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Not Everyone Who Says to Me, Lord, Lord, Shall Enter the Kingdom of Heaven

Not Everyone Who Says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” Shall Enter the Kingdom of Heaven

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Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:21-23). Although rejected by the world and unpopular in the church, Jesus clearly taught that “few” people are going to heaven, and “many” people are going to hell. What can we learn from Jesus’ important words in Matthew 7:13-14 and 21-23, and what can we do to make sure we don’t hear the terrifying words from the Lord, “Depart from Me, I never knew you!”

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:21-23). Jesus taught that “few” people are going to heaven, and “many” people are going to hell (Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23).

Lessons for Not Everyone Who Says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” Shall Enter the Kingdom of Heaven

  1. Lesson 1: Even ______________________ __________ won’t get you into heaven (Matt 7:21-22; Rom 10:1-3; 1 John 2:9; Eph 2:8-9).
  2. Lesson 2: The question is: “Does the Lord ________ ______?” (Matt 7:23a cf. Gal 4:9).
  3. Lesson 3: Lack of ____________________ keeps you out of heaven (Matt 7:23b; 2 Tim 2:19). Lesson 4: ______________ ________________ to see whether you are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5; 1 Pet 1:6-9).

Tests to Determine Whether We Will Hear, “Depart from Me I never knew you.”

  1. Have I experienced godly sorrow that produces repentance?
  2. Has my repentance produced fruit?
  3. Has my faith persevered through trials?
  4. Is my life characterized by obedience?
  5. Do I practice sinning?
  6. Do I have a spiritual hunger and thirst?

Discussion Questions for Not Everyone Who Says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” Shall Enter the Kingdom of Heaven

  1. Day 1: Read Matthew 7:21-23 & discuss: What reveals the ‘sincerity’ of those standing before Christ in verses 21 & 22? Why do you think (i.e. what is implied in Scripture) people will urgently try to convince Jesus that they are true Christians? What does this reveal about them – that is – what are they counting on as the reason they think they are saved?
  2. Day 2: Read & discuss Matthew 7:21-22; Romans 10:1-3; 1 John 2:9; Ephesians 2:8-9: Are works important? Why? Why not? What other Scripture can you bring to bear on this question? What is salvation based on – works or something else? Whose works do matter in regards to our salvation?
  3. Day 3: Read & discuss Matthew 7:23; 2 Timothy 2:19; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 Peter 1:6-9: What can keep you out of heaven? Why is repentance hard? What does a lack of repentance reveal about a person? In which one of five tests of salvation mentioned at the end of the sermon do you most desire to grow?

Sermon Notes for Not Everyone Who Says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” Shall Enter the Kingdom of Heaven

In college I went through Army ROTC, so after graduation I served as an officer. My military experience allowed me to have some familiarity w/ military recruiters.

Used car salesmen have the reputation for being dishonest and saying whatever’s necessary to make a sale. SOME military recruiters are a close second. Please notice I said some, b/c I do think there are others who are honest.

Military recruiters have to satisfy what’s known as “commission mission.” Their performance is determined by the number of people they’re able to recruit. As a result, they strive to make the military sound as attractive as possible. You can imagine the strong temptation for them to lie.

After looking at a number of articles, here are the top lies military recruiters tell people:

There are horror stories of people who were promised any number of things before they signed on the dotted line, only to find out their military careers ended up being considerably different than what the recruiter promised.

I tell you all this, b/c after I became a Christian in my early 20’s and started reading the Gospels, I saw that Jesus is the opposite of military recruiters in two ways…

First, He was honest:

Second, it seems like He actually tried to DISCOURAGE people from signing up…yes, you heard me correctly! When you look at Jesus’ interaction with people, you’d almost think He didn’t want people following Him. He made it sound very, very UNATTRACTIVE.

Let me give you a few examples…

Mark 8:34 [Jesus said], “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Does this make following Jesus sound attractive or unattractive?-

Think about when Jesus spoke to the Rich Young Ruler: Mark 10:21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; [then] come, follow me.”

