I’ve recently listened to a sermon from a well-known pastor, and his call on biblical repentance, and holy living. One of his key statements, if you will, is that it isn’t if you know Christ, for even Satan knows him, but if Christ knows YOU, that determines if you are really saved.
This bothers me quite a bit, although he uses Matt 7:21 to justify his sermon, about those that say Lord, Lord, etc. We have verses, like Rom 10:13, that say everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
So, I guess to finally get to my question: how do we compare these two things? If Jesus said those that are mine do the will of the Father, and yet it would appear that very few are doing the will of the Father, are they in fact truly saved?
There are two things that some people don’t take into consideration when they quote Matt. 7:21. The first thing is the context of the passage, which begins in Matt. 7:15 and ends in Matt. 7:23.
In these verses, Jesus was referring specifically to false prophets. They want us to think they are speaking on the Lord’s behalf and even claim to have done miracles in His name. But in truth, they are not His and He has never known them. This passage is only about them and is not for general application.
The second thing some people don’t understand is God’s will where our salvation is concerned. Jesus explained this very clearly in John 6:40 when He said:
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
The false prophets of Matt. 7:15-23 did not do the will of the Father, which is to look to the Son and believe in Him, and that’s why He said He never knew them, called them evildoers, and sent them away (Matt. 7:23).
With this understanding we can see there is no conflict between Matt. 7:21 and Romans 10:13. Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved, because it’s what we believe that saves us, not how we behave.