“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Have you been properly introduced to the Lord? In other words, have you ever heard the word of God and it convicted you to repent, because you believed the words you heard were the gospel of truth spoken by one of God’s authorized preachers?
Romans 10:14 says, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Though the qualifier here refers to the saved souls in Rome (during the first century church) to be “redeemed from all earthly ills” … the concept to hear, believe, and call on the Lord Jesus Christ apply to all men in every generation … He commands all to repent (Acts 17:30).
Look at what Jesus said:
- (Matthew 4:17) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
- (Mark 1:14-15) Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
It was at this point (the end of His forty day wilderness experience, and after John the Baptist was arrested) the Lord Jesus said the aforementioned words to properly and fully enter His Messiahship. It consisted of three works:
- To preach the gospel to the meek and the poor (Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:18-19) to make known the will of the Father:
- (referenced: “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” (John 5:17). The word ‘hitherto’ means, ‘up to a certain point.’
- It was a change of office from the work of the Father to the work of the Son (by the same Person) … ‘Son of God’ is an idiom ‘God manifest in the flesh’ (1 Timothy 3:16);
- To enroll scholars, i.e., to call as many as believed to follow and be His disciples (Luke 9:23; John 8:31-32); and
- To work miracles … they began when He changed water into non-fermented wine (John 2:11).
The end of His earthly ministry work (manifest in the flesh) was to die for the sins of the world; to go to hell and preach the gospel to the dead (1 Peter 4:6); and to rise up on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). He gave a 40-day seminar to His disciples to prepare them to do the ‘greater works than these…’ (John 14:12).
The word ‘greater’ refers to works of the ministry on a ‘larger’ scale. It does not mean (to any degree) the disciple would be greater than the Lord Jesus. It was a simple deduction—they would cover more ground in the operation of ministry, as in, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
The word “knew” in our focal verse uses the Strong’s Greek number (g1097); it is a primary verb; to “know” (absolutely) in a great variety of applications and with many implications. In other words, to ‘know absolutely’ is to know from a beginning to an end … from the introduction to perfection. We were introduced to the Lord through His sent pastor, pulpit minister, or minister of reconciliation.
Many of us remember when Paul and Silas were in prison, and they began to pray and sing praise to the Lord when all of a sudden there was an earthquake and the prison doors were opened … the keeper of the prison was awakened out of sleep, and for fear the prisoners had escaped, he would have killed himself. But, Paul cried out with a loud voice, “Do thyself no harm: we are all here.” … Then the keeper of the prison wanted to know what he must do to be saved? They said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (See: Acts 16:25-34).
The Lord made it possible for all men to know Him absolutely, but as the scriptures are replete to declare that (based on particular qualifiers), many will not come close enough to be far away from Him …and… He will say to them on the day of judgment, “…I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
This is not to say the opportunity to be introduced to the Lord will not come … it will come because God “…dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3). Therefore, no soul will be exempt, except for outliers, of course. Besides, God’s mercy extends beyond our ability to understand AND He is extremely compassionate.
“But if any man love God, the same is known of him.”
— 1 Corinthians 8:3
An Absolute Value of the Introduction—
The word ‘known’ in 1 Corinthians 8:3, uses the same Strong’s Greek number (g1097) from our focal verse, which means ‘to know absolutely.’
This Greek number (g1097) is used at least 208 times in the New Testament. So, it carries a lot of weight and confirmation.
Let’s take a brief look at the results from some (of the many) appropriate responses to the introduction. These submitted believers are:
- known to be aproved by God;
- known to be loved by the Lord God;
- known to receive the favor of the Lord God;
- known to be a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ;
- known to be baptized in Jesus’ name for the remission of sins;
- known to seek the good of the brethren and esteem them before self;
- known to doeth righteousness even as He (Jesus) is righteous;
- known to have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost; or,
- known to wait to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost;
- known to have an obedient ear by a wise reprover;
- known to press toward the mark for the prize;
- known to strive to enter in at the strait gate;
- known to earnestly contend for the faith;
- known to seek God’s glory, only;
God approves of their track record …and… regards them as His children.
Another point of reference is the manifestation of the Lord to those properly introduced to Him. They prove their love for Him by keeping His word.
John 14:21 says, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
The word ‘manifest’ means to disclose (by words). Jesus will say whether a person loveth Him. He never withholds the truth in unrighteousness … NEVER! He always confirms His word with signs following … ‘signs’ mean, ‘indication.’
Another point of manifestation inside of ‘to know absolutely’ …. The Lord will make known to us that we are on the right or wrong course, but He will only make this known to those whom He loveth (Hebrews 12:5-11).
You see, those who do not have God’s commandments, cannot keep them; cannot love Him; and are not loved by Him … IT IS RIGHT HERE IN John 14:21 … The Law of Opposites.
He will not manifest Himself to them until they repent and believe the gospel. He demands discipleship; and that all men be born of the water, and born of the Spirit.
To cut a long story short, those who refuse to repent and believe the gospel:
- do not have God’s word in their heart … it was taken away the moment they refused to receive it;
- they do not love Him … since the word is not found in their heart;
- and they are not known by Him … because they failed to receive the introduction of His word in their heart (Matthew 13:18-23; Mark 4:14-20; Luke 8:11-15).
In the day of judgment He will say, “…I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Have you been properly introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you really know Him, or do you only know of Him? How much quality time do you put in to worship and praise the Lord with the right attitude, and the right information (John 4:23-24)? Do you worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth? Or, do you fake it until you make it? Do you have a pastor according to God’s own heart (Jeremiah 3:15)? Or, do you have a pastor after their own or someone else’s heart (Galatians 1:8-10)?
Did you ask Jesus to come into your heart (no scripture reference)? If so, repent, renounce, and seek the Lord to forgive and cleanse you from the false prophet who lied to you like the serpent beguiled Eve … “Ye shall not surely die…” (Genesis 3:4); but God said, “…for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17). Whose report do you believe?!
Jesus Christ dwells in the heart by faith (Ephesians 3:17)
Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)
So, have you been properly introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ? Make sure you know the Lord of a truth … before you go!
In Christ We Do Remain
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