Listen to this next example…

Luke 14:25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them,

Picture what this looked like…and let me ask you two questions:

  1. First, what would you expect Jesus to think at this moment? “Wow, lots of people are following me. This is great.”
  2. Second, what would you expect Jesus to say to all these followers? Probably something really encouraging.

Listen to what He said…

Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

This isn’t as literal as it sounds. The Bible commands us to love and care for our family members. Jesus often spoke in an exaggerated way to make a point, and His point is our loyalty and affection for Him should be so great that in contrast the loyalty and affection we have for others might seem like hatred.

But the main point is…

Jesus knew many of these people following Him were not true disciples:

  • He needed to trim the fat.
  • He needed to cut the low hanging fruit.

If you haven’t already, please open your Bible to Matt 7 and look verse 13…

Matt 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and THE WAY IS EASY THAT LEADS TO DESTRUCTION, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and THE WAY IS HARD THAT LEADS TO LIFE, and those who find it are few.

Jesus said the way is hard.

We do people a terrible disservice when we make it sound like following Jesus means a care-free life that involves no sacrifice.

This is why it’s tragic that there are so many churches and so many pastors who are:

This is what gave birth to the seeker-sensitive movement, or easy-believism.

I was listening to some of Pastor Cary’s sermons, and you’re very blessed to have a pastor who preaches the truth to you and who does so boldly.

Picture the typical easy-believism American church…

The pastor gets to the end of the sermon and what does he say?

What if the pastor quoted Jesus?

“If anyone would come after Jesus, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Him.”

How many people would respond to that invitation?

Not many!

The approach that many churches and pastors take has caused people to think they’re Christians when they’re not.

As of last year, 83% of Americans say they’re Christians. If 83% of Americans were Christians, our nation would look a LOT different:

This statistic tells me two things:

  1. First, it tells me there are a lot of deceived Americans.
  2. Second, it tells me there are a lot of churches that are allowing people to continue in this deception.

The problem with so many people thinking they’re Christians is it’s the opposite of what Jesus taught…look back at Matt 7:13

Matt 7:13 Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are MANY. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are FEW.

You can read this as many times as you want and it still says the same thing…

  • Regardless of what we think…
  • Regardless of what any polls tell us…
  • Regardless of what we want to believe…

Jesus said many people are going to hell and few people are going to heaven.

What percent do many and few represent?

  • Is it 60/40?
  • 70/30?
  • Maybe 80/20 or even 90/10?

The Lord doesn’t tell us the exact percent, but He does tell us it’s many versus few…and that alone is very, very sobering.

I want to share a story with you from my life that comes to mind when I think about the narrow way Jesus is discussing…

During college I was in Army ROTC. It’s a four-year program, and between your junior and senior year you go to Advanced Camp. It’s like a final after a three-year course. You spend your first three years training for this, and then you come back as a senior to help train the juniors who will be going that summer.

One of the major tests is land nav, or land navigation. You’re given a map and a compass and you have to walk for miles finding a number of different points.

Over the course of every summer thousands of cadets from across the nation go to Fort Lewis and take the land nav test, so there are paths everywhere.

And here’s what you need to know:

  • A lot of the paths look good…kind of like a lot of false religions look good.
  • They look like they’re going in the right destination.
  • You think, “I must be going the right way, b/c all these other people went this way. I know they did, b/c I can see this path and it’s really worn and pronounced.”
  • So you take the path and the main thing you’re telling yourself is, “All these people went this way, and they can’t all be wrong.”

But then something happens…

When you finish, you turn in your scorecard and you watch them grade it right in front of you. Then you find out the path all these people took is the wrong one, and you’re wrong too, b/c you took the same path as them. Might be like standing at the Great White Throne Judgment.

My point is, there’s only one right path, and it’s not determined by how many people take it or don’t take it.

Jesus says the path to take is the one that’s narrow that few people are on.

