As I noted in Part 1 of this post, profession does not equal possession. As Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’”(Matthew 7:21-23 ESV). In addition, accomplishments for God do not equal relationship with God
Jesus will elaborate on this point later in Matthew: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:31-34). Therefore, the One who is our only means of salvation is also the judge in the end: the Alpha and the Omega…the beginning and the end.
Does this mean that there are people all around the world who are doing things in the name of Jesus who are not authentic Christians? Is this possible?
Consider the seven sons of Sceva: Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled (Acts 19:13-17). Yes, it’s most certainly possible.
Personally, my immediate concern is that today many young adults (and older adults for that matter) want experiences, but not obedience. They want the Passion conferences, but not the quiet and often unseen service in the church body. They want the mission trips to fun and exotic places, but not simple everyday sharing with other students on campus. They want to express, debate, and be a part of a group party, but they don’t want to spend time consistently and daily studying God’s Word. In summary, they want the outward expression without the inward obedience. My sincere concern is that there are young adults in the church today who think they are Christians, but instead they are just church groupies. There is no inner obedience in their life to match their outward expression.
D.A. Carson states my concern well: “In the entire history of the church, has there ever been another generation with so many nominal Christians and so few real (i.e., obedient) ones? And where nominal Christianity is compounded by spectacular profession, it is especially likely to manufacture its own false assurance.”
Examine yourself. Do you do things for Christ but don’t have a relationship with Him? Let’s get first things first. Let me introduce you to Jesus Christ!