THE SCARIEST STATEMENT EVER SAID BY GOD
Why are you here?
Because that question could be answered in multiple ways. I’m here because…..
I love Christ with all my heart because He saved me and gave me life.
I love being a part of this church; it’s something were not to forsake or take for granted.
I love the preaching of His Word that helps me grow in His grace.
I love the sweet fellowship of the saints.
I love that this is a place to find genuine mentorship and discipleship.
I love that this is a place that my children can grow in their relationships with people of all ages.
I love the singing that reminds of His great redemption and the perfections of God.
I love being here to encourage and grow with my brothers and sister in Christ.
I love this place because it’s an opportunity to serve others.
Let me say this! If that isn’t you, I’m going to ask you to do some major self-examination of your heart as it pertains to this message.
Because the other way to answer this question would be…
I’m only here because I have to keep up my double life for the community.
I’m only here because if I don’t, I will get the guilt trip from my church family.
I’m only here because I don’t want to lose my access to the Kingdom.
I’m only here because I like to start fights, gossip and have my selfish demands met.
I’m only here because I like to instigate and cause division amoung the saints.
I’m only here because I want to see the pastor fail and hopefully leave.
I’m only here because my kids need it, but I don’t.
See! Your answer to that question will determine who you are in light of this warning that Jesus clearly gave to the people on the hill. This is a strong warning… He gave to every single person listening there, and throughout all other generations, leading to today, tomorrow and into His glorious return.
Why would Jesus give this warning?
To be blunt, or perfectly honest, this warning is a greater warning then the previous two. Though the previous two warnings both have eternal implications as it pertains to the Heavenly Kingdom? The broad road is a path of least resistance and is filled with a multitude of lost sinners. (v13) For the Charlatan, this being born again can be profitable as you deceive others into believing a lie. (v15)
John MacArthur called this portion of Jesus’ message “Empty words and empty hearts.” Why would he say that? He went to explain this “Not only can false prophets deceive us about the way of salvation, but we can deceive ourselves….Sinful man is biased in his own favor and, because our pride, tend to reject the true gospel.”
J C Ryle said this about this passage, “The Lord winds up the Sermon on The Mount by a passage of heart-piercing application. He turns from false prophets to false professors.”
If you read the latest polls on the evangelical church, you would see that a there are a very high number, which is what you would hope to see. 50 plus percent of people who attend church claim to be “Born Again” But if you looked that from an honest biblical perspective, you would be doing well to say that half of that number in the church is truly born again, based on God’s terms and conditions. Especially in light of……what has already been said by Jesus, Himself and the extreme standards for judging the true Christian life. Matthew 25:1-12 is a prime example of what I’m saying about those who pretend to have devotion for God, and preparedness for the future of His Kingdom. But in reality they are lost and lacking as they will face destruction as in accordance with Scripture. "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, 'Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.' And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he answered, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Matt 25:1-13
People who professed to be believers; but in reality
they were nothing more that goats in sheep’s clothing.
As Paul said to Timothy, “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power...” 2 Tim 3:5 Just like false teachers, the person who professes Christ is no different. They look, sound, and behave Christian…. but are completely lost, like the false teacher. This passage and others like it are not here by mistake.
They are here warn sinners to do
a self-examination to Holy truth.
See! While you still have a heart-beat and air to breath, the sinner is to exam their lives in light of His Word. This is a serious call to be alert to the dangers of our own sinful hearts. The biggest and greatest deception in the church is the status of professing to be an evangelical Christian without being born again. The church for the most part has been mostly cultural, traditional, but not transformable in newness of life through the gospel. Meaning the cultural thing has been: Attendance, membership, getting baptized, making sure you are seen and performing a certain way.
It’s the idea that if you accept or display certain traits you
will be accepted or this is proof of one’s salvation.
It’s learning the Christianize language, and then seeing everything outside the church as sinful. It’s living in….. conformity to the church and hating what the church hates. Instead of …..conforming to Scripture and hating what God hates. The biggest scam of the cultural gospel is the idea that because your parents are respected as “Good Christians, you’re a “sure in” And the icing on the cake would be! If they “served the local church”; that would put you in a greater standing with God.
