High Cost Of Self-deception
THESE concluding heart-piercing verses call for honest and thorough heart-searching on the part of preachers and hearers – serious, successful preachers and zealous, sincere hearers of God’s Word. We would not have been surprised to know that those who refuse Christ as Lord would not inherit the Kingdom of God. But to learn that it is possible to zealously call Christ Lord, Lord and still spend eternity outside the Kingdom of heaven is a shocking revelation that makes hearts tremble. To hear that idle, ignorant, cold and unproductive preachers will miss eternal fellowship with the King of glory would have been an expected conclusion, but who would have thought that courageous proclaimers of the mighty, powerful, all-conquering Name and Gospel of Christ may still spend eternity in utter darkness, in the region of the lost and the damned? That is the heart-troubling revelation from the lips of the Son of God.
The day of reckoning and judgment will reveal some strange things in the full view of the whole world. On that day, when the rottenness of religion will be revealed before the whole world, when the hidden evil of prophets will be made known, when the corrupt hearts of demon-chasers will be exposed, when the iniquity underneath “many wonderful works” will be brought to the surface, on that day, there will be anguish of souls that will never end. Not all that profess and call themselves Christians shall get to heaven. Not all that preach and call themselves ministers will inherit the God’s Kingdom. Not all that prophesy and cast out devils will escape the final condemnation. Not all miracle-workers will hear “well done, good and faithful servant,” on the last day. Many will hear: “I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” These are sobering truths, “think on these things.”
There must be conversion and consistent obedience to God’s Word in order to enter the Kingdom of heaven. If there is no fruit of the Spirit, our prophetic gifts and spiritual gifts of power will plead in vain to allow entrance into God’s Kingdom. Men of power, who are destitute of purity, shall be shut out of God’s Kingdom. Gifts without godliness, power without purity, commitment without conversion, faith without faithfulness, prophesying without purity, casting out devils without casting out evil from the heart, wonderful works without willingness to walk in obedience – all would be of no avail on the final day.
No one can be a citizen of the Kingdom that does not obey the King. The King of kings receives no one in His Kingdom, whose religion consists of only words and ceremonies, but only those whose lives display the obedience of true discipleship. To think of the plight of nominal Christians and unsaved ministers on the last day is frightening. Multitude of so-called Christians shall be disowned by Christ on that great day. Many who now prophesy in His Name shall then perish with those who pollute the Name of God. Many who have cast out devils now, shall be cast out to devils then. And many who have done seemingly wonderful works shall then be damned with evil workers. A bare profession of Christianity without doing God’s will, is a very insufficient ground to build our hope of eternal fellowship with God in heaven.
The last days will witness great miracles. There will be a great revival of religion. Many kinds of religion will demonstrate dazzling manifestations of super-human miracles and wonders. Some will come in the Name of Christ, while others will claim to be Christ. The miracles will be so convincing, compelling and confusing that many will be deceived, enticed, and drawn into error and damnation (Matthew 24:4,5,23-25; Mark 13:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). “Many will say unto ME IN THAT DAY.” A day is coming when all workers of ministry will be tested to see their worth and the motive behind them. “ The day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:13).
Many self-confident and self-deceived people will be disappointed. “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied… cast out devils… done many wonderful works?” They had boldly proclaimed Christ in public ministry and confirmed their messages with miracles. They thought they had rendered the highest services to the cause of Christ and in the Name of Christ. All the preaching in the world will not save the preacher, if he does not practise what he preaches.
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Samuel 18:10-12; 1 Kings 13:11-24; 22:11,12,23; Numbers 22:22-31; Judges 7:9-15; Ecclesiastes 2:1-3,9-11; Mark 13:21-23; John 11:49-52; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Matthew 25:12,41; Psalm 5:4,5; Luke 13:25-28 Matthew 13:40-42; 2 Peter 2:14-17; Matthew 13:49-51; 1 Peter 4:17,18; Revelation 19:20; 20:10-15;Numbers 24:2-9,15-19; Deuteronomy 23:5; Numbers 31:8,16; 2 Peter 2:15,16; Revelation 2:14; Judges 16:1-14; 1 Samuel 19:18-24; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.