“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” ~Matthew 7: 21-22, KJV
Recently, a friend of mine asked me the question: “If all a person has to do is believe in Jesus to be saved then why did Jesus say ‘Not everyone who calls me Lord will enter the Kingdom?'” My answer to this is simple: The fact that Jesus claimed that He never knew them means that they were worshiping a false Christ.
An entire book can be written on this subject, but Jesus warns about “False Christs” and “False Prophets” who would bring deception to the world. This is also where the “Anti-Christ” will make people believe that He is Jesus shortly before the real second coming of Christ. The False Christ will be preaching a false gospel that is contradictory to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.
But what is the real problem with their theology? In these verses we can find the main reason why they had no real relationship with Jesus:
1) They believed they were being obedient to Christ: Prophesying, casting out devils, and wonderful works of performing miracles.
2) They believed that these “wonderful works” were the basis of their salvation.
The main problem is that they were false prophets, preaching a false gospel, and were empowered by the devil to create miracles. The false gospel (like any other system of false religion) is based on what man does for God to merit eternal life. It is a system of self-righteous pride that claims that those who serve God are somehow deserving of a place in the eternal kingdom.
One of the most common ways that people fall into this trap is by placing conditions on salvation other than simple faith in Christ. The early Christians struggled with this when false apostles claimed that Christians had to become circumcised in addition to having faith in Jesus. Many today believe that a person has to “speak in tongues” as proof that they are a real Christian. Many Christians believe that they have to abide by a particular set of standards agreed upon by their church to claim salvation.
Making anything other than simple faith in Jesus a requirement for salvation is a false gospel and those who believe in a false gospel have fallen from grace and are under a curse.
“You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:4, NIV).
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse” (Galatians 1:8, NIV).
Do these verses scare you? Search your soul to determine what it is that you really believe about the plan of salvation. Do you believe that anything that you do is an evidence for your salvation? Do you think that you are saved because you go to church, pay tithe, feed the hungry, give bible studies, go on mission trips, etc? These are wonderful things, but they won’t guarantee you a place in the heavenly kingdom.
The only condition for salvation is to accept the free gift of eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ. Anything else is a false gospel and can keep you out of the grace of God. This is what Jesus meant when He warned that not everyone who called Him Lord would enter His Kingdom.
Please, give your heart to Jesus and accept the real Christ who shed his blood to offer you the gift of salvation–free of charge.