This is a sad reality in the church and many parents
have fostered this kind of behavior and thinking.
A lot of this is contributed to…. A water downed messages, lack of theology, personal study, and most of all examination of one’s heart. The infamous and magical “Sinners prayer” repeat after me moment in your life. Or worse being confirmed by a pastor who has no right to confirm anyone. Many according to Jesus “broad road” have made many bogus confessions of faith/baptism and church life. Sadly many Pastors, Elders have allowed, or turned a blind eye to avoid confrontation or disciplining the sinner. This only leaves many churches filled with unregenerate people. Just as the Lord, Himself said in His parable about some who appeared to be saved, but are not. “For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. "Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” Matt 13:17-22
But the evidence of one’s salvation is by one’s obedience to the Scriptures as they persevere in this life through the gospel, “As he was saying these things, many believed in him. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,” John 8:30-31
For obedient to the Scriptures to happen though, one must first be born again through the gospel of Jesus Christ. “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
The gospel is not afterthought or something to be included once in a while, but is of first importance and at the heart of one’s conversion through repentance and faith. “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
Peter said one’s salvation is evident in qualities of fruitfulness that demonstrate the genuineness of salvation. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:3-11
It’s the idea that if you accept or display certain cultural traits you will be accepted in, or this is proof of one’s salvation.
Unfortunately that only leads and proves your deep deception as it did to the five virgins in Jesus’ parable.
What lulls people into such a deception?
A Failure Of Self-Examination Through A Faulty View Of God And The Holy Scriptures.
We are a people called to examine our lives as we do when we approach the Lord’s Table each time. Paul said this “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 Cor 11:28. Why is Paul so blunt about examining our own hearts? Well, for this reason! “For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” 1 Cor 11:27-32
The imputed righteousness of Christ has set us free from all condemnation, but the true believer always needs to confess their sins before a holy God. Paul said “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.” 2 Cor 13:5-6
What is the test?
Desiring a pure heart and right mind, to serve God with our whole hearts. It’s an exam that looks at the heart and the inner motives and desires to see if they are set towards God’s holiness and God’s glory. From the weakest to the most pure desires a holy heart which longs for God and hates the sin that hinders them. “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” Rom 7:22-25
The person that doesn’t confess these genuinely is no different in those who are deceived by their own faulty view of God and the Scriptures. According to what Jesus reveals here in His example is that …. They appear orthodox in their teachings and an impressive record spiritually speaking....
They exercised demons
They performed miracles.
What I find interesting about this is that…. Jesus doesn’t
deny their claims and either should we. This is where the danger lies that our own hearts can deceive us from the truth and the biblical reality to our positon in light of the gospel. In our day there may be people who claim “Christ as Lord” who use the right language, who do great things, but are not genuine disciples of Christ.
See! That’s the point that Jesus is making here in this text. It’s doing religious lip service which doesn’t get you into Heaven. Same as intellectual orthodoxy does not indicate saving faith. And this is due because they have a faulty and presumptuous view of God’s grace, His Word, and His redeeming gospel. Everyone will proclaim, or profess that He is Lord. But not everyone who claims the name “Kurios” will be granted entrance into His eternal kingdom. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:9-11
From the Atheist, Satanist, to the Hypocrite and professing;
from the most devoted Christian to the first day convert
who possesses the gift of eternal life.
Everyone, all image-bearers of God, will confess this glorious truth out of adoration or out of Holy submission. See! Just because one professes doesn’t mean one is saved. Why do I say that? James reminds us something important, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” James 2:19. The terrifying thing that which our Lord says is that not everyone who does say “Lord, Lord” shall enter Heaven. This demonstrates that….Many are in danger of being content with an intellectual assent of truth and the gospel. But as Jesus said to the religious elite Nicodemus, “… “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. “Born again” Those are the ones who do the will of God, because they are children of God saved through the gospel of His redeeming grace.
