I learned something the other day. I was watching a sermon by one of my favorite preachers and his announcer was listing the ways to connect with the ministry. When he mentioned Facebook, he said to be sure and look for the blue check.
He went on to say that unless you see the blue check by their name, it’s not the real ministry Facebook page. He reminded the listeners that their ministry would never ask you to donate money on Facebook. But that impostors had created a fake Facebook page for the ministry and had posted on the fake page asking people to donate.
Can you imagine your favorite ministry posting on Facebook about a desperate need and asking for your help? You decide the need is so great that you can’t NOT help. So you click on the link that’s provided and send them your donation—hundreds, maybe even thousands of your hard-earned dollars.
Then you find out it was a FAKE Facebook page! And your money is gone to someone you don’t even know instead of to the ministry you love to support.
That reminds me of today’s passage.
Jesus says that just calling Him Lord isn’t enough to get into heaven—that you have to do the Father’s will. Then He goes on to say that prophesying in His name, casting out demons in His name, and even performing miracles in His name won’t be enough.
Geez Louise. So if doing all those wonderful things isn’t enough, what does it take?
I think Jesus gives us a clue in verse 23 when He says, “I never knew you.”
God is always all about relationship.
Being committed to your local congregation won’t get you anywhere close to Heaven.
Being devoted to your denomination doesn’t get you near the door.
Even relying on the right religion isn’t the way in.
You have to have a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. You two have to KNOW each other.
That’s the Father’s will for us. Not just calling Him Lord and doing ‘good’ things.
The Father’s always all about relationship.
So continuing to call Him Lord and doing good deeds—without actually committing to and spending time building a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus—is a lot like continuing to donate your hard-earned dollars to a fake ministry Facebook page. It might make you look good and it might make you feel good about what you did—for a while. But you won’t get a receipt for tax purposes.
And that’s nothing compared with not getting into Heaven.
“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’” – Matthew 7:21-23 The Message
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, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?
23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]. Matthew 7:21-23 Amplified Bible