What Is the Meaning of Not Everyone That Says to Me Lord Lord Will Enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (NIV)

What is the Lord Jesus Christ saying here? Some think that Christ is talking about a Christian's obedience, commitment, or motive. Well, it is true that we should always check the motive and intentions we have when we do things for Christ, but this is not the intent of this verse.

Also, if you really love Christ and are fully committed to Him, you will aim to live the right kind of life. You will find out and do His will. You will consider what pleases Him. But this is not the meaning of the verse.

Matthew 7:21-23 in context

Matthew 7:21-23  (NET). Here is the passage then next up are truths and applications to consider.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’[ab] will enter into the kingdom of heaven—only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many powerful deeds in your name?’[ac] 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’

Truths from Matthew 7:21-23

  1. There are people who call themselves Christians and followers of God, but they are not.
  2. Some look like they're doing God's Work or living the Christian life, but they are not authentic Christians. They are not ministers of God.
  3. Some prophesy in the name of God, but they are false prophets. They are not authentic Christians.
  4. Some can cast out demons seemingly under the power of God, but they are actually only deceiving people. This means that whatever power they seem to summon or command, it is demonic in nature.
  5. Some sincerely think they are a child of God, saved, or a Christian. But they are not.
  6. Some sincerely think they are doing God's work, but they are not.

Applications from Matthew 7:21-23

1. Don't believe everything you hear or see even if they come from a seemingly highly spiritual personality. Don't believe every spirit. Always test whether they are of God. Check that what they teach align with Biblical truths. Check that they put the authority of God's Word over their opinion, knowledge, or wisdom.

 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from Godbecause many false prophets have gone out into the world

2. Examine your faith. What do you believe for salvation? Where have you placed your faith for eternal life and salvation from hell?

Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselvesOr do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in youunlessindeedyou fail the test

3. Don't be fooled by supernatural acts.
Evil spirits can mimic and deceive people. They can fool you and make you think that they are being cast out by a false prophet or a plain deceiver.
Remember when Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh? He asked for a sign that they are of God. Aaron threw his staff down and it turned into a snake in front of Paraoh.  Paraoh's magicians and sorcerers also did the same. But God authenticated Himself and His servants by making Aaron's staff swallow all the other staffs of Paraoh's magicians and sorcerers. See
Exodus 7 for the full story. 

Final Thoughts

In closing, here are some Scripture references that remind us how to be a true child of God. Remember our salvation is not about us. It has nothing to do with our righteousness and holiness. And these verses don't say we should work for our salvation or serve God in order to be saved.

Matthew 7:23 reveals a sad ending for false Christians and false servants. It is an afterlife in hell. Reading this should make us more sensitive and prayerful for the lost around us. Some are sincere in their practice of wrong faith. So let's share the Gospel whenever we can and be ready to give a biblical answer to those who ask us about our faith, or maybe point them to someone who can explain for us.

Salvation sure and simple

For by grace you are saved[s] through faith,[t] and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from[u] works, so that no one can boast.[v] 

Jesus replied,[a] “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.[b] No one comes to the Father except through me.

16 For this is the way[aj] God loved the world: He gave his one and only[ak] Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish[al] but have eternal life.[am]

photo credit to cgrape


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