“I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers”

In Matthew 7:21-29 we learn the importance of listening to Jesus’ words and acting on them. There are those who claim to be Christians but whom Jesus will never recognize.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“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 in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.

That first paragraph is so powerful. It speaks to those who make a big show of praying and prophesying and “healing” before big crowds and on television. Yet they fail to follow the very words of Jesus the Christ and the will of the Father, who as Jesus often says act as one. Many of these so-called Christians sew hate and distrust and cast judgment on others, when Jesus’ very message is to love one another and do good for neighbor and alien alike.

Jesus’ message to them is simple: “I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.” Their judgment day will come, possibly not in this life but in the next. They are getting their reward now for any good they may do, as Jesus says, but there will be no reward in heaven.

We are not to judge. We are not to condemn. Jesus himself refused to do either, except when it came to hypocrites, the publicly pious, and the self-righteous — the scribes and Pharisees. We are not to try to predict the final days, for only the Father knows the day and time. We are not to hate one another or call one another fools for the sake of belittling them. When we think we are above others who have sinned, Jesus reminds us that simply desiring that sin is enough to condemn ourselves, as in the case of lust or anger.

Rather, Jesus commands us to love and nurture and care for one another. That was His ministry on Earth. And when we listen to His words and act on them, Jesus assures us, He will know us.

Remember WWJD — What Would Jesus Do? The simplest way to find out is to read His Gospels. If you don’t find the answer there, you won’t find it anywhere. That’s why I use only the Gospels for this website. These are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. The evildoers find plenty of backup elsewhere for their hatred and name calling and judgmentalism, but where they almost never find it is in Jesus’ words. When they do find it there, it’s usually a sound bite missing its context, twisted to fit their narrative. If you are a Christian, why would you not follow every word that He uttered?

What would Jesus do? He would love. And He would command us to love, too. Listen to His words and act on them.

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