Arguably, these are the most horrifying words in all of Scripture,
“Depart from Me; I never knew you…” (Matt. 7:23).
These words of Christ are taken from the seventh chapter of the book of Matthew and are prophesied to be spoken directly to many who claim to follow Him.
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?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
As I was thinking about writing a poem on this subject, I realized I didn’t have to after all as I came across a poem by a man named Adrian Warnock which expressed just what I had in mind. (Link-www.patheos.com/blogs//adrianwarnock/2017/01/how-to-hear-away-from-me-i-never-knew-you).
I like it so much that I want to share it with you (below).
Suffice it to say that many of those who claim to follow Jesus Christ, surprisingly, will never enter His kingdom regardless of all the impressive spiritual works that they have done in His name. To their horror, by Him, they will be openly rejected as strangers.
In Jesus’ Name, let that not be you.
Let that word sink in a moment.
Not a few.
Not a theoretical group.
Not a hypothetical warning.
Notice how complacent they are.
Feel the pride.
They think they are in.
Prophesying. Casting out demons, mighty works.
Perhaps we could add preaching and leading.
Maybe writing a blog.
Doing things ‘in Jesus name’
Part of the ‘in crowd’
Looking terribly spiritual to others.
But not to the Lord.
No to the One who counts.
Who sees through hypocrisy.
Who examines the heart.
And says it is lacking.
More success in work or ministry?
More followers admiring you?
More legalistic following of rules?
Lacking knowing Him.
Lacking hearing from Him.
Lacking obedience to Him.
Lacking following Him from the heart.
Lacking a foundation.
Building impressive houses, that rest on shifting sands.
Preparing for a fall.
A fall that can come after decades of faking it.
Countless years of running on fumes.
Thinking you can make it on your own.
Believing you are doing God a favour.
Avoiding the big sins that others notice.
But pursuing your lusts in the secret place.
Loving Money rather than your maker.
Being impatient with others less ‘impressive’ than yourself.
Dispensing pain and rejection.
Not love and acceptance.
Praying pharisee prayers.
Or not praying at all.
Reading the Bible so you can help others.
Writing impressive blog posts.
Perhaps even like this one?
Counting the likes and shares.
Mining passages for sermon ideas.
Never letting the Bible read you.
Not submitting to the Surgeon’s knife.
Being concerned about the outside.
But ignoring your own wicked, wayward heart.
Faithless to the Faithful One.
Flippant with the One who died for you.
Neglecting the One who cares for you.
Patting yourself on the back for things His grace gave you.
Congratulating yourself for achievements you didn’t earn or deserve.
Disaster strikes and you pray for once.
But do you really turn back to Him?
Success comes and with it relief.
But do you really thank Him?
Do you even believe in him any more?
Do you trust him?
Do you love him?
Do you know him?
Sinking into despair when finally you glimpse it.
You have failed Him.
You have lived for yourself.
Suddenly allowing the ‘you’ to become ‘me’.
The ‘they’ becomes ‘I’.
Finally standing alone before Him.
Or kneeling, and feeling tears about to roll.
I come for myself.
I come with my sin and my shame.
I come with my failure.
I look to You.
I empty myself of pride.
Realise I have nothing to bring.
I turn to You.
I cry out to You.
Not knowing what to say.
My heart begins to stir.
But then it wanders again.
Alarm set early.
But my bed remains inviting.
I keep my appointment with You once.
Three times and more.
I will keep coming.
I will keep seeking.
I will keep knocking.
I will ask you to shape me.
Make me yours.
Mold my heart.
Bring this sheep back to the fold.
Don’t let me hear ‘I never knew you!’
Then it strikes me.
I may have changed but You haven’t.
And You whisper to me:
“I’m still here and I love you!
I’ve not given up on you.
I will not let you go.
You may not really know me, but I know you.”
And suddenly I realise.
It’s not about me.
It’s all about Him.
It’s not me that can make a difference.
It’s knowing Him that will change me.
Like a father and child.
I come dependent and dirty.
He meets my needs and cleans me up.
Purer than snow?
Purer than snow.
Finally, I admit it.
I am not worthy.
But I am loved.
I am prayed for.
And I am known.
(How Not to Hear Away From Me I Never Knew You by Adrian Warnock; Link-www.patheos.com/blogs//adrianwarnock/2017/01/how-to-hear-away-from-me-i-never-knew-you)