Now let me explain what Jesus does in verses 21-23

In verse 13 Jesus said many people will be kept out of heaven. In verses 21-23 He singles out a specific group of people who are kept out of heaven…

Matt 7:21 “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. 22 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?’

I think these are the most terrifying verses in all of Scripture.

The reason I say that is:

  • These verses aren’t discussing unbelievers or atheists. We expect unbelievers and atheists to be kept out of heaven.
  • These verses aren’t discussing people in false religions. We expect people in false religions to be kept out of heaven.

These verses are discussing people who call Jesus Lord.

If you look at their words they clearly thought they were going to heaven:

  • They are shocked.
  • Verse 22 ends with a question mark. They say:
    • What Lord?
    • Didn’t we…?
    • How can this be?”

The way they respond communicates their astonishment.

They were deceived about their salvation, and Jesus said many people are in this category.

The reason I think this sermon is so important, is Pastor Cary told me your church is very much like ours:

  • Conservative and Bible teaching…
  • Children who have been immersed in a Christian culture from the earliest age…

As a result, it’s easy to think we’re saved simply b/c:

  • We’re religious…
  • We’ve grown up in the church…
  • We attend a conservative church.

I don’t want any of you – or your children – deceived about salvation. I hope this sermon encourages all of us to examine our faith.

So let’s study these people to see what we can learn from them and why they’re kept out of heaven…

Notice the list of things they did:

  • Prophesy in your name
  • Cast out demons in your name
  • Do many mighty works in your name

The problem for these people is no amount of works can save you, and this brings us to Lesson 1…

Lesson 1: even spectacular works won’t get you into heaven.

They have done some number of things for God, but…

  • Religion doesn’t save people.
  • These verses – maybe more than any others in Scripture – show that no amount of works get people into heaven.

A key verse to understanding this is 1 John 2:19

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

This verse is making an important point:

  • Before these people went out, they looked saved.
  • It was only them going out that revealed they weren’t saved…or weren’t really of us.
  • If they hadn’t went out – which is to say if they had stayed in the church – they would’ve always looked like Christians.

Why did they look saved, or why did they look like they were of us? Because of their works!

And if you follow me for a moment, verse 22 is pretty much the OPPOSITE of what you’d expect to read…

Since Jesus kept these people out of heaven, what would you expect to find out about them?

  • They never served Him.
  • They wasted their lives.
  • They lived totally selfishly and only thought about themselves.

But that’s not it at all!

  • Far from having done nothing for the Lord, they claim to have done a number of things for the Lord.
  • And there’s no reason to think their claims are false.

It might be hard to believe that unbelievers were doing the wonderful things described in verse 22, but let me give you Scriptural evidence of this…

First, these unbelievers claimed to prophesy in [the Lord’s] name

When we hear the word prophesy we quickly think of foretelling the future, but 1 Cor 14:3 says the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.

Prophesying has more the idea of forthtelling God’s Word.

And let me ask you this…

  • Are there a lot of talented bible teachers who are not saved?
  • How many pastors looked like great speakers, only for some scandal to break revealing they probably aren’t Christians?

Second, they claimed to do many mighty works in [the Lord’s] name.

There are a number of places in Scripture that discuss unbelievers performing miracles:

  • Think of Pharaoh’s magicians.
  • Matt 24:24 [Jesus said], “False christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”

So unbelievers can perform miracles!

This is what I would say and this is very important…

  • Their claims are not false, but they are insufficient.
  • They did these works, but no amount of works save.

Salvation has never been available for people who do enough great things for the Lord.

And this actually reveals their problem. You can tell from the way they speak that:

  • Their confidence was in their works.
  • They even questioned the Lord and said, “Didn’t we do these great things? How can you not be pleased with us?”

Notice what they DIDN’T say…

They DIDN’T say, “Didn’t we repent of our sins and put our faith in You?”

