This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: Matthew 7:21 ‘Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter in

This Week’s Focus Passage: Matthew 7:21

‘Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom.’

    It is not enough to say, Lord, Lord.’ Everyone that is born of the Spirit will indeed say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but there are multitudes that will utter that blessed title without having the Spirit of the Truth in them. They are Christians in name only; that is what the term, nominal Christian, means. Vast numbers, especially in this great land of freedom, happily take the name to themselves, that have not taken the Lord to themselves. They are among those of whom Christ says further that they say but they do not do; he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. That is the man, woman, or child, that shall truly enter into the kingdom of heaven. God is the only One who knows the hearts of individual persons, yet here in this passage, Jesus has begun His topic by using the metaphor of trees and fruit. We cannot know the hearts of others, He implies, yet we can look at their fruit, or lack thereof. We can examine whether this tree is bringing forth good fruit, or evil fruit, By their fruits ye shall know them, He has solemnly declared. Yet we are aware of the opinions of the many, even in the visible church of Jesus Christ toward this concept. “Who do you think you are?” they will ask if any question is raised regarding the appearance of the fruit. The charges will abound toward the one who would so dare to even scan, much less examine the fruit of another. “Who made you to be the chief fruit inspector?” someone will exclaim. “You are nothing but a legalist,” will be the cry of another. But what is Christ saying if He is not saying that it is necessary to pay attention to what men and women do, and not simply to what they may say?

    After all, He begins the passage with the formidable words, Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. Do we not understand that beware means, Be aware? And can we possibly be aware of something without paying attention to it? We are here being warned against hypocrites, are we not? the word rendered beware in our passage comes from the Greek word prosecho, which we learn from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, means ‘to turn one’s mind or attention to a thing by being on one’s guard against it.” It would seem, then, that our Lord is counselling us to give attention to the behavior and actions of others, and not only to the testimony of their lips. Of course, our Savior would never have suggested that we set aside charity in the matter. We must always be ready to receive the best impressions that truth will permit. Yet we are not called upon to be naïve in any way or fashion. We are not to go around attempting to remove splinters from the eyes of others while we have a timber in our own eye, yet compassion requires that we do all that we may, whether by action or by speech, to rescue someone who may be deceive into thinking that they are upon the narrow way, when in fact, the fruit suggests that they may indeed be on the broad way that leads to destruction. Much prayer for both grace and wisdom is manifestly essential before we would open our mouths. Nonetheless, if the Lord is pleased to put us in the way of plucking a brand out of the burning, let us never shrink from the task, knowing that we may be used as instruments of God in saving one soul from the pit.

    What about our own fruit? Should not our first cry be one for help to search our own hearts? How awful to consider those of whom our Lord here is speaking; men and women, perhaps just like ourselves, satisfied that they are in Christ because they belong to a local church and even involve themselves in may activities that go far beyond the norm of the average member. Perhaps they have prophesied in the name of the Lord; maybe they are even able to say that they have cast out demons, and done many mighty works. We should recall to our minds that Judas Iscariot could have uttered, in truth, those very same claims. Did he not go out with the twelve when they were given authority to preach in the name of Jesus? Was he not given, along with the other eleven, the power to cast out demons, to heal all manner of disease and all manner of sickness? While it seems clear from subsequent events that Judas was sadly well aware of his final fate, how many are there that will be among those in our focus passage, who will hear those terrible and fearful words from the lips of the Lord of glory, I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity? Rather than our cry being, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works, may it be, by the grace of God, Lord, is it I ? and Search me, O God, and try me, and see if there be any wicked way in me. 

    If there be these woes awaiting the deceived, how much greater shall be the woes entailed upon those who would deceive. The ones who knew their Master’s will and yet did not do it will be beaten with many stripes. This also came from the lips of the meek and lowly One. Luke recorded the following words, very relevant to our purpose here, and he said unto his disciples [us], it is impossible but that occasions of stumbling should come, but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were well for him if a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother sin, rebuke him, and if he repent, forgive him. ‘Those who compass land and sea to make one proselyte, and when he is become so, ye make him twofold more a son of hell than yourselves,’ will receive greater condemnation at the judgment. We every one of us must come through many dangers, toils, and snares, but woe be unto that one who makes himself to be a danger to another, or a snare to another. May our God, in His great and infinite mercy, never allow us to be either among the deceivers, or the deceived. 


David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


Join us Sunday at