"Lord, Lord" (Matthew 7:21-23)
Topic: One Lord: So Great a Salvation Passage: Matthew 7:21–23
Main Passage: Mathew 7:21-23
Opening Question: If you were to breathe your last breath today would God
accept or reject you?
Intro: So this morning were gonna be opening up to Mathew chapter 7 vs. 21-23.
We’re skipping ahead a little bit from where Pastor last left off. If you’re
unfamiliar with this passage, let me give you a little backdrop on what’s going on.
So Jesus is preaching what we like to call the Sermon on the Mount. Or what
Pastor calls the mountain messages of Jesus. Jesus hits on multiple topics, from
anger, to lust, divorce, giving, loving, praying, fasting, treasure, anxiety, and for
us today judgment. I’m gonna break down the passage verse by verse so that we
can get a clear picture of what Jesus is trying to communicate to us through
(7:21) Not everyone: Despite the popular belief that everyone on Earth that dies
is going to heaven. Jesus tells us otherwise. Not everyone who says to me
Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. Well lets pause right here for a
second. These people clearly know who it is they are speaking to for they call him
Lord uppercase which is a sign of authority. So how is it that those who call on
him as Lord are rejected from entering into the kingdom of heaven? Let’s look
deeper. “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.” “Not
everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven…” Hold
up lets pause for a second. One of the key words that should pop out right away
is this word everyone. Does this mean that some people who say ‘Lord, Lord’ will
enter the kingdom of heaven? And if that’s so then what’s the difference
between these two sets of people saying ‘Lord, Lord’? Keep those questions in
the back of your minds as we continue to unpack this verse. “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.”
Ahh... so the reason these people do not enter the kingdom of heaven is because
they did not do the will of the Father who is in heaven. So the next question
would be what is the will of the Father? I’ve concluded that there are two ways
of talking about the will of God. Both are true, and both are important to
understand and believe in. I love how John Piper put it.” One we can call God’s
will of decree (or his sovereign will) and the other we can call God’s will of
command. His will of decree always comes to pass whether we believe in it or
not. And then we have God's will of command which can be broken, and is every
day.” For example Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “This is the will of God, your
sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.” Paul also says in 1
Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in
Christ Jesus for you.” These two pieces of scripture point us to God's will of
command which as human beings we can break everyday. We tend to engage
into sexual immorality and refuse to give thanks in all circumstances. That being
said based off of the context of this passage I would say that Jesus is speaking on
his will of command.
So verse 21 really leaves us with the sense that it’s the one who does the will of
God that will enter the kingdom of Heaven. But look at what Jesus goes on to say
because he’s going to expand on this idea of the will of the Father. Let’s look at
verse 22 together.
(7:22) On that day: Verse 22 says 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?’ So while these people were on Earth they
were prophesying in the name of Jesus, doing mighty works in the name of Jesus
and even casting out demons in the name of Jesus. That sounds like the life of
someone who loves Jesus. It’s very easy for us believers to slip into a worksbased
mindset marking up good works that you’ve done with the idea that you
will be able to convince God that you’re good enough to enter into His presence.
But verse 23 tells us differently take a look Jesus says And then will I declare to
them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.
Whoa! Dreams shattered in an instant! “I never knew you; depart from me, you
workers of lawlessness.” In Acts chapter 19 we get a small glimpse of some of
these ‘Lord, Lord’ people at their finest. Acts 19:13-17 says...
Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the
Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus
whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were
doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I
recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped
on them, mastered all[a] of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of
that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of
Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the
Lord Jesus was extolled.
Okay so clearly we see that the name of Jesus first and foremost is no name to
play with. And second we see these Jewish exorcists are using the name of Jesus
as a means for them to receive glory from man. These ‘Lord,Lord’ people have
come to God with a sense of merit, as if showy works are from God. When they
are not! Now some of you may be thinking well Jesus did showy works he did all
kinds of miracles that people saw. But the difference between Jesus performing
miracles and these ‘Lord, Lord’ people performing miracles is the heart behind
the action. God looks at the heart of every man, is the heart a loving humble
heart that trusts in God and puts Him first? Or is the heart cold disobedient and
dead? The one who is a true child of God is being sanctified and transformed by
God. Jesus is trying to change us from the inside out.
Therefore these people who “claim” to have done many mighty works in Jesus
name did in fact do many mighty works in Jesus name, but for their own gain!
They prophesied in Jesus name for their own gain! And casted out demons in
Jesus name for their own gain! But hold up now some of y’all may be thinking
this is starting to sound a little legalistic. Is what we do ultimately what makes us
right with God?
