Are there any verses in the Bible that bother you? I don’t mean that you wish weren’t there but that bother you. That you read and rather than put someone else's name on you think; “Is that me? Could that be me?” Do you apply challenging teachings to others first or to yourself? If I could turn James words in 1:23-24 into questions it’d read something like this: “Are you are hearer of the word and not a doer? When you read God’s Word are you like a person who looks intently in a mirror and goes away and at once forgets what you look like?” OK. Now that I’ve got your attention here’s one for example. Matthew 7:22-24 “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?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ 24 Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Does that verse ever bother you? Do you dismiss it too easily? Do you apply it to people of faith but “of the wrong faith”? To be honest I have at times. I've applied it to whole religious groups without considering if it applies to me. If you have not, you can stop reading now. This verse should be deeply offensive but we dismiss any application to us.
Would you consider with me a few things about it and then a question:
First: Don’t miss the word “many.” Why do so “many” think they are a part of the “few” (vs. 14) who will not be included in the “many?”
Notice the devotion: “Lord, Lord” this is kyrios from kuros which Strong’s says means “supremacy.” And it isn’t not just a casual calling of Jesus, “Supreme” but the repetitive, denoting deep devotion. They are emotionally involved. In the Hebrew when they wanted to say something with deep emotion they repeated it.
It might be easy at this point to dismiss these folks by saying “not everyone who calls Christ ‘Lord’ lives in subjection to Him. But there’s more: “did we not prophesy in Your name?” Preachers, this is us. This is not your “casual saint.” These are people who publicly “told forth” the name of Christ. Invited others to come to Him.
The surprise in their voices should not shock us. “Many?”, yes, “many.” Will say we cast out demons in Your name and we did many mighty works in Your name. And we think for some reason we’ll slide in with a Sunday morning only faith, a “Lord, you should be glad You’re getting this much out of me” faith. Note, Jesus doesn’t call them out on their claim to have been devoted workers or even miracle workers.
Now for the question: Could this be you?
The standard is stated clearly - “He who does the will of my Father.” It is the surrender of my desires to God’s desires (will).