There are many statements and combinations of words in the New Testament that can conjure up fear, worry, and feelings of dread. Certainly more than can be addressed in this article.
However, there are seven words, according to at least several translations, that must be some of the most dreaded and feared of all recorded words spoken by anyone in the Bible. They were spoken by Jesus Christ. And He spoke them as the words that He will speak in the future to a group of people who stand before Him to receive His judgment of their works as followers of Him.
Probably most Christians are familiar with the term "the judgment". And most are familiar with the evaluation of the seven churches by Jesus recorded in the book of Revelation. All but one are sternly warned to make changes in the church He addresses, or suffer various punishments. Only the one - Philadelphia - receives only commendation and no negative comments or condemnation.
The letters to the six churches of Revelation contain fearful declarations by Jesus unless they change the conditions He describes, dire punishment in a certainty. Repentance would bring forgiveness and healing to the six churches, and forgiveness of the sin He describes.
As dire as the messages to the six churches are, there is a warning spoken by Jesus that is even more
frightening, and can conjure up fear and even horror in the heart of everyone who claims to be a Christian. It is especially frightening to those who "do the Lord's work".
Notice Jesus' words:
"Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]." - Matthew 7:21-23 (Amplified Bible)
The scope of what Jesus said is almost indescribable. Notice that Jesus does not refute those who make their claims. He does not say they did not do the works they refer to. He he did not say they were lying or exaggerating, their claims so they must depart from Him. There will be only one thing that separates these who make claims that are apparently true.
It is because Jesus never knew them.
Even with all their accomplishments in His name. Jesus says depart from me, "I NEVER KNEW YOU". Some today would be tempted to say its impossible. In order to do such mighty works, they must have known and been known by Jesus Christ.
Those to whom He says these things had never known Jesus' priorities. The priority is a personal relationship with Him. That is the start point. And as we see, it is also the ending point. It is difficult for many to believe that such "mighty works" can be done outside of knowing and being rightly related to Jesus Christ.
But we must believe they have been done, and are being done - without being known and accepted by Jesus Christ. As though this were not enough, Jesus also says they are doing whatever they are doing "wickedly", while appearing to be genuine Christians and doing many laudable things.
What is their deadly flaw? They have never known Jesus personally. Therefore, He does know them.
May you be filled with Godly fear, making sure that you really know Jesus, so that He may never need to say: "depart from me...I never knew you".
" For we know Him Who said, Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the meting out of full justice rest with Me]; I will repay [I will exact the compensation], says the Lord. And again, The Lord will judge and determine and solve and settle the cause and the cases of His people. It is a fearful (formidable and terrible) thing to incur the divine penalties and be cast into the hands of the living God!" - Hebrews 10:30-31
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