Clearly words alone won’t save you, and doing all of these great works seem to
be counted by God as meaningless. So the only deciding factor left to consider is
did this person do the will of the Father period. You see the doing is only possible
through what Christ has done first. For example we can go around telling people
we love Jesus with all of our heart when in all actuality we spend less time
meditating and savoring the beautiful glory of God and more time doing
absolutely anything else! Talk is cheap, living out what you say is what God is
truly looking for. This takes us to our final verse.
(7:23) I never knew you And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you;
depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. Matthew 25:41-45 paints a perfect
picture for us of that final day of judgment listen to verses 41-45 of Mathew 25...
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the
eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave
me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you
did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you
did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you
hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister
to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do
it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go
away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Remember when Jesus said in verse 22 on that day. Well it’s in these verses that we get a fuller picture of that day. The day of judgment. So what does any of this have to do with you and your life as of today? If we look back at our original question which is if you were to breathe your last breath today would God accept or reject you? The answer to this question holds eternal weight for you. We’ve learned that many will stand before God with a sense of entitlement and many will be cast away into eternal judgment. So what’s the difference between ministry as defined by these ‘Lord, Lord’ people here and ministry defined in Mathew 25?
The difference is plain and simple on one hand we have those who fed the
hungry clothed the naked visited and ministered to the sick and imprisoned and
on the flip side of the coin we have the ‘Lord, Lord’ people who did miraculous
acts of power which everyone loves and are very exciting to see and sadly there
is a whole strand of Christianity that’s just about miraculous signs and sometimes
that takes away from everything that God says about these miraculous
opportunities to be a blessing to people. Jesus did do miraculous acts of power
but he didn’t do it to say look at what I got going on. Bottom line the difference
between the saved and the lost is Christ.
And if you don’t believe me about the difference between these two sets of
people on one hand the ‘Lord, Lord’ people and on the other hand the true
followers of Christ then just believe Jesus when he actually calls all of this
ministry stuff that they were doing lawlessness what defined them wasn’t any of
that stuff it’s that they are workers of lawlessness because they weren’t
following God's laws they set themselves up as look at what we are doing. Even
when people are doing ministry in the name of Jesus it can be lawlessness the
very acts themselves can be lawlessness because they do it for their own glory
not God’s. We believers should say ‘Lord, Lord’ when we gaze upon the splendor
of our King in all of His glory. Our ‘Lord, Lord’ will be out of a sense of desperate
need and a deep sense of inadequacy and awe. While the others who say ‘Lord,
Lord’ will be their way of trying to prove to God that they are worthy enough to
be counted as righteous.
Application: Let me give you a few things to think about.
Number one actions and words mean nothing to God if not done in accordance
to His will. Who are we living for? How important are our motivations.
Number two is what I really want you to grasp listen closely. What we say and do
matters not only because we reflect the image of God to all people but also
because what we say and do directly reflects who we are as individuals.
Let me say that again. What we say and do church matters not only because we
reflect the image of God to all people the moment we place the name of Jesus
Christ as our banner all eyes everywhere whether your aware of it or not are on
you. Therefore what we say and do directly reflects who we are as individuals.
How easy is it for us to do a bunch of different stuff that we think is good stuff?
Well we only know it’s good if we go to scripture you might think it’s good to
spend your time this way or that way but either God’s Word says that’s not good
or His word will say here’s 10 things that are far better to do.
As believers God's will for us includes caring for the poor and the hungry but…
it’s not only caring for the poor and the hungry and it’s not first caring for the
poor and the hungry its first preaching the gospel. Make disciples of all nations
were the final words of Jesus to send them out. Jesus teaches us how helping the
poor and feeding the hungry are part of the most important work of making
disciples but they are never said to be the main way of bringing people to Christ.
The basic biblical statement is we are not saved by good works we are saved for
good works. That does not mean we just sit back and like people say let Jesus
take the wheel no that should inspire us to want to serve the Lord and do the will
of God. But we know that it’s not us but what Christ accomplished in us by the
cross. So our works do reflect who we are which is born again and belonging to
And third the one who spoke here Jesus died to make salvation possible for all
who believe, the Jew first and also the Greek. Christ came to secure all of the
provision that we need, and that we worry about. Philippians 4:19 says, And my
God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
You see our hearts are desperately wicked and we trust in things rather than the
one who made all things. We trust in the quote unquote good things we have
done rather than what Christ has already done on our behalf. The fact of the
matter is this… each of us will die and stand before God it’s inevitable the only
question that remains is when and the only way any of us are going to enter into
God's presence is through who church? Jesus!