Saturday, October 11, 2008

Not Everyone Who Says to Me, 'Lord, Lord'

21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to
me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name
drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I
never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

This evening, I had the opportunity to meet a fellow blogger, personally. We sat at StarBucks and discussed some reasoning for why a person should understand their salvation. I had been thinking about people who confess Christ and are told by the Lord, 'Away from me. I never knew you".

Why would someone who confesses Jesus to be “Lord”, having gifts of the spirit be cast into an eternity away from Christ? They did works of casting out demons and prophesied in Jesus’ name. They performed many miracles!

The answer is difficult to see, unless we have more information.

Backup. Verse 20 indicates that we should see a man as he is by the fruit he bares.

20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them

In Matthew chapter 25, verses 31-48, a similar occurrence is told of people who God does know and those who He does not know. Those whom He knows are known because of the things they did for the “least of” Jesus’ brothers. Jesus tells them that what they had done was done for Jesus. Conversely, those who did not do for the least of those brothers did not do for Jesus.

Jesus showed those in Matthew 25 that their relationship with Christ is built and cultivated by their inter-personal conduct between fellow man.

Paul told the Philippians in Philippians 1:15-18 that men do things out of selfish ambition and others do things out of love. Paul said he would rather that people did them out of love because this is what Christ desired in Matthew 25:31-48. But the bottom line is when Christ is preached; whether from pure motives or selfishly, the seed has been planted.

A man will show himself to be the man God wants him to be when he seeks diligently to establish the truths of God’s Gospel. In doing this, the false teaching will be exposed. False teaching and teaching out of selfish ambition can be described as ‘one attempting to secure his place in Heaven’ or, to be seeking his own righteousness. What should really be desired is a relationship with God. Then a person's place in Heaven will be secure.

What is important is that man seeks God!

God really does not want anyone to do nothing to maintain this relationship. He wants to be sought after. The true man of God will seek Him, never being satisfied that he knows all there is to know about God.

But these in Matthew 7:21-28 were performing. They felt the pride of the ability to look good to men in the work they were doing. God gave those He saved the ability to do works because it plants the seeds of the gospel. Look at what Paul says in Ephesians 4:7-12 about the benefit of the Holy Spirit giving gifts to men;

7But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led
captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9(Now that he ascended
what it is but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all
heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11And he gave some, apostles;
and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for
the edifying of the body of Christ:

If we are gifted in doing God’s work, we need to occasionally humble ourselves. Take a step down to make certain that your election is sure. Allow those whom you feel are lower in gifts and ability to teach you. Balance your pride with humility and see if you are willing to be taught. Follow the examples of those men whom you feel are not spiritually enlightened so that you will be able to witness the efforts of one who is striving, and that those who are striving may remind you to strive even though you may feel that you are already there.

Seeking God is a never ending quest.


preacherman said...

Thanks for sharing this with us.
It is wonderful to meet fellow bloggers in person. So much to share and encourage. I hope to meet more and more bloggers in person. Maybe you and I could meet sometime. Maybe I could come and do a revival at your church. I would love to meet you. I want you to know brother just in the short time I have known you your blogs (love one another and this one) has been a blessing to my life. You challenged me to stretch and grow in my faith. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I hope you and your family have a great weekend Jim.

Vicki said...

You said that man must seek God and that this is a never ending journey.
Much of your sadness may be you stretching towards heaven and the Lord. This is a time of revival in your heart. You are one step closer to being the man God intends. You are in the process of seeking God and His presence on a higher level.
Have faith because all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called to His purpose.
I love you.

Angela said...

Thanks to you and Vicki for coming to my church tonight. It was a pleasure to sit down and talk with you both. I agree that God treasures when people do things out of love for him. Motives matter. People who help us and spend time with us because they care are our friends. God wants our hearts, not just our actions. So nice to meet you and your sweet wife! Thanks for the dessert!

Greg said...

I've been blog-hopping and came across yours. Indeed, we must be humble, in order to reach God. There is no room for pride in a Christian's heart, unless it's pride in the awesomeness of our dear Savior. :)

My wife and I were talking about pride this week. We both blog and often participate in... ummm... lively.... yeah, lively.... discussions on the net, and it's sometimes a little tough to remain humble. Sometimes, especially when you know you're right, you just want to put someone in their place. But, as you apparently found out recently, that greatly diminishes our Christian influence on others. It is normal to get into a heated discussion, but it is Christ-like to stay humble, and even walk away.

Three more unrelated comments:
1) Your artwork is excellent. You should quit your day job. ;)
2) Your taste in blogging templates is also excellent (I use the same one!).
3) I think it's really sweet that your wife comments on your blog; my wife and I regularly visit each others', too.

jeleasure said...

Hi Greg,
Thanks for stopping by. I have left a comment on your blog. And, thanks for the compliment on 'our' mutual good taste.

Gigi said...

You are so right when you say "seeking God is a never ending quest." Too true! Isn't it wonderful that he gave us the template, a blueprint if you will, in His Word?! And our Lord is the epitomy of humility...can you imagine anything more humbling than shedding your God-hood to become man? I am moved to even type that. What an awesome God we serve!! He who served us FIRST! Blessings to you and Vicki!

Nitewrit said...


