Session #059 Not Everyone
Scripture Matthew 7:21-23
Summary It is easy to disregard Matt 7:21-23 and think that it does not apply at all. However, these are still the words of the King and it is important to consider what He is saying to all who consider themselves people of the kingdom. In this teaching, Henson clarifies that there is nothing with the WOW of the kingdom – prophecy, deliverance, miracles. But as impressive as these are, the WOW must always line up with the WILL and WAY of the King. In that day, may we not be counted amongst the “not everyone” of this passage.
“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. 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?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21–23 (Parallel Passage: Luke 13:22-31)
Genuine Christianity begins with true conversion. Genuine Christianity produces a fruitful life. And finally, genuine Christianity ends with a favourable judgment.
Who is Everyone?
Is this passage meant for Everyone? If so, who is the “everyone”?
Looking at the immediate passage before this, Jesus was teaching on the false prophets and ministers. Thus Not Everyone may imply not every minister who moves with such impressive manifestations will enter the kingdom of God.
In a broader context in Matthew 7:13-14, a Choice was presented, the narrow vs the broad gate. This was spoken to disciples and the people of the kingdom. A parallel context, Luke 13:22-31, where Jesus was speaking to a general audience. Thus, Everyone simply means everyone, that is you and me.
Jesus cautions that Not Everyone who considers themselves as part of the kingdom will enter the kingdom of God.
The Will, Wow and Way of the Kingdom of God
“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. [Will] 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?’ [Wow] And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ [Way] Matthew 7:21-23
Is not the Wow part of the Father’s Will?
Many will seek clarification with the Wow: “Have we not…?” There is nothing wrong with prophesying, casting out demons or working miracles. The King Himself goes about doing these immediately after Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 8 & 9). Jesus sends His disciples out to do the same (Matthew 10). But do these constitute the Father’s Will? Yes, but there is more to just doing the Father’s Will.
The Father’s Will is to be done in the Name of the Son. The Father and the Son are One, and the Father has given all authority to the Son. Did we not use the right name and authority and get the right results? Yes, but there is more to just using the name of Jesus.
The key is that The Will Of The King Must Be Done In The Ways Of The King. It may involve the Wow, but we are not to be distracted by the Wows.
Five Points about the Wow
Displays of the gifts of the Spirit must be matched by the fruit of the Spirit. Those who exercise these gifts do it entirely by grace. Charismata literally means “that which is given by grace”. Pneumatikon means “spirituals”. Gifts can be immediate, but the fruit must be grown over time. Charisma without character will be judged by the King.
Profit of the Body, not for the profit of self (1 Corinthians 12:8). However, people naturally gravitate towards individuals who display these supernatural manifestations. People wanted to worship Paul and Barnabas in Lystra too (Acts 14:8-18). The Wow factor is not to draw people to oneself but to point them to God. There may be possible abuse or misuse, personal agendas and profit manipulations like Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8.
Kingdom Power vs Kingdom Purpose. These may demonstrate the power of the kingdom, but they do not necessarily address the issues of the kingdom which are love, justice, mercy (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Followers of Signs or the King? Beneficiaries of such manifestations do not necessarily translate into believers or disciples or subjects of the King. Jesus healed many, but how many followed Him as disciples? Follow the King, not the signs. In Matthew 16:4 we are warned that those who seek the sign will not find it. In Mark 16:17–18, we see that those who follow the King, the signs will follow them.
In the last days, there will be lying signs and wonders, to deceive and detract (Matthew 24:24). In the New Testament, the apostles warn the people that many false prophets will arise and lead them astray (Matthew 24:11, Mark 13:22; 2 Peter 2:1-3).
We are not to have merely messianic manifestations but also messianic missions, mandates, manifesto, and maturity.
Whilst we readily measure men and women of God against their ability or inability to move in these gifts such as impartation and anointing, these were not Jesus’ indicators at all. We must be careful not to fall into the same trap of wrong thinking.
Jesus did not say that these were wrong or bad. But His emphasis and evaluation just were not based on these. Instead Doing the Father’s Will in the Father’s Way. Kingdom assignments must be done with the right kingdom foundation and perspectives
You can have all the Wow and impress everyone. But without the Will and the Way, it means nothing at all. Jesus Wowed everyone. But He taught and showed the Way, doing the Father’s Will by dying on the cross.
Paul had the Wow factor too. But he remained obedient to the heavenly vision (Will), teaching everyone the Way of the kingdom.
The Way of the Kingdom
The Sermon on the Mount is about the Law of the King, the Way (Matthew 5:17). Love fulfils the law, it is about loving God and loving others.
