Well, here is the scripture and it came from the lips of Jesus himself:
“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 7:22-23 (New KJV)We always think that those who will miss eternity with the Lord and head for hell are guys like Hitler, Pol Pot, and Jeffrey Dahmer. I guess we don’t want to think about many of those being judged as having a position of ministry for the very King who will reject them. That scripture is scary because those people went right up to the judgment thinking that they were “in”...saved...having it made. And Jesus said that he never knew them. Yikes!
Knowing Jesus isn’t enough! Let me say that again: KNOWING JESUS ISN’T ENOUGH. In Acts an unclean spirit tells some vagabond Jewish exorcists:
And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? Acts 19:13-15 (KJV)
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. James 2:19 (NIV)
Everyone knows God, even someone in the dark kingdom who resists His divine plan. The key to eternity is not knowing Jesus, but being known of him.
But the man who loves God is known by God. 1 Corinthians 8:3 (NIV)
So here are a few tips for you to know if you are known of God.
Jesus said that his sheep hear his voice and He calls them by name in John 10:3. Do you hear the voice of your shepherd? Are your quiet times a two way street where you do both talking and listening? Do you have a regular quiet time?
Jesus said that he is the vine and we are the branches in John 15:5, and that the branches will bear much fruit if they are connected to him. How’s your harvest these days? Are you bearing the kind of fruit that God finds pleasing? If you are not sure what the “fruit of the Spirit” is, look it up in Galatians 5:22.
And thirdly, Jesus said something that we all hate to do. Here it is:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24 (NIV)
Ouch! Denying ourself is extremely hard to do. Don’t we really want the kind of ministry that the band Genesis pokes fun at? I heard a pastor call it “heaven to go to heaven in”. This ain’t heaven folks! This is boot camp for eternity. This is preparatory school. And if you put your eyes on many of the ministers who have slipped and faced big falls in the past like Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggert, Ted Haggard, and the myriads of priests who have been caught in indiscretions, you could possibly miss out on being known of the true Shepherd of your souls. Don't let any minister or any MAN distract you from being in the flock.
Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 2 Peter 1:10 (NIV)Take some time today and ask your righteous judge if you are known of him. And then listen. I believe He will tell you. If you are, then press on and fight the good fight of faith. If you are not sure, then get saved. You know what to do, or you wouldn’t even be reading this blog.