They seemed to have a high assessment of themselves, but the issue isn’t whether we have a high assessment of ourselves:

  • The issue is how does the Lord view us? And if we’re trusting in our works – instead of Him – He doesn’t view us very well.
  • The fact is if you have a high assessment of yourself, you’re probably not going to heaven, b/c you think you’re a really good person, versus seeing yourself as a sinner.

And I want you to consider something else…

I think verse 22 is written in an important way. If the works listed weren’t spectacular ones, maybe we’d be tempted to think their works just weren’t good enough. For example, if they said:

  • Didn’t we go to church?
  • Didn’t we love our children?
  • Didn’t we help people?

We could look and say, “Maybe if they did something MORE spectacular they’d be saved.”

But Jesus presented the most dramatic works you can come up with…and it’s still not good enough.

So let me say this very clearly:

  • You can prophesy…
  • You can cast out demons…
  • You can even perform miracles…

And be kept out of heaven. And that’s not my opinion. That’s exactly what Jesus said.

I’ll give you one perfect example…

Before Jesus sent out the Twelve Apostles on their missionary trip, He gave them supernatural power:

  • Luke 9:1 [Jesus] gave [the Twelve] power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases
  • Then verse 6 says they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Who was one of the twelve who cast out demons and [did] many mighty works in Jesus’ name?

Judas!

Judas is the premier example of what Jesus is teaching. He’s the person you could expect to hear say the words of verse 22.

Look at verse 23 to see what Jesus says to these people…

23a And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; 

Now pause right here.

When we talk about salvation, we’ll commonly ask whether people “know the Lord.” We say:

  • Does he know the Lord?
  • Does she know the Lord?
  • Do they know the Lord?

Because of that, we might read Jesus’ words and ask, “Why didn’t Jesus say, “You never knew Me. Isn’t it about whether we know the Lord? Not whether He knows us?”

This teaches that it’s not an issue of whether people say they know the Lord. And this brings us to Lesson 2…

Lesson 2: the question is, “Does the Lord know you?”

If you write in your bible, circle the words, “I never knew you” and write, “Gal 4:9.”

Gal 4:9 explains what’s going on here. Listen to these important words…

Gal 4:9 Now that you have come to know God, OR RATHER TO BE KNOWN BY GOD.

The issue is being known by God and the people in verse 23 weren’t known by God!

This lesson is important, b/c lots of people – especially those in cults – say they know the Lord…

  • Mormons will tell you about Christ.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses will tell you about Christ.
  • Even Muslims will tell you about Christ…b/c they hold Him in high regard as a prophet.

But it doesn’t mean the Lord knows them.

When you speak to people in false religions and they want to convince you they know the Lord, “You might ask them: “Okay, but does the Lord know you?”

The people in verse 22 think they have a relationship with Jesus, but…

  • Jesus doesn’t see it that way.
  • He tells them it’s the opposite of what they thought.

And I want you to notice, Jesus isn’t ending His relationship with them. He isn’t cutting things off. Instead, He’s saying there never was a relationship.

The words I never knew you are strong evidence against people losing their salvation:

  • If people ever looked like they were Christians, it was the people in these verses.
  • If we didn’t know better, we would assume they were saved and then unsaved.

But Jesus says, “I NEVER knew you.” In other words, they were never Christians.

The obvious question is, “Why didn’t the Lord know these people?”

One reason has already been revealed:

  • They trusted in their own righteousness versus the righteousness offered by faith.
  • They never trusted Christ as Savior.

The other reason Jesus didn’t know them is revealed in the rest of the verse…

23b depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Even though these people performed some number of works for Jesus, and even though they repeatedly called Him “Lord,” it seems to have been lip service.

“Lord” means Master, but Jesus wasn’t the Master of their lives. Twice Jesus pointed out their sinfulness:

  • In verse 21 He 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.” So they hadn’t been obeying the will of the Father.
  • Now Jesus says they’re workers of lawlessness.
    • NKJV and NASB say practice lawlessness
    • 1 John 3:4b says sin is lawlessness, so this is Jesus’ way of saying they’re habitually sinful.

