Many of those who read this post would say that they are a Christian. That they believe in and follow God. That they do good things, say the right things, try to help people, call Jesus Lord, etc. And that all looks good on paper (or on a screen). But when it comes down to it, how many of us would say we know Him. How many of us know Jesus? Let’s go to the Bible for a moment:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
The people that Jesus is speaking to look good on paper. They say the right things, they do the right things but something is missing in their lives, in their relationship with Christ. We can have all the right words, say all the right things but never mean it (at least fully). I can say all day that I love the Chicago Cubs but never mean it because, if you know me, I am now and always will be a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals (my hometown team and huge rivals of the Cubs). I can say that I love Hamburgers but that doesn’t mean I want to spend everyday with them in the same way I do with my wife. Words are not enough when it comes to God, especially when words can mean so many different things, change over time, or be faked. Just saying “Lord, Lord” does not mean we know Christ. Are your words superficial? Do you say one thing and live another?
Works too do not show that we know Christ. Prophesying in the name of Christ, casting out demons, performing many wonders are all good things. But again, they too can be done in the name of Jesus without knowing Him. On paper I can be doing the will of God but in my heart be serving only my will just in a particular moment it looks like God’s because I am trying to look good. I can feed the poor all day (which God would support) but not know Him and only want to look like a servant. Are your actions superficial? Do you do one thing but believe in your heart something else?
Words and actions are not enough. They can be done without really knowing God, knowing Christ. One cause us to know Christ and Christ to know us is relationship. At the very end of these three words Jesus say “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Jesus didn’t say “away from me, you didn’t do enough good things,” or “away from me, you didn’t say the magic words, the right words,” or “away from me, you didn’t pray for that one woman when I urged you.” Christ is not simply looking for us to impress Him, He’s looking for us to know Him. He is looking for us to have relationship with Him in which the words and actions that then flow out look like the people Jesus is speaking to in Matthew 7. But we need to take the time to get to know Christ. This week get to know the love, the mercy, the grace, the power, the forgiveness, the presence, etc. of Christ. Start a relationship and then the words that flow out with be true, the actions that are performed with be authentic and Christ will welcome you with open arms. I pray that all that read this get to know Jesus.