Lord Have We Not Prophesied In Your Name? A Closer Look At Matthew 7:21-23



Like I have always said, there are no controversies in the scriptures. Especially when it comes to the subject of Salvation. No dark sides at all.
The parts of scripture we often have a had time understanding are mostly the ones we have either approached with preconceived notions or not studied within the context.
Such is the issue of Matthew 7:21-23 which many people turn to when they want to negate the fact that the believer in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ has been eternally saved.
But what is this part of scripture really about? What was Jesus actually trying to say there?
(Mat 7:21)  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.
(Mat 7:22)  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?
(Mat 7:23)  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
To properly understand what Jesus was saying in these verses, let’s take a closer look at them again. This time, beginning with the verses before them so we can really get the point He was making there.
(Mat 7:15)  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
(Mat 7:16)  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
(Mat 7:17)  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
(Mat 7:18)  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
(Mat 7:19)  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
(Mat 7:20)  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
So from verse 15, we see that Jesus was talking specifically about False Prophets. He called them Wolves in sheep’s clothing. Not Sheep turned to Wolves. As their identity never really changed from the beginning. Please pay attention here.
These prophets were called false majorly because they failed to acknowledge the Saviourhood of Jesus although they worked miracles in His name. They strictly depended on what they did for Him (their own good works or self righteousness) rather than what He did for them for access into Heaven. This is clearly revealed from verse 21-23. See it again.
(Mat 7:21)  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.
(Mat 7:22)  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?
(Mat 7:23)  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Notice how that in verse 21 Jesus said Heaven is for those who have done the will of the Father? The will of the Father there is singular. That would mean while we can do several things for the Father, there is something specific He would have us do in order to enter into His Kingdom.
To know what it is that God would have us do for this purpose, let’s see the below scriptures.
(Joh 6:28)  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
(Joh 6:29)  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
John in his epistle repeated this.
(1Jn 3:22)  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
(1Jn 3:23)  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
Clearly, the will of the Father there is for us to believe in the sacrifice of Jesus of the one He has sent. Not just in the ability of His name to work miracles but to save us from sin.
The rendering of verse 22 of that Matthew 7 shows us that these false prophets have never at any time done this will of God rather they depended on their own efforts (their prophecies and other good works) as a criteria to enter into Heaven. Little wonder Jesus clearly stated His response to people like that in the next verse. “I never knew you.”
“I never knew you” not “I once knew you” like most people erroneously assume that place is saying. In other words, “we have never had a relationship between us,” “you have never been mine. Not at all.”
This is the singular reason anyone would ever go to Hell - because they have never been Christ’s own. They have never had any form of relationship with Him through faith in His finished works.
So when next as a believer someone brings up Matthew 7:21-23 to beat you into doubt and fear as regarding your eternal destination, look at him in the eye and say, “I’m the man in Christ. Where He goes is where I go. Where He is is where I am. And even now, I am seated with Him in the Heavenlies.” Ephesians 2:5-6.
I hope this blesses you.
Glory to God our Saviour and King!

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