One Year Bible
New Testament passage for January 9, 2014: Matthew 7:15-29
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)
One of the most sobering passages in all of Scripture is found near the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus describes PROFESS-ers who are not POSSESS-ers. These are people who profess to be followers of Jesus, but who really do not possess a relationship with Him. Wow!
This is a mind-blower. These fake followers actually pull off some pretty amazing feats. They prophesy; they cast out demons; they have supernatural manifestations surrounding their ministries. They do all this "in the Name of Jesus." Yet Jesus Himself says "I never knew you."
Some cessationists (most notably of late, Pastor John MacArthur) seize on this passage to say that the miraclous has passed away, and all who claim to minister in the supernatural are charlatans. This is ludicrous since the entire Book of Acts lay ahead of Jesus at the time he spoke these words. He certainly was not condemning the apostolic witness that would follow Him.
The issue is not the miraculous. It is rather the reality of FALSE DISCIPLES. The key truth is simple yet profound. No amount of good works can take the place of a heart relationship with Jesus. He is looking for surrender more than service.
Of course, He desires us to serve Him fully. But, if that service does not flow from a heart submitted to Him, it is of no use to Him. It does not advance His kingdom, but only enflates our ego. No amount of good works can win God's favor. Lordship is the foundation of all true service. All else is actually rebellion.
The first step in a fruitful relationship with Jesus is SURRENDER -- full surrender. When we call Him Lord, this more than just a generic title. It means King -- Master -- Ruler.
It to this kind of relationship that Jesus calls us. We lay down our wills before Him and find the greatest power and peace on earth. Jesus is Lord!