Q. Re: Matt. 7:21-23. This passage has always troubled me.This sounds like these people are Christians who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord or else how could they do these mighty things unless it was the Holy Spirit doing it through them? So if they could not lose their eternal salvation why did Jesus tell them to depart from Him that He never knew them?
A. Matt. 7:21-23 says, Not every one who says to me Lord Lord shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven but him who does the will of my Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to Me on the last day, “Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Your Name and in your Name cast out demons and in your Name done many wonderful things?” Then will I tell them. “I never knew you depart from me, you who work iniquity. ”
Not everything that appears to be miraculous is from God. For instance, Pharaoh’s magicians duplicated a miracle of Moses in Exodus 8:20-22, and the anti-Christ will deceive the world with his counterfeit miracles (2 Thes. 2:9-10) after the Church is gone.
Jesus said only those who do the will of the Father will enter His kingdom. The will of the Father is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life (John 6:40). Since Jesus said these people won’t enter the Kingdom that means they didn’t do the will of His Father and therefore were never believers.
Also, if the people of Matt. 7:21-23 were believers who had lost their salvation Jesus would have said He knew them once but no longer did. Since He said he never knew them, He meant they had never been believers. The miracles have to be counterfeit.