"I never knew you: Depart from me." Can you imagine standing before God and hearing those words? Can you imagine the fear and terror that would grip your heart when you realize that you were never saved after all?
I believe that, sadly, many people will die and will be told those words by God. These people are those who have a false sense of security as far as their salvation in concerned. These people mistakenly thought that they had a "get-out-of-hell-free card," and they were playing a dangerous game when it came to matters of their eternal destination.
What am I talking about? I am talking about those people who somewhere along the way got the notion in their head that to make it into heaven, all they had to do was say some meaningless words.
There is an ad campaign going on from the dairy industry. The campaign's slogan is "got milk?" I think that for many people that slogan pretty much epitomizes their so-called salvation experience. It is as though people believe that all they have to do is recite a few choice words and then presto-chango, now they have "got saved." And then the mentality of these people is, "Hey, I can do whatever I want -- all the fornicating I want, all the lying I want, all the cheating I want, break all of the commandments I want. Why? Because I said the magic words, and I now have 'got saved.'"
Well, being saved is not just having an emotional moment when the preacher gives the altar call. Being saved is not just lifting up your hand at your buddy's funeral because you suddenly realize that you are not going to live forever. Being saved is not something you "get," as though you can pick up a quart of "saved" from the corner market and then just go home and store it away on a shelf for emergency use only.
How can you say, "Jesus, come into my life and be my Savior and Lord," or whatever the words were, and then continue on willfully living a life of sinful rebellion? Friend, if you have zero interest in pleasing the Lord, following the Lord's commands, learning of the Lord, or turning from your sins, you are probably not saved!
Here is an example of how foolish the notion is of believing that some mere words makes all the difference: Let's say I decide to "get married." Maybe I like the idea of being Mrs. Jim Stevens. Or maybe everybody else is getting married, so I want to be a married woman, too. So Mr. Stevens and I go to a church and exchange vows. We promise to love, honor, and cherish, and end with a hearty "I do." The preacher announces, "You are now man and wife."
Well, after our little ceremony, I then drive back to my little one-bedroom apartment alone. I decide that I don't want to live with my new husband. As a matter of fact, I think I still want to date other men. So I phone up all of my old boyfriends and go out with them whenever I want. I fornicate and party just like back when I was single.
And, hey, I don't care what my husband has to say about anything. His opinions and directions are unimportant to me. I'm busy doing my own thing.
As a matter of fact, I don't even bother to call my husband, let alone go see him. And if he writes anything to me, it goes unread. His words are not important to me either.
Now, even though I said those wonderful words at the altar and ended it with a boisterous, "I do," am I really married? In the eyes of human law, the farce that my marriage is could easily be annulled because my so-called marriage is a joke. I said the words, but my actions show that they meant nothing.
So why would someone deceive himself or herself into believing that saying a few quick words at an altar call is any indication that they are saved? Yet many do just that. If you are truly saved, there should be some indication of that in your life. We cannot add to what Christ did on the cross, but if Christ is your Savior and Lord and the Holy Spirit is living inside of you, that should manifest itself in some way, shape, and form. You should want to do the will of your Heavenly Father. You should love Jesus' name. You should crave His Word. You should hate sin. You should not see salvation as something that gives you a license to sin. Here are just a few verses that tell you what true salvation is all about:
Matthew 7:21-23 not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father, which is in heaven. 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."
Luke 13:5, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
1 John 2:4, "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
Again, if you have truly been adopted into God's family and the Holy Spirit is living inside of you, there should be some evidence of that in your life. It is not just a matter of meaningless words. My friend, think about those words, "I never knew you: Depart from me."
"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries" (Hebrews 10:26-27).
For further reading on this subject, an excellent article detailing the evidence that should be in your life if you are truly born again can be found here: EVIDENCE.
And for more on this topic, go here: REPENTANCE.
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