“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"
Many people say they "know God," but the verse above implies that God will say He never knew them. This is a scary verse for a new Christian. For any Christian, really, who might be struggling with their faith. So over my next three posts, I'd like to look at them in context.
This verse is part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 7. The entire chapter is about how we should live our lives. Not judging others, approaching God with our concerns (ask, seek and knock), how we should walk with God, who we should not listen to, and how to build our faith on a firm foundation are all in this chapter. But today, we are going to concentrate on the verses above. We will start with the narrow gate.
Did you ever notice what Jesus filled up on before he went into the wilderness for forty days? For that matter, did you notice why he went into the wilderness? In Luke 4:1 we get the answers to both of these questions:
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit before he went into the wilderness and it was this same Holy Spirit who then led him into the wilderness. How interesting, don’t you think? Without the Holy Spirit, he would have succumbed to Satan’s temptations. Yet without the Holy Spirit, he would not have felt compelled to go into the wilderness in the first place.