But Jesus... I Didn't Know I Was a Liberal!
" Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:22-23
I would like to consider the impact of this prophecy straight from the mouth of Jesus. A couple of things come out rather clearly about the judgment:
1) You are not going to just stand there like a bump on a log before the throne of God. You will speak, present your case, and be judged largely on what you did with the words of Jesus.
2) What is today often described as "liberalism" would seem to be the direct cause of the condemnation of a vast majority of Christians in the day of judgment.
If we were to back up and view this passage in context say vs. 13-29 our "first impression" actually becomes set in concrete. It becomes clear that this is exactly what Jesus is warning us about. Let's see...
Vs 13-14 The warnings about the broad road versus the narrow one. Today this has become a cliché, everyone seems to quote it, few think through it's implications.
Vs 15-20 False teachers and their fruits.... Here Jesus gives us a key to our text for today. Vs. 20. "So then, you will know them by their fruits." Note that in vs 22-23 quoted above, what they considered a good work and evidence of their faith, Jesus considered and affront to His headship.
Vs 22-23 (Today's text) Jesus condemns them for iniquity. NASV translates as Lawlessness. i.e. an assault on Jesus' right to lead.
Vs 24-27 The wise man and foolish, building on the rock and the sand. Note: Vs. 24. "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man . . ."
So for today's consideration, define "lawlessness" (iniquity in the KJV). Actually Jesus defines it for us in Vs. 26. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them" If you follow the teaching or direction men rather than Jesus... That is what He has condemned here.
Today by ignoring Jesus' warning, we have would up with Churches charging admission (like the Pharisees in the temple), Practicing homosexuals, and women in the pulpit claiming to be doing the will of God, instrumental music diluting the sacrifice of our lips and many more innovations of man.
Within the bounds of morality, you can do anything you want in your own name. However, when you doing things in the name of Jesus (even if you define them as "many wonderful works") . . . You had better be sure Jesus defines them as such!
These people were shocked at the outcome...
Can you afford to be?
Can your find the things you do, or your church does in the Bible?
This would appear to be an important question...
Here is a list of things to attempt to find in the Bible
1) Any kind of denominational headquarters on earth (Jesus' headquarters is at the right hand of God!)
2) Any creeds other than the Bible (I Corinthians 1:10. "Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.")
3) Any successor to Peter or the other apostles or prophets.
4) Infant baptism or sprinkling baptism (See Romans 6)
5) Laying your hand on the TV, praying, then sending them a check! Can you find any pleas to support all these Johnny come lately ministries?
6) Any of these worldwide ministries other the church itself founded by Christ.
7) Any organization on earth other than or larger than the local church. (Note in the bible the affiliations of the congregations were not with any denominational structure only with Jesus)
8) Churches setting up hospitals, various types of benevolent homes, schools, daycare, baseball teams, carnivals etc.
9) Can you find even one example of churches selling or charging anyone for anything? Note: you will find a contribution (I Corinthians 16:1ff). You will also find people repeatedly selling in order to give (acts 4:32-5:12). BUT! You will also notice the church did not get involved.... Why? Maybe one episode with the money changers was enough?
Can your find the things that many churches spend their time doing . . .in the Bible?
Can you afford to wait until the judgment to see if Jesus approves of your behavior or ... your church's behavior?
By Jerry Blount
From Expository Files 14.11; November 2007