Q. 1 Corinthians 12:3 says that a man cannot call Jesus Lord except by the Spirit of God, yet we see in the Gospels that many at the Great White Throne judgment will call Him Lord, Lord. Even though I fail Him many times, I also call Him Lord and have believed on Him with all my heart for salvation. Can you elaborate on those who call Him Lord, Lord, yet ended up lost?
A. Paul’s statement in 1 Cor 12:3 was a rebuttal to the claim by some Corinthians that those who spoke in tongues were really pronouncing a curse on Jesus without knowing it. He was saying that tongues, being a gift from the Holy Spirit, could not be used in that way.
Jesus said there are some who call Him Lord but don’t do the will of His father and therefore He doesn’t know them (Matt. 7:21-23). In this case He was accusing them of saying something with their mouth they really don’t believe in their heart.
In John 6:40 He said His father’s will is that all who look to the Son and believe in Him will have everlasting life. The Greek word for believe means to entrust our eternal destiny to Him. There are many other verses confirming the fact that we’re saved because of what we believe, not because of how we behave.
From this we can conclude that some who call Him Lord don’t rely fully on Him for their salvation, but are trying to help save themselves by their own works. These are the ones who call Him Lord but don’t believe He paid the full price for their salvation, so they have to do the rest. These are the ones Jesus will deny knowing.
Also, at the end of the age many who will call Him Lord will be taken away to eternal punishment. In Phil. 2:9-10 we read that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess (agree) that Jesus is Lord. This doesn’t mean everyone will be saved. It means after the 2nd Coming there won’t be any doubt about the fact. They will have to agree He is the Lord, even though they didn’t believe He died for their sins and never asked Him to be their savior.