22Many 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?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Here we find souls who thought that they were alright with God, safe from judgment, and the reason why they supposed this to be true. They proffer their good works before the Lord as He sits in judgment and are puzzled that they stand wanting. The Lord Jesus Christ gives us a rare glimpse into one situation which will be found on that great day of Judgment (Rev 20:11-15). They profess good works in His name and He professes unto them, "I NEVER KNEW YOU! Depart from me, ye that work iniquity." But how could this have happened and could you be in danger of facing this same predicament?
The problem is that these people had made a false profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ--they might have prayed pretty words at an alter of prayer, but they were insincere about their desire to accept Him as Lord and Savior. This might sound strange, and many FALSELY believe that a true believer could actually lose their salvation because they don't allow for the possibility that someone made false profession in the first place. The bible never suggests that a true believer, having passed from death unto life (John 5:24) could ever become lost again...but does the bible give us examples of false professions? ABSOLUTELY!!
- In Matthew 13:5-6, the bible says, "5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away." -- This parable talks about seed sown on four different kinds of ground and pictures the word of God (gospel) being received by individuals in four different ways. In these particular verses, the seed, is received upon "stony places" without any depth. The plant springs up quickly but then withers away quickly because it has not really taken root. Jesus explains this parable, and these verses, in Matthew 13:20-21, which says, "But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended." -- The individual receiving the gospel message (seed) in this way, seems to be happy about hearing it, receives it eagerly and yet INSINCERELY. There is no real root in their heart and by and by they fall away from it. It wasn't a matter of really having something and losing it, but there was the appearance of having and losing.
- In Matthew 13:24-30, we find another parable with a similar, and more focused, message on false professions--the parable of Wheat and Tares. In this parable a farmer sows GOOD SEED (wheat) in his field. But while he sleeps, an enemy comes and sows tares among the wheat. When both spring up there are tares among the wheat. To understand the meaning of this parable is it very important to realize that a tare is a weed that has the appearance of wheat. However when both come to maturity, wheat has the fruit (wheat kernel) while the tare does not. Notice that the tare has the appearance of the true for a time, but then is revealed for what it truly is...a weed only good for burning in the fire.
- Again, we find an example of false professors of faith in Jesus Christ as they manifest themselves for what they are, this time in 1 John 2:18-19 which says, "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." -- John tells the reader, here, that these false disciples become known as such by there falling away from their profession. Now some might say that they simply got saved and then became lost again...but notice what John actually says. He explains very clearly that they "were not of us." He did NOT say they were of us, but now they are no longer of us (believers). But he makes the distinction that had they been believers they "would NO DOUBT have continued with us: but they went out that it might be made manifest (apparent) that they were not all of us. The apostle's language is very clear on the matter: they didn't lose salvation, only manifested the fact that they had made a false profession in the first place and in time went back to their old lives and dropped their profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
- In Mark 7:16, Jesus said of the religious Pharisees, who claimed to know and do the will of God, "He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." -- These religious men, despite their great PRETENSE of honoring God, actually hated the Lord...when the chips fell, they cried out, regarding God's Son and their Messiah, crucify Him!
- Lastly we see the example left to us of Judas Iscariot. This "son of perdition" answered the same calling as the other disciples. He heard the same teachings of Jesus as the others. He saw the same miracles as the other apostles. He walked with the Son of God. But he remained insincere in his profession of faith and it came out in his works. As they say, Judas Iscariot kissed the Door of Heaven (Jesus, in betrayal) and went straight to Hell.
What a tragedy to come so close to salvation and yet not receive. How foolish to pretend to have surrendered unto God and seemingly turn from sin only to perish in the judgment of God in the end of the matter. Why put up the charade? If you're going to go to the trouble of putting on a religious show, why not just sincerely repent of your sin and put your faith in Jesus? The difference in an insincere profession and a sincere saving faith is the difference between life and death--between HEAVEN & HELL!