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 will enter. 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.’ Matthew 7:21-23 (NASB)
The best test of everything is not how it appears here and now. Unlike those preachers who draw throngs of people to hear their, “Have your best life now!” sermons, those with real godly wisdom know that the best tests of everything is how it will appear in the moment of death, in the morning of resurrection, and at the day of judgment….
Thankfully, the Word of God does give us the truth about these things. Let’s take a long slow look at Matthew 7:21-23 where our Lord lays it out very clearly about people who will find that what they believed to be true about their eternal state is nothing more than the product of self-deception.
First, they went a long way in religion. They called Jesus, “Lord, lord!” They were busy in a high level of Christian service. It appears that they were very successful in that service. They had a high level of energy in their service. They appeared religiously orthodox. They did everything in the name of Christ.
Second, they kept up this level of service for a long time. Men did not silence them. The Lord did not openly disown them during their lives. They fully expected to enter the Kingdom. They clung to that false hope even as the Lord was denying that he had ever known them.