To me, one of Jesus most confronting teachings across the four gospels is in Matthew 7.
“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!”
This is a passage that has been grieving me over the past few weeks. It grieves me that there may be people in our church, and in churches around the world; who call themselves Christians, come to church, believe there is a God and know a lot about God, but don’t know God.
Do you know God? Do you know him?
The question isn’t, have you been coming to church regularly? It is not, have you been reading the bible recently? It is not even, have you prophesied in the name of God or cast out demons?
Do you know him?
The people who Jesus is describing that call him ‘Lord, Lord’ could be part of church gatherings, call themselves Christians, and have prophesied and even performed miracles.
But they never knew him. And so, they had no part in him.
If we do not know Jesus, nothing we do in this world matters. Nothing we do will unite us with the Father in heaven. Our family and friends, our career, our work at church or our political stances won’t matter. They will not be enough for us to enter the kingdom of heaven.
When you consider our eternal destiny, the only thing that matters is whether we know him.
Paul writes about this in Philippians 3. He lists some of his spiritual achievements and his birthright as a Jew. But he writes:
“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ”.
Do you know him? Do you believe in his complete sacrifice? (John 3)
Do you love him? (John 14)
If you don’t know him, Peter says in Acts 2 “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Pray and ask Him to come into your life. Repent of your sins and be baptised. Talk to a Christian friend, family member or church leader about it.
If you do know him, continue to run your race with endurance (Hebrews 12), and bear fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3).