If you’re not born again then you’re no different than these people when they stand before Him in His transcendent glory….
Dearest Lord, didn’t we preach for You?
Dearest Lord, didn’t we teach Sunday School for You?
Dearest Lord, didn’t we go to the Mission field for You?
Dearest Lord, didn’t we give out tithe to You?
Dearest Lord, didn’t we share our testimonies with You?
And Jesus will respond with the scariest words ever proclaimed from God mouth, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.” (v23) All because of your deceived and ignorant heart to truly understand and acknowledge…. the true, and pure Gospel. What Jesus is saying is “You don’t belong here” see it’s not about what you know about God.
What matter is does He know you?
R C Sproul said, “I do not believe there could be anything more terrible than to stand before Jesus and hear Him say: “I don’t know who you are. You do not belong here. Please leave. I don’t know you now; I never knew you.”
Everyone will say “Lord, Lord” in the end; but the only difference that separates the false claim to the genuine one…. is the one who truly means it. Who are those people? As Jesus said, “Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matt 25:32-34 These are comforting words that settle the heart of God’s people, as we continue to wait that glorious day through His redemptive work.
The evidence of conversion is this……
Conviction of sin…we hate, we mourn our sin, not by its depth, but by its nature, it’s pure evil.
A holy appetite for the things of God….it’s that hunger and thirst after righteousness.
A complete willingness to be saved in God's way…..meaning “that is, by free grace through the blood of Jesus, alone.
A faith in Jesus Christ…… Faith is the eye of the soul that discovers the blessing which Jesus has to impart; and the hand which is stretched out to receive it.
Love to Jesus….. is an evidence of the covenant of mercy that comes through His redeeming love, which then our love flows from faith.
Humility ……gives evidence that we are the blessed of the Lord. “Blessed are the meek”
Godly fear……..is a covenant blessing, and a proof that we are of God.
A relentless affection to the Word Of God…… is a proof that we are of God. True believers always cherish the Holy Scriptures.
Dissatisfaction with everything worldly…….this is not my home as I wait the all satisfying Kingdom that is to come.
The habitual fellowship with God and with God’s peoples……the joy of worshipping privately and corporately.
You must test yourself to look below the surface,
don’t look to signs, wonders, and your orthodoxy.
Look within and see if your life conforms to the character
of the Kingdom and not the character of sinful self.
Better yet! Does your life characterize the beatitudes because this is what Gospel does through the Holy Spirit. “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Eph 1:13-14. The Spirit that will lead, correct and teach you the Triune God’s Holy ways; as you press on for His glory; waiting for the Kingdom that is yet to come.
What does that look like for the believer?
Martin Lloyd Jones who could no longer speak, penned these beautiful words as his earthly life was coming to an end. “Do not pray for healing. Do not hold me back from the glory” and three days later he entered eternity. That is a statement of confidence in the complete saving work, in life of a confessing sinner saved by grace. Understand! Satan is seeking…. your destruction; your own hearts are deceiving you if you’re not careful.
I want to leave you with one more example! Charles Simeon, the influential evangelical pastor of Holy Trinity Cambridge, who died in 1836. said this before he passed away, “I wish to be alone, with my God, and to lie before him as a poor, wretched, hell-deserving sinner… But I would also look to him as my all-forgiving God – and as my all-sufficient God and as my all-atoning God – and as my covenant-keeping God… I would lie here to the last, at the foot of the cross, looking unto Jesus; and go as such into the presence of my God… Jesus Christ is all in all for my soul, and now you must be all for my body. I cannot tell you any longer what I want. My principles were not founded on fancies or enthusiasm; there is a reality in them, and I find them sufficient to support me in death”
A genuine and transformed life that sees the gospel as more than just receiving Heaven and escaping Hell. A genuine transformed life blown away by abundance of love that God showed me through the gospel to save a sinner like me. Here is the warning though!
Make sure that you know that
He knows you.