Jesus doesn’t say they WERE workers of lawlessness. He says that’s what they are. Currently. Presently.

And this brings us to Lesson 3…

Lesson 3: lack of repentance keeps you out of heaven.

Listen to this verse from Paul. I think he must’ve had Jesus’ words in mind when he wrote this…

2 Tim 2:19 God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord KNOWS THOSE WHO ARE HIS,” and, “Let everyone who NAMES THE NAME OF THE LORD DEPART FROM INIQUITY.”

The people in Matt 7 named the name of the Lord – they repeatedly called Him Lord – but they hadn’t departed from iniquity – which is to say they hadn’t repented.

We’re looking at the main problem associated w/ the false gospel of easy-believism…

It doesn’t preach repentance, so you have people who have been told:

  • If you just believe…
  • If you just say these words…
  • If you just repeat after me…

You’ll be saved.

But it leaves out repentance, and without repentance there’s no salvation.

The reason easy-believism is so dangerous is it’s close to the Gospel:

  • It is true that we’re saved by grace through faith.
  • But true, saving faith also produces repentance.

Saving faith and repentance go hand-in-hand.

Let me show you just how important repentance is…

If you look back at verse 22 you can see three things that can’t replace repentance. People can…

  1. Prophesy
  2. Cast out demons
  3. Perform miracles…

And even these things don’t serve as substitutes for repentance.

And that’s the problem w/ these people:

  1. They did some dramatic things, but they never repented.
  2. They kept practicing lawlessness.

This is why we see so many people claiming to be Christians, BUT…

  • They’re committing habitual sin…
  • They’re living together outside of marriage…
  • They’re looking at pornography…
  • They have little desire to grow and become more like Christ…
  • They have lives that revolve almost entirely around themselves with little thought to serving the Lord.

When you talk to people who claim to be Christians but have lives that are indistinguishable from the lives of unbelievers, and you address them about their lifestyles they call you legalistic. This is b/c they’ve been fed lies. They’ve been told following Jesus meant their lives didn’t have to change at all, and it wouldn’t cost them anything. All they needed to do was repeat some words.

BUT…

In Luke 5:32 Jesus said, I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

The way most altar calls take place, you’d almost think the words “to repentance” weren’t part of the verse. Do you ever hear invitations, and the person speaking says, “If you want to follow Jesus repeat after me AND MAKE SURE YOU REPENTED OF YOUR SINS”?

You don’t hear that!

All these people say, “Lord, Lord,” but what good is their lip service if there’s no repentance?

Let me ask a simple question…

What’s harder:

  • Saying the right thing?
  • Or doing the right thing?

Anyone can say, “Lord, Lord.” But it’s another thing entirely to live w/ Christ as Lord.

Also, I want you to notice one more thing about verse 23

The words depart from me, are said with a certain scornful dignity. They are not said with any amount of pity. Jesus simply casts them out of His presence, and we don’t see any compassion. I’m not saying Jesus doesn’t have any pity or compassion on these people, but I am saying it doesn’t come out in this verse. This is even more surprising when you consider this attitude is toward religious people who seemed to have served Him.

How do we explain the hostility Jesus seemed to feel toward these people?

I think the answer can only be explained by considering the hypocrisy of their lives:

  • They said Jesus was Lord, but they didn’t live like it.
  • It would be better not to call Jesus Lord at all if you’re not going to live like it. Let me say that one more time: It would be better not to call Jesus Lord at all if you’re not going to live like it.

I want to show you one more verse. Please turn to 2 Cor 13. We won’t turn back to Matthew.

2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

The context for this verse is the Corinthians were criticizing Paul.

I’ve noticed in ministry that those who are quick to condemn others are often guilty of worse sins themselves, and that’s the case here. Many of these people were questioning Paul’s apostleship, but they weren’t even Christians.

So Paul turned the tables on them. He said:

  • Instead of examining my preaching ability, you need to examine your faith.
  • Instead of testing my apostleship, you need to test your salvation.

He wanted them to apply the same standard to themselves that they applied to him, and if they did that then they could realize that Jesus Christ is in [them]…unless indeed [they failed] to meet the test!

And this brings us to our last lesson…

Lesson 4: examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith.

What Paul said to these people is good advice for anyone.

How many people do what Paul commanded the Corinthians to do?

  • How many people examine themselves?
  • How many people test themselves?

In other words, how many people ask the question: “Am I saved?”

If you realized the answer to this question is, “No,” that would actually be a good thing, b/c then you’d realize this BEFORE being told by Jesus to depart. You’d have time to repent and be saved.

If someone asked me why I was confident in my salvation, I wouldn’t say, “Because I’ve repented and put my faith in Christ”:

  • That’s not why I think I’m saved.
  • That’s how to BE saved.

If someone asked me why I thought I was saved, I would say because I have administered tests in Scripture to myself and they have given me confidence in my faith.

We’re saved by grace through faith, so we need to make sure that faith is genuine. The only way to know that is by testing it…

1 Pet 1:6 You rejoice…you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ…9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

We should test ourselves to make sure our faith is genuine, and Peter says that is what trials do. James 1:2-3 says the same thing: Count it all joy…when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH. Trials test our faith and when we endure trials and come out the other side maintaining faith in God we can be confident in that faith.

This is one of the five tests to see if you’re saved. I would encourage you to administer to yourself. I want to briefly review the others. They’re on the bottom of your bulletin…

Test 1 – Have I experienced godly sorrow that produces repentance?

This is the first test, b/c salvation begins with repentance…like we talked about earlier…

2 Cor 7:10 Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Paul contrasts two different types of sorrow:

  • There’s godly sorrow, which means sorrow over our sin. Sorrow over sinning against God. And this sorrow produces repentance that leads to salvation.
  • And there’s worldly sorrow:
    • Court rooms are filled with this sorrow when the verdict is read.
    • Children are filled w/ this sorrow when they learn they’re going to be spanked.

Being sorry means nothing. Paul says what’s needed is a godly sorry that produces repentance.

Test 2 – Has my repentance produced fruit?

This is more of a test to see if your repentance is genuine…versus short-lived and false.

We generally think of repentance as stopping something, but that’s only half of the equation. Repentance is just as much about starting something…

Matt 3:8 John said, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”

One way to tell if repentance is genuine is it doesn’t simply stop, or put off something. It also starts, or puts on something else. In other words, it produces fruit.

Test 3 – Has my faith persevered through trials?

We talked about this a moment ago. Trials test our faith and reveal the genuineness of it. Many people have seemed like they have a heart for the Lord, but then they go through something difficult they end up turning from him.

Test 4 – Is my life characterized by obedience?

Works don’t save, but works are evidence of salvation. There should be works in our that show our faith is living and active.

Test 5 – Do I practice sinning?

This test might sound similar to Test 4, but Scripture differentiates between a life characterized by obedience and someone who practices sinning. Because Scripture presents these as two different tests, I present them as two different tests. Believers sin, but they don’t “practice” sin or live habitually sinful lifestyles. This is what Jesus meant in verse 23 when He said these people practiced lawlessness.

Test 6 – Do I have a spiritual hunger and thirst?

Now I’ll be the first to say none of us always feel like:

  • Reading our Bibles…
  • Going to church…
  • Being in fellowship…
  • Worshipping the Lord…

But there’s something wrong if we never feel like doing these things!

How could we be born again in Christ, but not crave anything associated w/ that new life?

I would encourage you to administer these tests to yourself:

  • As much as these tests can make people doubt their salvation and help them realize they’re unsaved, the opposite is also true.
  • These tests can also give people greater confidence in their salvation.

If you have any questions about anything I’ve shared this morning, I will be available after service and I would consider it a privilege to speak with you.

Let’s pray.

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