Matthew 7:21

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21, NKJV).

The above words are from Jesus. They sound a lot different from the words of so many people who occupy pulpits today. Some claim “as long as you call upon the Lord you will be saved.” Yet, Jesus addresses some who “called out His name” and tells His audience some of them will be lost. What is it we need to learn from these shocking words of Jesus?

It implies we can be guilty of having a false intimacy with the Lord. When a person’s name is repeated twice it is for emphasis and suggests intimacy (see Genesis 22:11; 46:2; Exodus 3:4). Yet, there are some who claim to “know” the Lord but do not truly have the close relationship they may claim. To them the Lord may very well say “I do not know you...Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity” (Luke 13:25-27). A close relationship with Jesus takes more than a claim. Jesus does not just want us to treat Him as a mere acquaintance, but as “friends” who obey His commands (see John 15:14).

It warns us not to abuse the title of Jesus. Jesus is called “Lord” which comes from a Greek word meaning “Master.” It suggests someone who is “supreme in authority” (Strong’s). Now, if we claim someone is “supreme in authority” while rejecting His authority in our lives we make a mockery of His title. God once asked in the book of Malachi, “If then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 1:6). Jesus takes no delight in those who give Him lip-service while not offering a life of service to the Master and Ruler of our lives. If Jesus is our “Lord” then our practice must match up with our profession.

It admits to us religious people can be lost. Jesus, just earlier, said “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Some people turn away from religion because of the “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” However, Jesus knows them and wants His followers to be aware He knows them. This should serve as a warning to us to sincerely follow Jesus and a comfort as we can be assured God will save those who truly love and obey His will.