Matthew 7:21-23

Context of Matthew 7:21-23

Defining Key Terms Used in This Passage

"that day"
Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord,

"in [Jesus’] name"
Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?

Matthew 7:21-23 - Outline

In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus contrasts the outcome on the Day of Judgment for two categories of people:

Category #1: Concerning His true followers, of Christ describes:

Their character : “he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (7:21c)

Their final outcome on the Day of Judgment – “will enter the kingdom of heaven” (7:21b)


Category #2: Those who claim to be Christ’s followers but are not 

Their claim:

Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?! (7:22a)

and in your name drive out demons?! (7:22b)

and perform many miracles?! (7:22c)

Their true character: you evildoers [literally, “you workers of lawlessness” - ESV]! (7:23c)

Their final outcome on the Day of Judgment: I will tell them plainly,

I never knew you. (7:23a)

Away from me, you evildoers! (7:23b)

Some Observations on Matthew 7:21-23

A sobering implication for us. . .

This is why Jesus gives so often warns those who sin that they are in danger of going to hell:

The New Testament writers also warn professing Christians to examine themselves lest they face condemnation at the Judgment:

How Jesus’ (and his apostles’) strong warnings against disobedience are sometimes misunderstood:

We are clearly not saved by our own obedience or good works!

Instead we are saved because of Christ’s perfect obedience and His perfect sacrifice on our behalf

And we experience that salvation the moment we trust (believe, have faith) that Christ’s work was offered in our behalf:

And once we are truly saved by Christ – we remain saved forever!

So if we never can lose our salvation once we are saved, why does the Bible give so many warnings to Christians about obedience?

How do we keep from becoming like the false believers described by Jesus?