Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 7:23
“And then will I declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” – Matthew 7:23
This is a verse that can be hard to hear. For it deals with a false idea that too many people have fallen into. Let’s look at this from the beginning, starting in verse 21.
He starts by saying that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. We can say the word Lord all we want, but if we are saying it and do not believe He is Lord, then we are liars. Paul put it this way. “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9. To confess it with our mouth is to confess it no matter what and in any dire situation. And we can only do this if we truly believe it. Again, we can call Him Lord all we want, but if there is no belief behind it, we are just lying to ourselves and ultimately to Him.
He says in verse 22 that on the day, meaning the day of judgement, many will claim Him to be Lord, even though they did not believe it. They will say they did miracles in His name, as well as taught and prophesied. However, He truly was not their Lord. And they will claim they did them in His name. However, as we see in our focus verse, He will declare He never knew them. Many may ask, if He knows everything, how can He not know them? Simple, the idea of ‘knew’ means there was an intimate relationship with Him. They may have known about Him, but they never knew Him intimately. Many people know of God and Jesus, but they do not know Him personally.
Remember what Paul said in his letter to the Romans. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;” Romans 8:29. God knows the end from the beginning. (Isaiah 46:10) He knows who will be saved, who will declare Him lord and believe it, and believes Christ was raised from the dead. And He knew this from the beginning.
If we do not have an intimate relationship with Him, where we spend time with Him and obey His commands, and other things indicative of an intimate relationship, then we need to examine ourselves and ask God to forgive us, then make the adjustments. The Christian walk is a serious one. I would never declare to anyone they are not there, only we as individuals with God’s help can do that. But it is something we need to be serious about.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.