Your posts are always food for thought. It is true, isn't it, that when we see the light, we want it to grow brighter around us? I began my Blog for that purpose, to seek to grow and know more about God, but I also hoped in this way I might spread the wonderfulness of the Word to others. I believe this is why you write, too.

I hope it is all right with you if my next post takes up this same subject, although in a more personal way.

Another commenter said something I have been thinking: how nice it is your wife comments on your posts. It's wonderful.


jeleasure said...

Thanks Larry,
I don't mind that you write about this topic. I would love to read your thoughts and this topic, from your perspective. Should be interesting.
As for my wife, yes, she and I have decided to work harder on our marriage. We both work jobs. She works her day job and teaches piano in the evening. So, I guess what is needed is a little more attention where we can give it. And a lot less destraction from people who want to consume our lives.
There is nothing wrong with spending time with other people. I just need to be mindful of who is serious and who is just taking time from my wife.
Maybe something as simple as blogging will help us communicate.

preacherman said...

Jim I want to thank you and your wife for all you do. I appreciate you brother. Thank you so much for your help. You mean so mean so much to me and my family.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Nice post, Jim.

You are correct, of course, that "seeking God is a never ending quest". And praise Him that none of us will ever arrive at the exhaustive knowledge of God--we will forever be learning of Him through all eternity!

"Balance your pride with humility and see if you are willing to be taught. Follow the examples of those men whom you feel are not spiritually enlightened so that you will be able to witness the efforts of one who is striving and that he may remind you to strive even though you may feel that you are already there."

You are right and I couldn't have said it better! :-)

There's a fine line between being "theologically correct" and "loving the Lord" in relationship as a "son" to his "Father". Of course, we should all strive for accuracy in our understanding of Him and the Gospel. Relationships of love are built upon and grow in intimacy through knowing one another as best we can (and, of course, God knows us fully and perfectly while we are constantly "learning" who He is by the work of the Spirit); but none of us "know" like we would like to know, and most of us "know" less than we think we know :-) And I "know" this from personal experience! :-)


Tamela's Place said...

striving and seeking the Lord with all of our hearts as to know Him more personally and intimately brings Him great joy. I always think of Mary and Martha when it comes to performing versus worshipping. Setting at His feet and resting in His presence as He teaches us is what is the more important part. This is how we get to know Him. And in knowing Him He knows us. Great post Jim and you said you are in a dry spell, i don't believe that! God Bless you and Vicki

jeleasure said...

Thanks Tamela,
Of course, we may consider the distractions in our lives for why we may be "in a dry spell". I have communicated this reason to you today.
Anyway, my heart's desire is for people to know what their relationship is with the Lord. I think I made some good points in this post. But, I am in a dry spell. If GGM can agree with me, then I must be influenced and lead by the Lord. This is what I want to do. We on this blog are all Christians. I desire that all of you will share something with me to influence my life in the direction of eternity with God. And, I pray that The Lord allow me to do this for you also.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

"If GGM can agree with me, then I must be influenced and lead by the Lord."

Ouch! :-)

Although we do disagree about certain issues (which is probably as much a miscommunication and/or misunderstanding as actual disagreement), you know that I don't question your love for our Lord or your desire to help others grow in their love for our Lord.

Keep honoring our Lord through your faithful service, Brother!

Your in Christ,

jeleasure said...

Hi Jason,
I think I should clarify, you do challenge me. My comment about, GGM being able to agree with me, represents my admiration for your understanding of God's word.
Thanks for being a partner to me and stretching me to use my head.

Cheryl Russell said...

You are right, we should continue to seek God! It's exciting to think that we get to do that for eternity!

jeleasure said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeleasure said...

Kinney (Preacherman), Vicki, Angela, Greg, Gigi, Larry (Nitewrit), Tamela, Jason (Great Googly, Moogly!)and Cheryl Russel; Thanks for your participation and comments in our network.
Continue to inspire me. Anyone know where Russ is?

satire and theology said...

If we are gifted in doing God’s work, we need to occasionally humble ourselves. Take a step down to make certain that your election is sure. Allow those whom you feel are lower in gifts and ability to teach you. Balance your pride with humility and see if you are willing to be taught.

Unless there is some divinely guided objectivity within Biblical studies, theology and religious philosophy, one risks claiming a belief in a Christ, but not necessarily the Biblical Christ. The result of election means a person should confess and grow in the true Christ, even as sin is a struggle.

Even those of us on the right track need to revise, revise, revise in thought and writing.

Your post demonstrates the need for humility and reflection at all times in Christian and religious studies.

Good one, Jim.

preacherman said...

I do not know where Russ is if he is out of town, on business trip, vacation, sick, I just don't know where Russ is right now. I love his input on topics. He always has great advice and wisom.

preacherman said...

I hope you and your family have wonderful weekend. Agin I think Christianity is about relationships. The relationship you have with God, His Son and His church. I stress to my congregation that there is huge difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus. I know athiests who know alot about Jesus but don't know Jesus. I know a lot of Christians even who know scripture backwards and forwards but don't know Jesus. So in my oppinion it is all about having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Again I hope you and your wife have a wonderful, fantastic weekend.

Arlene Kasselman said...

this is a good post, thank you. I am glad you have words again. I am still so worn out form the retreat that I am not back in full swing yet. Will be back reading and commenting soon.

Greg said...

Hey, Jim! You have won the inaugural "True to His Word" award! Please stop by my blog to pick it up.