Wealth, health, ease, luxury and popularity often get a great deal of promotion in the USAmerican Christian church-scape. Bigger, richer, higher quality, faster, smoother and the more pleasing to people, the better for this mindset.
Add to this the notion that people do nothing in the salvation equation. Preached loudly and clearly from many platforms is the message, “What must I do to be saved?” “NOTHING!” Is the erroneous reply.
Into the landscape dominated by such nonsense, Pastor Philippe simply reads the words of Jesus:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23
No high IQ needed for understanding these words of Jesus. He simply says that a person can move in the gift of prophecy, deliverance ministry and mighty works all in the name of Jesus and NOT enter the kingdom of heaven.
The mental gymnastics I have heard about these verses is nearly unbelievable. Why do we tolerate the tendency to explain away, in bizarre ways, the plain and simple meaning of Jesus?
They say things like, “The kingdom of heaven isn’t heaven, it is your inheritance in heaven.” But, that’s not what Jesus said. Or they say, “The kingdom of heaven isn’t related to salvation. Not all of the saved will enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Let’s not shape the text to a theology but form theology from the text!
Without a doubt, there are accomplishments in the “name of Jesus” that can not be equated with the assurance of salvation. Prophecy, deliverance and mighty works in the name of Jesus are not necessarily proof of salvation.
The person, and the only one, who enters the kingdom of heaven is that person doing the will of the Father in heaven. Please notice that Jesus didn’t say that the one who enters the kingdom of heaven did (past tense) the will of the Father, but in current time, here and now, does (or, is doing) the will of the Father.
In this passage, the answer to “What must I do to be saved?” is simple and clear. “What must I do to be saved?” “You must do the will of the Father.”
Jesus is saying that there is a prophecy, deliverance and mighty act done in the name of Jesus that is NOT the will of the Father. Strange, indeed, but still true. I am not sure why the Father would bless a prophecy, deliverance and mighty act that wasn’t His will, but He does. In this we see that the Father is honoring the holy name of His Son.
Jesus gives us further insight into entering the kingdom of heaven when he reveals why these doers are not allowed to enter the kingdom, “I never knew you.”
There is a doing of the will of the Father that flows from the Father knowing you. All of the visible measurements are not adequate for entering the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is for those, and only those, who are doing the will of the Father and knowing the Father’s will is something the Father gives to those He knows.
(Photo from www.jaroland74.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/known-by-god.jpg)