words or their works. If these people truly knew Jesus, they would be praising His works, not their own works.
Do you love the world more? If you do, Jesus won’t know you. If people hear Jesus’ teaching but do not act upon it, they are deceiving themselves and heading for disaster. They are like the False Builder who builds a house that looks solid but has no foundation, and so is destroyed when the storm of testing comes (Matthew 7:24-27).
What Can We Do?
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. (1 John 4:20)
Share the gospel of saving grace with someone today. Be faithful to proclaim the goodness of the Lord. Help people to understand that only by trusting in Jesus’ finished work on the cross can anyone enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
In another end time judgement (Matthew 25:27-40) story, the righteous will say, “‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”
When you do good to your brothers and sisters, then Jesus will know you since you were doing it to Him.
Now is the time to ask, “Does Jesus know me?” Do not wait till that day.