Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, “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!’”
Who are these people? They performed signs and wonders in Jesus name. Were they true Christians? Did they just claim to do these works? Were these lying signs and wonders?
It’s interesting that Believer’s Bible Commentary states this; “From these verses we learn that not all miracles are of divine origin and that not all miracle workers are divinely accredited. A miracle simply means that a supernatural power is at work. That power may be divine or satanic.”
The MacArthur Bible Commentary states, “…these people were claiming to have done some remarkable signs and wonders. In fact, their whole confidence was in these works – further proof that these works, spectacular as they might have appeared, could not have been authentic…a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”
But what does the Bible reveal about works?
In the book of Exodus, we see Pharaoh’s magicians create some of the same plagues God created through Moses. Exodus 7:11 states “they did in like manner with their enchantments.” Pharaoh’s many magicians each turned their rods into snakes, but God’s snake ate up all of their snakes.
In the book of Job, Satan was able to call down fire from the sky, cause a great wind to destroy Job’s home and family, and inflict Job with boils.
In Revelation 13:13-14, in reference to the False Prophet, it says, “He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast…”
We can see that Satan has a limited ability to perform signs and wonders. He can however produce counterfeits. Some works are real, and some are lying wonders. One of the things Satan could not do is create life. He could not create the lice for the plague in Egypt, as he does not give life, nor can he create it. Even the magicians could not create the lice and admitted it in Exodus 8:19. They said, “This is the finger of God.”
Revelation 13:15 says that the antichrist, “had power to give life unto the beast.” This seems to be a conflict. The question is, “was it really life, or could be a hint of AI technology? Or will God give him the power? We don’t know.
We do know the gifts of the Holy Spirit are real and operate through the Body of Christ today. God still does miracles, healings, and signs and wonders through His servants.
Back to Matthew 7:15-19:
Jesus is warning about the false prophets that come in sheep’s clothing. They look like sheep! He continues and says a bad tree cannot bear good fruit and that you will know them by their fruits.
It’s interesting that in Matthew Henry’s Commentary, he points out that both Balaam and Caiaphas prophesized but were not saved. Judas most likely cast out devils as it states in Luke 9:1-2, but was a son of perdition and went to hell.
As born-again believers in Jesus Christ, we know that our good works will not gain us entrance into heaven. Only trust in the shed blood of Jesus and what He did for us on the cross, and our repentance of sin, will grant us admittance to God’s house.
Good works are however evidence we are saved. Jesus said, “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.
James 1:22 states, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
1 John 3:23 says, “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another.” From the Bible, we know God’s will includes renewing our minds with the scriptures (Romans 12:2), serving God (Ephesians 6:6), living holy and staying away from sexual sin (1 Thessalonians 4:3), being thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:18), confessing and forsaking sin (Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9) and sharing Christ with others (Proverbs 11:30; Mark 16:15). These are just a few of the ways we obey and please God.
Today, people are presented with the opportunity to put their trust in Jesus while they are still alive. Most do not realize that a person cannot even come to God unless God draws them to Himself as Jesus said in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him.” God does not draw them unless Jesus reveals the Father to them, as Matthew 11:27 states. The Holy Spirit must then convict them of their sin as John 16:8 reveals.
Since all three persons of the Trinity are involved in someone’s salvation, having a flippant attitude towards repentance is dangerous. It is such a serious decision every time someone pushes the truth away because the heart grows harder towards God. At some point, our very gracious and merciful God will stop drawing them and give them over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28).
2 Timothy 2:19 says, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
The question I have for you is, “do you personally know Him, or do you feel justified because you attend church at Easter and Christmas?”
We are all only a heartbeat away from eternity. Your friends, family or acquaintances can’t save you from going to hell. Where you go after this life is not God’s decision. It’s yours.
I encourage you to take a moment now and sincerely ask the Lord to forgive you of your sins. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done; He will forgive you. Invite Him into your heart today. You will never regret it.
Acts 4:12 says, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” That is the name of Jesus!
Copyright 2007-2023 Soul Choice Ministries – All Rights Reserved
By Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell