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Lesson # Matt. 7:21-23
Study Material - Matt. 7:21-23
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
21 'Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 'Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 'And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'
Christ is speaking to a great multitude of various peoples of different nations, social and financial backgrounds. Some will hear and do what they hear. Most will hear and not follow the advice of Christ. Many will hear and ignore the command for the narrow path of salvation, but they will still follow some of the advice as to their daily life. They will want to do things their own way, yet still want the blessings and acceptance of God for their own methods of attaining grace, but apart from Gods way. This is the philosophy of Cain. God wants sacrifices, so Cain offered sacrifices but not in accordance with Gods instructions. He offered sacrifices (his own form of worship) in accordance with his own plan thus rejecting Gods plan. This God rejects flat.
In the world there are a lot of good people. Good in the sense that they live decent lives. They go to work and pay their bills. They take vacations and attend church regularly, or attend some type of religious meeting. They laugh at good jokes, have birthday parties, cry when hurt, go fishing, dance, fall in love and out of love. They do everything that you and I do. They may not be Christian, and certainly most of the world is not Christian, but there are many people out there (non-Christian) who are pretty decent folk.
However they have one thing in common with all of us. They have heard of Jesus Christ, that He is the only way of salvation, but for whatever reason, they rejected Him in their life. They have no excuse when they come before Christ in judgment.
Jesus Christ has the keys to history. He has the keys to judgment. There is no one else who will judge. Christ alone will judge. Christ knows all those who belong to Him - those who have believed in Him. He has the power to grant life, extend life, or reduce it, even terminate life. If a person has refused to believe in Christ, then He does not know them, nor are they saved.
Living a 'good' life, following the rules of the world, simply being a nice person and trying to gain Gods acceptance into heaven based on your own efforts will never pay off for you. Grace does not recognize mans efforts. Miracles and charity will never gain one entrance into heaven.
However, grace even apart from miracles and charity, will always gain one access into heaven. Access comes only through faith in Christ, the Son of God. And to have this opportunity is a gift from God, never earned nor even deserved, nor can it be earned or deserved by mankind.
Living an outward life alone is not enough, but a person has to live by means of a renewed soul. Unbelievers lack Gods word. They lack Gods salvation. They help little old ladies across the street - commendable and honorable perhaps, but evil in its result. Though subtle, all good works of man, apart from the fellowship status, belong to the productions of evil, the productions of thorns, and thistles, and weeds. These, we have already seen, cannot produce good fruit. Only good fruit production can come from a good garden, a garden constructed from within the soul, built with a foundation of Bible doctrine, and enhanced with application to ones life. But only from within the garden can this fruit grow (fellowship).
Gods plan is very clear. Entrance into the plan is by means of faith in Christ alone. Good works, good intentions, good morals, all these and more, cannot replace Jesus Christ's work on the Cross. He alone did the work of salvation. Man cannot replace it with anything else.
That unbelievers at the judgment will correctly identify Christ, 'Lord, Lord', further indicates their knowledge regarding Him. Christ is not new to anyone, nor is he a stranger. They have no excuses. And they had in their lives, many opportunities to believe in Christ. And they knew of the repercussions for rejection of Christ. Still people reject Him.
Jesus makes it very clear that He is the Christ. He identifies God the Father as His own true Father. Joseph was never Jesus' father. And Jesus never refers to Mary as His mother. He always refers to her as 'woman'. Mary is not the mother of God. God has no mother.
Unbelievers will participate in many religious activities. Churches today are full of unbelievers. Most of the Pharisees were unbelievers and they controlled much of the activities of the Temple in Jerusalem. But Gods temple is not of stone nor even on this world. They ruled from dust and emptiness and were proud of it. Which indicates their stupidity and extreme arrogance. Arrogance promotes stupidity. Why else will people boast of really dumb things?
From chapter 5 to this point, Jesus has provided a blueprint for the spiritual life. From the opening verses in chapter 5, He lays out the basis for spiritual growth and the blessings that are unique and even proprietary to the spiritual life, to the many examples given for guarding against ones own thought patterns and avoidance of sin or evil in general, to the causes of our own actions, and to the interactions of others. He gives us the pattern for prayer and the encouragement for prayer, and the results of following Gods plan for ones spiritual life.
To do otherwise will end up in rejection. For unbelievers it is the lake of fire. Rejection for negative believers is the loss of eternal 'extra' blessings and rewards.
It is not enough to live a good life. You have to believe in Christ for salvation. It is not enough to be saved for maturity. You have to advance through Bible study and application of same to your life. In every case, Gods plan must be followed. To superimpose ones own method for salvation or spiritual growth, is a waste of time. God will reject them both.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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