by Ron Graham


“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21. As you can see from the above verse there will be those who, although in their minds believe they’re in good spiritual condition in regards to spending eternity in Heaven, the fact is they’re not now, nor have they ever been in Christ’s book of life. The above verse was not placed in the Bible to instill fear into the hearts of the born again believer, but to warn those who think they’re justified (saved) but in reality are not.


“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”Matthew 7:22-23. It’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t argue with these folks about all the good works they performed in His name, but plainly tells them He never knew them.


Clearly there are many who profess to be Christian and even do many good works in the name of Jesus Christ, but when it comes to being in a one on one loving relationship with the Creator of the universe the evidence just isn’t there. “I never knew you” spoken by our Creator will be a horrible edict when heard at the end of a life dominated by good works.


According to Jesus Himself, it isn’t what we do for Him it’s our relationship with Him that matters. He wants to know us personally and He wants us to know Him in this same manner. This awesome relationship will create a trust; we will trust Jesus the more we get to know Him. Before we even realize what’s happening, our trust in Him will grow into a relationship dominated by our love for Him. By placing our lives, our trust, and hope in His very capable hands we are well on our way to cementing that one on one relationship that He wants and expects, and that we should desire as much as He.


When we say yes to Jesus Christ a change occurs in who we are, we become born again, which will be an obvious sign that something about us is different. Those who’ve known us in the past will be amazed at the transformation that has taken place. The change may be gradual for some and instantaneous for others, but change you will. As this process (which God enacts in us) becomes evident our rebellion to God will cease. Those who are truly born again will never hear those heartbreaking words “I never knew you” But it’s obvious that many shall.


Jesus’ words are clear “…I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:23b. These workers of iniquity have not been forgiven because there was no real conversion on their part.Those of us who are born again have a one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ. Conversion comes when we first decide to place our faith, trust, and hope in Christ alone for salvation. This new relationship in Christ will be acknowledged by the Creator of the universe Himself as He seals His Holy Spirit within each of us. Our faith in Jesus Christ is the key.


There are two sides to every coin, and the other side of this coin is steeped in lies. It’s the purpose of the father of all lies (Satan) to see that there is no relationship between God and His creation ever established. He’s got one agenda and that is to confuse, disrupt, corrupt, and to lead astray all who will accept his lies over the truth given to us by our Creator. Could the words of Jesus be any clearer?“Not everyone who saith unto me Lord, Lord…” Matthew 7:21a. Keep a watchful eye on what you are being taught, and what you believe about the Creator of the universe. Yes, Jesus is the Son of God, but He is also God Almighty. If you don’t believe this truth about who Jesus Christ is, you’re already in the grips of deception and headed down a path that has no connection to Christ whatsoever.


Satan’s deceptions know no bounds or boarders. A recurring warning throughout the scriptures is one of being watchful that we are not deceived “Take heed that ye be not deceived:” Luke 21:8. Those who believe that is their works that save them are wallowing in the muck and mire of satanic deception. 


We must always be on our toes when it comes to the truth of the scriptures. Many will teach lies subtly – going ever so slightly off the mark – and many more will, through the corruption of those same scriptures, teach pure unadulterated deception. These folks, unwittingly, belong to Satan. Allow me to present an example of false teaching. A popular pastor/evangelist has recently released his new book in which he attempts to dispel the idea of Hell. He does this by stating that no human being can be absolutely sure anyone has ever been sent to such an awful place. Never mind the numerous scriptures that plainly point out the existence of Hell. This man believes everyone goes to Heaven no matter what they believe. Worse yet is the fact that this man pastors a huge congregation of 10,000 who are allowing themselves to be led by a man who is himself led by the father of all lies, Satan.


There are many folks who are very interested in seeking the truth, and many believe they’ve found that truth among a fully apostate congregation or false religion. These are those Jesus is speaking to in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 7. His words, “I never knew you” are a sad commentary on our times. So many think they’re in good shape eternally, but according to Jesus Himself that just isn’t the case. Honestly, do you think Jesus is speaking to just a couple of people as He claims no personal relationship with these folks? The truth of the matter is He is more likely speaking of multitudes of foolish, deceived individuals.


Be careful people, even many seminaries and Christian colleges teach erroneously these days. In a little Presbyterian church just down the road from where we live, they recently had to dismiss their pastor because she tried to teach the congregation that Jesus was a sinner (don’t even get me started on women pastors). When she responded to those who dismissed her she told them she was taught in seminary that Jesus had sinned. It’s a good thing that someone in the leadership of that small church had read their Bible. The only way we are going to be deceived is by listening to someone else tell us what the Bible says instead of searching the scriptures for ourselves to see if it is so (see Acts 17:11). 


Something that has come to my attention over and over again in the last few years is the practice of reading the Bible through in a year. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but reading your Bible through in a year just to say you did it and perhaps receive an award from your church leadership will not provide you with the study habits needed to garner the knowledge available in God’s word to fend off the lies from false teachers. Only a line upon line, precept upon precept study habit, along with taking in the whole counsel of God will protect you from the great apostasy that’s coming, and which in large part is already here. 


Many, in this nation of ours at least, attend churches which are jam packed with fully apostate doctrines. They’re being fed, that’s true, but if a person drinks enough arsenic… Many Christian churches are led by pastors who are only interested in tickling the ears of their parishioners; these folks don’t understand how serious Jesus is when He made the proclamation “I never knew you”.


