Depart from Me

Depart from Me

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. – James 2:19

Matthew 7:21-23

 21 Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’

 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

In our socially connected world it can be easy to confuse knowing about people with actually knowing them. With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and 24/7 streaming info and updates, and the like, we are inundated with information about people. We can mistake reading through someone’s Facebook profile, looking at their tweets, or commenting on a Facebook post as really knowing them. Knowing about someone is not the same as knowing someone personally.

Relationships with people are two-way streets. They are social interactions requiring give-and-take. You cannot build a relationship with someone who does not even know you exist.

Knowing about the Father, is not the same as knowing the Father.

We may think that being religious, attending religious services, performing good deeds, doing the right thing, or being part of a religious family, indicates that we have a relationship with the Father.

Many have grown complacent because they genuinely try to live good lives and have faith in God. Having faith in the existence of God is not enough. It is possible to learn songs of the faith and religious jargon, even memorize Bible verses and still miss the mark.

The apostle James to jar people out of their complacency and sense of security. He explained that there is a whole cadre of creatures that have great faith in God and the Scriptures. They are not agnostics or atheists. They believe in the Father’s existence and recognize the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. But they are demons.

James 2:19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.

The demons have great intellectual faith. They could easily sign off on most Christian statements of faith. But they have no security and tremble in fear, because they never placed personal saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are servants of the dark side.

REFLECT & PRAY

The stakes are high. Do we truly know the Lord Jesus Christ or just know about Him? “The final test is not what we think of ourselves, or what others may think. The final test is: What will God say” (Wiersbe)?

Father, thank You, but You sent Your Son the Lord Jesus Christ into the world. Thank You that when we accept Him as our Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are truly Your children (Romans 8:16).

INSIGHT

We may go through our lives, informed by the truth of the Scriptures. We may know about the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Apparently, many throughout the centuries have attempted to faithfully serve, but a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ was totally lacking. Many impressive and wonderful things have been done in His name. Words and works to not make the cut.

Matthew 7:21-23

 21 Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’

 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

The Lord Jesus Christ fervently cautions that we need to make sure that we actually know Him. It is not enough to know about Him or even serve Him. What really matters is this: does He know us?

A time of reckoning is coming. Pretense and religious facade will not deceive the Father or the Lord Jesus Christ. How do we prepare and make sure we are secure? If the Father knows us, what does that look like in our lives? Genuine faith and obedience to the Father’s will demonstrates that He knows us.

John 6:28-29 

 28 “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”

 29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

Where do we begin? We acknowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from the consequences of our sin. We put personal faith in Him and accept Him as our Savior and Lord.

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