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Bible with Cross ShadowAs we have discovered, the sayings of Jesus are impossible to do without the life of Jesus in us to do them. This is the meaning of “in Christ”. Then there are the sayings that are very difficult to hear. They challenge what we want to believe about God. They highlight what we want to ignore.

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!” Matthew 7:21-23

This may be the hardest saying to hear in the entire Sermon on the Mount. Many have gone to great lengths to explain away its meaning. Why? Because it reveals a facet of God’s character that many would prefer not to consider: His severity. We do so at our own peril.

Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. Romans 11:22

Our God is a just God (Psalm 7:11). This is one of the things we like about God – when He is just on our behalf, or just against the wicked. What we don’t like to consider – nor communicate – is the just rebuke, chastening and scourging of our loving Father and Savior (Hebrews 12:5-11; Revelations 3:19).

Considering such things make us uncomfortable and concerned about our relationship with God. It may even cause us work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Imagine that! Read the rest of this entry »

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