Depart From Me. I Never Knew You!

There seems to be a lot of Christians who are very concerned about the “Depart from me…” statements of Jesus. They are worried that they might hear the Lord say this to them one day:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Notice that they did not say: “But Lord, you died for our sins on the cross.” Or, “Lord, we have been trusting in your sacrifice for salvation.” So, who exactly are being referred to here? These were not Christians who blew it and then lost their salvation because a believer is sealed to the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). This also has nothing to do with not doing enough “good works” because works doesn’t save anyone. Jesus said, “I never knew you.” They never belonged to Him. These are false Christians, unsaved ministers, leaders, etc., who performed false signs and wonders and cast out demons. They didn’t do it by the power of the Holy Spirit, but by the power of satan. They were never born again believers although they were inside the church.

In Matthew 25, Jesus again says: “Depart from me!”

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.4

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:42-46)

Here we have Jesus speaking these words to those who are alive at the end of the Tribulation before setting up His kingdom. This specific judgment will be against those who did not help believers during the Tribulation (Matthew 25:31-46). Paul wrote that all who believe his gospel are saved and nothing can separate us from Christ (Romans 8). That Christ will judge all mankind on the basis of his gospel (Romans 2:16). Anyone who has believed it has nothing to fear. Christ will judge all unbelieving mankind at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20).

If you are trusting in Christ alone for salvation, Jesus will never say to you: “Depart from me. I never knew you!”

7 thoughts on “Depart From Me. I Never Knew You!

  1. What a blessed thing it is to have the assurance of salvation! I believe that what we can take away from this passage in Matthew as believers is what love looks like. While we are not saved by our good works, we are called to love one another. This is a good example of what that love should look like as we look to the good of others and meet their needs. Love is more than a feeling or emotion, and it is what the early church was known for. If only we could get back to that in our modern world, maybe we could make more of an impact on those around us.

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  2. This sheep and goat judgement is perplexing for many but makes so much sense when you look at how Gentiles could get the blessing of God and partake of Israel’s promises in times past, from Abraham to Israel’s fall and again in the ages to come when that separation between Jew and Gentile is back in place. Under the covenant with Abraham those Gentiles who become proselytes to Judaism or physically

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    1. Bless Israel, which is what they sheep did, get the blessing of God and enter the kingdom. It’s only when believers today fail to consider the Scriptures Dispensationally by rightly dividing that they get all jacked up in the spirit and fear this verse is about them.

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      1. Many Christians mistakenly believe that the church has replaced Israel. Therefore, they don’t read “Israel” or “Jews” in any of these Revelation passages. Also, there are many Christians who have been erroneously taught that we can lose our salvation. They think they must “endure to the end.” But this enduring is for Jews during the tribulation.

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  3. Scott Price

    Brother, you are neglecting the plain teaching of this text which is that you can’t sincerely and credibly call Jesus Lord if you don’t do His will. The continuation of the Matthew 7 passage into verses 24 and following prove that. As to “enduring to the end”, so many Scriptures teach that saving faith is the kind that overcomes the world and perseveres through persecution, sacrifice and suffering to prove in the end that such faith was gold, true faith or living faith.

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    1. Many false prophets call Jesus, Lord. At Jesus’ 2nd Coming, every knee shall bow and confess Christ as Lord.

      Matt 24 is about the tribulation and it’s addressed to Jews. (all of Matthew is to Jews, not Christians) Verse 13 says: “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” This is referring to Jews in the tribulation. The “end” here is not about the end of one’s life. In vs. 3 the disciples had asked about the “end of the age.”

      Those who teach a “works” theology make the mistake in teaching that enduring to the end means Christians. Cults, such as Mormonism, use this verse to try and prove that we must work and persevere, or else we aren’t saved. This is not the gospel of the grace of God that Paul taught.

      The moment one believes in Jesus Christ for forgiveness, their salvation is complete. They are sealed to the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians. 4:30)

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