Depart From Me; I Never Knew You
by Robert Driskell 10/14/2011 / Christian Living
There is a blight on the church today. The church has lost its zeal for God. Too many Christians live as though God were merely an add-on to their lives, much like a cell phone or the latest popular item of clothing. Instead of our relationship with God renovating our hearts, we merely accept salvation and shove it into our back pocket to be used at our discretion for our own selfish desires. This cannot truly be called "Christianity" at all. The apostle Paul advises the church in Corinth to be ever watchful concerning their personal expression of faith:
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! (2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV)
The Christian must be ever conscious of God's ownership of him/her. Our life is no longer our own, but we have been bought with a price (I Corinthians 6:20, 7:23).
Apathy is not a fruit of wisdom. One who is apathetic should not be considered wise. The Christian must never consider their walk with God "good enough", but should always be diligent to nurture the most important relationship in the universethe relationship with the Creator God of that universe.
Jesus even proclaimed a warning for those who seek to live the Christian life by their own standards:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 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?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)
What can we learn from this passage?
First, we see that doing things in God's name is not what forgives our sins or brings us into God's kingdom. Those to whom Jesus spoke declared that they had indeed done many things in His name. Jesus never denied that they told the truth. However, He did say the He had never known them. This, of course, does not mean that Jesus did not know that they existed, but rather that He had never known them in a personal saving relationship.
Secondly, the reason that they were outside the faith is that they were disobedient to God. They did not carry out the will of God. Apparently they chose to obey their own internal desires and disobey what God wanted them to do. By their own words, it seems as if they were caught up in the more public, flashy, attention-grabbing aspects of the faith. They sought to glorify themselves, make a name for themselves, rather than glorify God. Many professing Christians conduct themselves this way today. Instead of directing people's attention and worship toward Jesus and God, they turn the focus on themselves. This is simply an expression of selfishnessthe root of sin.
Lastly, we see that the outcome of this heart attitude is rejection from the kingdom of God. This mean no salvation, no forgiveness, no heaven, and an eternity separated from God. How terrible, and terrifying, when one considers the prospect of a never-ending existence where there is no love, no rest, no relief from the misery which the Bible says must come to all who reject Jesus and the truth of God.
Seeking to introduce people to Jesus Christ and to help them become "transformed by the renewing of their mind."