In Matthew 7 we read,
21 “Not everyone who says to me,
will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 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?’
23 And then will I declare to them,
‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
What a terrible thought, that we close our eyes in physical death and open them in eternity to be told ‘I never knew you, depart from me…‘.
The difference between that and hearing ‘Well done, good and faitful servant‘ (Matthew 25.23) is simply a matter of head // heart.
The point of Matthew 7.21.23 is to show us that superficial, comprehending, understanding, acknowledging discipleship is not enough. Actually, it’s not a thing at all. Discipleship is none of those things. Knowing who Jesus is, knowing what He did, understanding the Divine payment system at work in His atoning sacrifice, simply saying, “Oh yes, I believe that Jesus was God.”…these things are not what saves us, there is something missing.
Knowing what He did at a deeper level than understanding the stories of the Bible, accepting the truth of who Jesus is and what He did, and what that means for all your yesterdays, today, and all your tomorrows, truly believing in your heart, living a radically different lifestyle because of what you now know to be true by revelation of the Holy Spirit…this is saving faith, not an academic or practical understanding of Jesus and Christianity.
The Bible has passages like this to challenge us, to convict us when we have wandered, to make us see that aside from the work of the Spirit, we will be stuck at a surface level engagement with Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection, which because they are all real, it is possible to do.
The same Holy Spirit that inspired the writers of the Bible will illuminate the Word for us, will take us from head to heart, and the Holy Spirit is on mission to glorify Jesus, who in turn takes us to the Father.
Rather than be stuck at surface level, snorkling along looking at the deeper truths from a brain-understanding perspective, let us pray that the Spirit fills us fresh, illuinates the Scriptures for us, and takes us deeper to a place of heart-turning, life-altering action.