In the last days, lawlessness will abound and many will stray from the Way (2 Thessalonians 2:7). The Love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). There will be an increase of focus on Self over a focus on others, for people will be lovers of themselves (2 Timothy 3:1-5). The end will justify the means, and they will be prepared to redefine or discard the Way for the sake of the Will. Some will even be willing to disregard the Way for the sake of more Wow.
We use Our Way or try to make the Way more attractive, more palatable or easier. We make our Own Laws to move with the times and shifting values, to be relevant with the times. Man’s laws can never replace God’s laws. Sin is not preached today, or it is overlooked in the name of love and grace. But sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
Lord, are there few who are saved? Luke 13:23
Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” (Luke 13:23).
Salvation is not a point in time, it is a process. We are saved. We are being saved. We will be saved. It is always by grace through faith (Titus 2:11–14).
Now that you have been saved, live righteously. Learn the ways of the King and be empowered to live the ways of the King by the Spirit of the Christ (1 John 3:4–9).
Not Everyone Who Says They are Christians Live as Christians
You can confess Jesus as Saviour and Lord, and still live lawlessly. You can attend church and serve actively and still live lawlessly. You can presume upon grace and still live lawlessly. You can Wow people with the gifts and still live lawlessly. There will be no name dropping at heaven’s door. Your words will not save you on that day.
More than just the Wow Factor: Doing the Will of the Father (Matthew 7:21)
We may rest on the sacrifice of Jesus to redeem our lawless deeds. But can we rest on Jesus’ completion of the Father’s Will and then excuse ourselves and do nothing?
There is only one mention of God’s will in Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God does His Will through those who are willing to do His Will. That is knowing and fulfilling our kingdom assignments.
The other mention of God’s Will is in Matthew 12:46–50 which we can paraphrase, “Not everyone who claims to be in the family of God is a true brother or sister, but he or she who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Only disciples who do the will of the Father and King are true members of the household of God.
How can we know the Will of God?
Renew the mind as Paul teaches in Romans 12:2. By the Mercies of God, walk in wisdom (Ephesians 5:17). The Fear of the Lord, the beginning of wisdom.
The Will of God for Everyone
Salvation through Jesus is into His Kingdom, not just Heaven (1 Timothy 2:4). But many reject the Will of God like the Pharisees and lawyers in Luke 7:30.
Kingdom Life is Living The Entire Sermon on the Mount, The Kingdom Manifesto. Other New Testament references merely expand on this. Sanctification, to abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3). To be God-pleasers and not men-pleasers (Ephesians 6:6). Doing good, even if it means suffering for it (1 Peter 2:15; 3:17; 4:19). Enduring and receiving the promise after you have done the will of God (Hebrews 10:36). Know your specific Kingdom Assignments (Coossiansl 4:17). Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks (1 Thessalonians 16-18). In the end, entrance in the everlasting kingdom, everlasting Life forge who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:17).
The Challenge: God’s Will or Self-Will or Rule?
Who is King? If we consider ourselves subjects of the kingdom, we must recognize that we were redeemed (bought with a price) and we are no longer our own. We have a new Master and King of righteousness. Look at Jesus in John 5:30 and Luke 22:42 who seeks the Father’s Will.
I Never Knew You?
Some argue that since Jesus said, “I never knew you, depart from Me,” He was referring to unbelievers. This is possible but He was warning His disciples too. 2 Timothy 2:19 assures us that “The Lord knows those who are His,” but immediately warns “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Just before that, Paul mentions Hymenaeus and Philetus who have strayed from the truth. As such, “I never knew you” is about Rejection Not Recognition.
Jesus knows everyone, but do we really know Him?
Know: The knowledge of the Lord. We are to have experiential knowledge through relationship and intimacy (Ephesians 1:17).
Love: Knowing the King and loving Him. “To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19).
Obey: If you love Me, you will obey Me. We begin to walk the ways of the King. We begin to do the will of the King. Lawlessness and self-will are essentially disobedience. The clearest indicator: Obedience to His ways and His will. Jesus concludes “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them…”
More than the Wow, it is the Will and the Way of the King. The Choice is clearly presented. The Caution is clearly presented. The Consequence is clearly presented. We cannot say that we do not know or blame the pastors or prophets. Everyone has a personal responsibility. Not everyone will enter the kingdom on that day. Are you a Christian? A genuine Christian follows Christ. If you follow Jesus, you will end up in heaven. If you do not follow Him, you will end up somewhere else. In the end, it all comes down to Jesus. He is the Gate by which we enter. He is the Way that we follow.