We are all afraid of something - sometimes many things. Even though we are told in God’s word we are to be anxious for nothing, I would make a bet most of us have been anxious, worried or fearful of something at some stage, some more than we may like to admit.
An unfortunate by-product of our fallen nature can be to loose faith and lean on our own ways - and to entertain anxieties and fears.
I would guess we all have fears big and small. Historically, my biggest fear has not been death itself - I have long come to terms with the fact we are all immortal and none of us will escape a physical death.
Before the throne
My biggest fear is to stand before the throne one day, and have Jesus say to me ‘I never knew you…’
For as it is written,
“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 who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Mathew chapter 7, verses 21-23)
Every time I read this, it makes me shiver and as a result, I regularly ponder what the will of the Father who is in heaven is.
A solid answer is found in John chapter 6, verses 28-29 “Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
So we must believe in the one he sent, Jesus. This is echoed in the well known John chapter 3, verse 16.
It seems so simple - but wait, why did Jesus rebuke those quoted by Jesus in Mathew 7:22 ? Surely they believed? Surely they were saved? Or maybe they did not and were not.
Saying to them ‘Away with you, evil doers’ seems a little extreme.
So what is an evil doer? The Google dictionary defines it as ‘a person who commits profoundly immoral and wicked deeds’. A search of the Bible shows Immoral and wicked deeds in Gods eyes are laid out in Proverbs chapter 6, verses 12 to 14 “A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord”
So one would assume from this as a starting point, there was more to the type of individual Jesus mentioned in Mathew chapter 7 verse 22.
The individual is stating the works they did - prophesied, drove out demons and performed miracles - in his name. What is missing? In the next verse Jesus says ‘I never knew you’. So the individual was too focused on doing works in Jesus name, and possibly focusing on the attention they would receive, following the path of the previously mentioned style of an evildoer.
They forgot or lacked a personal relationship with him, which is more important. It also begs the question, were they even saved?
Even after pondering these things, I still have it in the back of my mind, those fateful words… I guess it is good to have the fear of it sitting there than not, keeping me in check to reflect on my relationship with Jesus on a regular basis.
I also realised fear can be put in us for good reason - we are told to fear God after all.
I believe God gives us the desire to seek out such matters - his desire to bring us to him and depart from sin.
Michael Dahlenburg is an electronics technician. He is non-denominational and has previously been involved in church plants and assisting those in ministry. His interests include; enjoying family, home DIY, gardening, most things tech-related and driving his wife crazy with a constant stream of inventions! He lives with his wife Michelle and three children in God’s own land of Southern Adelaide, Australia.Michael Dahlenburg’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/michael-dahlenburg.html