Verse for the Day: Matthew 7:23
And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Daily Scripture Reading: Colossians 2

Devotional Thoughts

For those who are false teachers and false believers, for those who produce only bad fruit because that is the condition of their hearts, Jesus has a few words here. Even though they claim to serve Him and do good works to prove it, even the miraculous, they don’t belong to Him. Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” really serves Him obediently as their Lord!

His response to them is that He tells them to “go away!” It is a declaration, or a strong commanding statement – “GO AWAY!” Those who don’t belong to Him and who don’t know Him aren’t saved, remember, there are not several ways to God because only through Christ can we ever come to the Father. Those who aren’t saved, who aren’t adopted into the family of God are told at this time to leave. They cannot stay where Jesus is. They must depart. God cannot tolerate sin in His presence and these are unforgiven sinners who have been deceived by or actually are the false teachers.

He tells them they must leave where He is for two reasons. These two reasons are actually tied to each other as the first causes the second. First He says that He never knew them! That does not mean that Jesus doesn’t know who they are. He knows all: all things and all people. He is the One who created it all! He is saying that He never had any kind of relationship with them. There was no acquaintance much less any deep relationship between Christ and these sinners. The condition for relating with God and Christ is the condition known as being justified, the result of repenting of sins and believing in Christ (faith). If that has not happened, then NO ONE can ever expect to come to God on their own terms.

Many believe it is as if God will simply weigh the good against the bad in our lives when we die. But the false idea there is the lie that we have ever done anything good apart from Jesus! In and of ourselves we have nothing good to put on those scales! Thankfully, the scales don’t exist and God sees in us the Righteousness of His Son, and one day, thousands of years before we were born He saw all of our sin on Jesus while He was dying on the cross in our place.

The second, that is caused by the first, is that because these “bad” fruit producers don’t know Christ they only produce lawlessness with their lives. “But wait”, you think, “even bad people do good things now and then.” Yes. That is true. But remember all that we have learned about iniquity? Iniquity is anything (whether it seems good or bad) that we do in our self will and for our self gratification. The word that Jesus uses for lawlessness is the same word that is also translated iniquity. Jesus is telling them that because they never had a relationship with Him, they never had the power to overcome their greatest weakness – themselves! The only way to die to self is to live to Christ and if we don’t know Him how can we expect to live our lives for His glory and not our own.

Those who produce bad fruit do so for themselves. They use the gospel for gain, for personal pride and self righteousness. And the consequence is that when they stand before Christ one day and think they know Who He is and want to fellowship with Him forever, they will be told to go away – He can’t fellowship with them, they practice (or commit, or do the works of) iniquity. It was all for self.

Now even though believers, those who do have a relationship with Christ, do sin and commit iniquity from time to time, the truth here is that those who are sent away NEVER knew Christ and always lived for self. We have forgiveness through the cross; they do not! Don’t let anyone tell you that as a Christian you can lose your eternal life and be sent away! NO! We have discussed this before – why would God offer eternal life if you only had it temporarily? And why would He say that NOTHING and NO ONE could ever pluck us out of Christ’s hand – and on top of that Christ’s hand was being held by the Father? Can anyone, or any circumstance at all ever tear Christ away from the Father – HA! What a sad joke. To say that we can lose salvation would be to say that we could regain it or earn it and we know that those who try to earn their salvation by works will one day hear Jesus say to them , “Go away! I neber knew you; you lived only to self.”

Today, live for Him. Better yet, let Him do the living through you! He promised He would. And let Him produce fruit, good fruit, through you. And if you see bad fruit today in someone’s life pray that that person would be introduced to the Son by the Spirit. May God change their hearts and call them to salvation and may He use YOU today to be the salt and light that leads them to the Living Water!

And I implore you before you finish with this devotion today – whether you are assured of your salvation or not – please click on this link The Gospel . Read through the gospel and make sure today that you are known by Him. If you do know Him, read the gospel anyway – it just might give you the words you need today to witness about your faith and your Savior to someone in need of the “good news” !

Bible Reading For Further Study
Psalm 3:8
Psalm 18:2-6, 46
Psalm 37:37-40
Psalm 62:1-12

Recommended Songs for Family Worship
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
O Worship the King