“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15. It’s not hard to lead people around by their noses. Men and women have been doing just that to the simple minded for many millennia. The difficult part is getting them to see the truth after they’ve been indoctrinated with Satan’s lies. Chuck Missler, a Bible teacher whom I admire greatly, makes an appropriate statement at the beginning of one of his books. It’s a warning to all who might desire to venture further into reading his book, it states as follows:



This book can prove seriously disruptive to the comfort of closely held presuppositions.


People get suckered in and literally hooked on a lie; that lie becomes so imbedded in their psyche that God’s truth can no longer penetrate their mind. Many professing Christians hold to erroneous presuppositions and have no intention of allowing any disruption to their beliefs (comfort zones) because they are unwilling to search the scriptures for themselves. Instead these folks allow false teachers to promote their lies which in many cases are mixed with some truth. These lies then are embedded in the minds of those who are too lazy to search the scriptures for themselves.  


Many erect stonewalls when their presuppositions are attacked, even if there’s just a simple suggestion that something may be amiss in their belief system. This phenomenon can happen to anyone who is not prepared for the eventuality of Satan’s lies. 


When it comes to our relationship with Jesus Christ, God our Savior, nothing is more important. It’s not whether or not you go to church, it’s not how many scripture verses you’ve memorized, it’s not whether or not you’ve read your Bible through in a year, it’s do you know Jesus the Christ, and just as important is the question does He know you? Commit yourself to establishing a personal relationship, fully focused on our coming King. You won’t be sorry as you’ll avoid hearing these heartbreaking words “I never knew you.”   


God bless you all,

Ron Graham

96 County Road 5480 – Salem, MO 65560

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed

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The words of Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23 are often quoted, but commonly misapplied. In this familiar passage our Lord declared, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he 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 perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”

Unfortunately, this passage is often presented to genuine believers in an attempt to get them to “do more.” Such badgering is not helpful, and can actually rob those weak in faith of the assurance of salvation. I suspect you have heard this passage used in such a way. But have you stopped to really think about not only what Jesus said, but what the hearers said to Christ? Or better yet, what they didn’t say.

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What they didn’t say reveals why they will be sent away from the Lord forever. They didn’t say, “But Lord, you died for our sins on the cross.” And they didn’t say, “Lord, we have been trusting in your sacrifice for salvation. Our only hope is in what you did to pay for our sins.” They didn’t say those things. Instead, they pointed to their works. They pointed to the very things which they were relying upon to earn a spot in heaven.

The reason they will be sent away forever is not because they didn’t do enough works. It’s because they don’t know the Lord. Jesus knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. (see John 10:14) The only way to meet Jesus is through faith. And it is only through faith that man remains connected to God’s saving grace. It is not something we earn on the front end, in the middle, or on Judgment Day. It is grace through and through.

Having said that, we must always affirm the importance of good works. These works flow from faith in Christ, and are evident in the life of someone who is born again. “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:17) But why is such “faith” dead? Is it dead because the person isn’t doing enough works? No. It is dead because it is not grounded in Christ alone.

Saving faith always relies completely upon Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. And once that happens, the works will follow. But not in order to “make faith come alive.” Faith is alive the minute the Holy Spirit works the miracle of conversion in the heart of a person. This is the moment an individual stops trying to earn salvation, and instead, places confidence in Christ and His work on the cross.

In fact, you cannot do your first good work for God until you first trust Christ alone. Jesus was once asked, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” He answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.” (John 6:28,29) They wanted to know what they must do. And Christ pointed instead to what God does. Jesus called it “the work of God.” Faith is always the foundation for any God-pleasing works in the life of a believer.

Think of faith in Christ as the foundation, and your works as the house which God is building upon that foundation. If you try building your “spiritual house” without first having the proper foundation, it will all come crashing down in the end. And those are the people to whom the Lord will say, “I never knew you. Depart from me.” They are not connected to Christ, and so their works are in vain. They have the wrong foundation, and it will cost them dearly.

The apostle Paul wrote, “No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 3:11) It’s the only foundation God accepts. It’s why Christ left heaven and came to earth to give His life. But tragically, many people assume the foundation and the house are their responsibility. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you attempt to build the foundation and the house, you will fail miserably. It’s that way for everyone. We are all sinners. And sinners are not capable of building a house which God accepts, let alone a foundation. God must be the author of it in order for it to last. This is why Scripture refers to Jesus as “the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)

So how is it with your faith? Are you the author of it, and the finisher? Or is God the author of it? For believers, God is the one who not only “began a good work in you,” but also the one who “will bring it to completion in the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Some well-meaning Christians regularly use Christ’s words in Matthew 7:21-23 to push people to “do more” in order to prove they are genuine believers. But this is a misguided approach. While it is true that some professing believers are not connected at all to the Lord, it is also true that the real problem lies with a lack of repentance and a lack of faith.

You see, it’s not “doing more” which will fix this problem. Instead, the need is for us to humbly turn to the Lord as we repent and believe the good news. It’s the only way to know Jesus. And then we can begin living for him and doing the works He commands us to do. But only after the proper foundation is laid.

If you sincerely want to live for the Lord and you are trusting Christ alone to save you, then don’t worry. Christ is not going to tell you, “Depart from me. I never knew you.” So go forth in the confident assurance of your salvation, and ask God to work through you in sharing His love with others.


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