Is Jesus Truly the Lord of Your Life?
May 29th, 2022

Lord—Kurios–“one who is in charge by virtue of possession”, the owner, a persion in a position of authority exercising absolute ownership rights as Lord.  There is a difference between paying lip-service to Jesus as Lord, and actually making Him Lord of your life

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’      

Jesus is contrasting two groups here:  Those who call Him Lord in Truth, and those who just say “Lord, Lord”.  1 Cor 12 3b no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.  So, we see that to really call Jesus Lord means that we must have the Holy Spirit, and to have the Holy Spirit, we must be saved.  We are drawn to Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit, which is precisely Who the false prophets do not have.  

22 Many will say to Me on that day,

There will be many who just pay lip-service to Jesus, maybe coming forward at an altar call once in their lives, or by putting faith in the sacrament of being baptized as a baby, or growing up in church without ever making a commitment to Jesus, or having Christian parents or grandparents, or assuming that because they don’t belong to any other organized religion, they must be Christian, simply assuming that to be American is to be Christian, or even just counting on a death-bed conversion.  But no-one gets into heaven on a technicality.  God won’t be fooled, He can see your heart—Gal 6:7-8 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Mostly, people die as they have lived, and their own stubbornness and obstinance, and just being set in their ways doesn’t allow them to change.  Don’t let that be you.

‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 

We see by what they say that they have put their faith in their experiences, rather than in Jesus Himself.  The key to this verse is that their basis of faith in pleading to Jesus why they should be allowed into the kingdom of heaven is what they have done for God.  If you’re tempted to say “Look What I’ve Done for God”, then consider the example of Balaam’s donkey (Numbers 22).  The donkey was a better servant of the Lord than the prophet Balaam, who was so set on His prophecy for profit.  He was fighting against God to the point that God was going to kill him, and yet he had apparently unshakable faith—in himself! Putting our faith in what we do for Jesus, or in any experience that we’ve had that we attribute to God is NOT the same as putting our faith in the Person and Work of Jesus! 

Contrast the way that people are calling Jesus Lord, Lord in our verses today, in chapter 7 with the way that people are calling Jesus Lord in chapter 8.  In Matthew 8 was see Jesus called Lord 5 times:  A leper calls Him Lord asking Jesus to heal Him, a centurian calls Jesus Lord twice when he is asking him to heal his paralyzed servant, and his disciples cry out to Him to save them from the storm in the sea of Galilee. But these are all sincere cries to the Lord, as people come to Jesus with petition for healing and salvation.  This is calling Him Lord on the basis of who He is—the Power He has, what HE can do, what He has done. This is calling Jesus Lord in sincerity—when it’s based on who HE is.  Putting our faith in the power and authority of Jesus always gets His attention. 

Why can’t a person trust in the fact that they have prophesied in the Name of Jesus?  Well, let’s use our example Balaam.  Apparently he had been a true prophet of God at one time, but got blinded by his greed and ambition.  Even if one starts out as a true prophet, when they start trusting in themselves or in other powers besides God, they’re not a true prophet of God. 

Well, how about those who cast out demons in the name of Jesus?  Doesn’t that mean that they must be saved?  No!  We see the perfect example of this in Luke 9:49 and Mark 9:38 when John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us.  Notice that when Jesus says “us”, he means Himself and his followers.  That means that the person successfully casting out demons in the name of Jesus is not a follower of Jesus.  How is this possible?  Because the power isn’t in the person who is using the name of Jesus to cast out a demon.  Instead, the power is in the Name of Jesus!  God honors the faith in the name of Jesus, and this is not necessarily an endorsement of the character of the person that God uses to perform the miracle! 

And, there’s another, darker possibility when it comes to miracles.  In the Olivet discourse Jesus says that there would be false Christs that would seek to deceive and mislead.  Some of them will claim “I am the Christ”, and they’re pretty easy to identify as false. But, as Jesus says in Matthew 24:23-24 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘He is over here,’ do not believe him. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and will provide great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.  These will be able to deceive many, and certainly be able to deceive unbelievers.  False prophets and false teachers, and false miracle workers are drawn to the power that doing these things give them.  That’s why people are drawn into the occult.  But they have no problem whatsoever with the deceptive nature of these things, and that’s what makes them miles apart from the Christian, even if on the surface things may look similar.  According to the verse in Thessalonians above, salvation depends on accepting the love of the truth.  And this is in accordance with many other scriptures.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.  As John tells us in 16:13 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth  John 17:17 tells us, 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.  We are sanctified, set apart in Jesus, the Word, abiding in Him.  We are set apart as His Bride, forever identified with Him.   We are of the Truth because we have listened to the drawing of the Spirit of Truth, we have listed to the Voice of Jesus telling us the truth, and we have responded.  Do you see how completely opposite we are as Christians from those who practice lying wonders?  And we owe all of this difference to our identity with the God of truth, His Son the Way, the Truth and the Life, and the Holy Spirit of Truth.

 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

 But, sadly, there are those who think that they can fake it ‘till they make it’ in their dealings with God.  When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in the garden and hid themselves, God asked, “Where are you?” in Gen. 3:8-9. God did not ask that question because He didn’t know where they were.  He asked it so that they might realize where they had gone spiritually.  He wanted them to realize the truth about what they had done, and that they were no longer walking in truth was obvious from the fact that they were hiding from God.  Why did Isaiah cry “Woe to me, for I am ruined ”when he stood before God in Isaiah 6?  We read in Isaiah 6:5 Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; Any lack of Truth and any deception in any way does not stand before a righteous God!  And we may be able to fool ourselves, and may be able to fool others, but we cannot fool God!  God is omnipresent, meaning that there’s nowhere one can hide from Him.   Psalm 139:7-8 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.  There’s no escaping His presence, since His presence is everywhere.  God knows our hearts.  When the Pharisees took counsel how they might entangle Jesus (Matt. 22:15), “Jesus perceived their wickedness” (Matt. 22:18). He knew! Hebrews 4:13  13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we must answer.  So, we can’t fool God.  It’s about a personal relationship with Jesus.