DOES JESUS KNOW YOU?
As a Filipino, I live in a country that is mostly Roman Catholic. I myself is still ‘technically’ a catholic except that I am more Bible based in my practices. One time, I was told a joke about ‘how many Catholics would enter Heaven’. I never got the punchline, because I bluntly shocked the teller of the joke that in all probability very few might ever enter the kingdom of heaven. You can well imagine that at that time, my revelation was less than receptive and I was not given a chance to explain. In retrospect, I should have been gentler in my approach. So, in this blog, I hope to explain clearly in what I was trying to disclose and then impart to you Good News.
First thing first, the basis of my disclosure came from the words of Jesus himself in his Sermon on the Mouth. He said…
v21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
v22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’
v23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’… ”
When the teller of the joke asked me ‘how many Catholics would enter Heaven?’, this particular passage was forefront in my mind. At that matter, it is always forefront in my mind. Why? The seriousness of it is the reason why I think about it all the time especially when I am among people; strangers, friends and family alike. I mean, who would want to hear Jesus say, ‘I never knew you’?
When Jesus spoke these words, he was in the conclusive end of his sermon. These three verses is a ‘nutshell’ picture of the end of times. In the book of Revelation, John the Apostle described the final event of the end time with the returning of Jesus to the Earth… not anymore as our Savior… but as Judge! He came to judge ‘the dead, great and small, standing before the throne…’ (Rev 20:12) then they ‘were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.’ (Rev 20:14)
I can understand the evil being thrown into Hell, but then, how could Jesus cast those…
– that prophesied in his name…
– drove out demons in his name…
– performed many miracles in his name…
– and those that called him, ‘Lord Lord’…
The answer can be found within the same passage. Those that can enter the kingdom of heaven are the ones who ‘do the will of my Father’.
Let’s look closer at those who stood before Jesus the Judge in verse 22 of Matthew 7 and see how they did not live up to His will.
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’
These people were just denied entry and were pleading for ‘justice’. Their arguments was that they deserved to go into heaven because of the ‘good’ things they did in Jesus’ name.
How could this be against God’s will?
As a catholic, I was taught to always do good works with the belief that this would save me from Hell. But as I read the Bible, I learned that this was contrary to God’s will which says that…
For it is by grace you have been saved through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
This verse as well as more in Scripture indicate that good works whether done in his name or not, were never meant as a way to enter into heaven. This is fundamental.
But, of course, I have gotten into trouble with people whenever I try to impart with this part of the message. Some have accused me, even in tears, that I have devalued their works of good intentions and have branded them as ‘evil’. I admit that I have hesitated to approach teaching people with the bad news aspects of the gospel; fearing that I would be branded as being negative all the time.
Let me say that the message is not yet complete. The gospel which means “good news” is still to come.
Remember! Jesus is giving us a peak into an ‘end time’ event. Rule of thumb – when the Lord provides a prophecy like this, He is giving you an opportunity to seriously check where you are and ask yourselves…
Does Jesus know you?
Some have asked on how could Jesus not know who they were? Is he not God and all knowing? Of course, He is! So, how can he say, “I never knew you”?
Again, let’s take a closer look at Revelation 20:12.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. [Rev 20:12]
Two books were opened. One book clearly cites all the deeds and all the secrets that mankind hated to bring to light. The other is the book of life. In that book is a list of names of those who will enter the kingdom of heaven… that is, eternal life. I believe when Jesus says “I never knew you” is because your name was not in the book of life. So, I again ask…
Does Jesus know you?
Is your NAME in the Book of Life?
I apologize for being so blunt again. I must ask this of you because I care. I must risk alienation so that you will be aware. You see, Jesus ended his Sermon on the Mount with these words as a way of splashing ice cold water on your face to WAKE YOU UP!
Now, I must ask…
Do you want your name to be in the book of life?
I invite you to wait for my next GOSPEL post. Meanwhile, below are three verses that I challenge you to observe, analyze and then meditate about it on your own. It is eye opening.
1 Corinthians 15:2-4
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.