‘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?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’  (Matt. 7:22-23)

These are people that placed their faith in Jesus.  According to today’s (false) gospel, they were saved, by simply believing.  And THEY believed they were saved.  But here’s the problem: they lived in sin (they worked iniquity).

They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.’  (Titus 1:16)

Whether they never knew Jesus, or whether they backslid, it doesn’t matter.  Now they are lost.  They lived in sin even though they persisted in their faith.

In God’s Word, in the Old Testament alone, it is repeated four times (the number of times something is repeated signifies its importance–four repetitions means God wants to make it VERY clear) . . .

‘But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, [and] doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked [man] doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, IN THEM SHALL HE DIE.’  (Ezekiel 18:24)

When a righteous [man] turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; FOR HIS INIQUITY THAT HE HATH DONE SHALL HE DIE.’  (Ezekiel 18:26)

‘The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression . . . neither shall the righteous be able to live for his [righteousness] in the day that he sinneth.

When I shall say to the righteous, [that] he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, HE SHALL DIE for it.’  (Ezekiel 33:12-13)

When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, HE SHALL EVEN DIE thereby.’  (Ezekiel 33:18)

Furthermore, Jesus is being truthful in saying ‘I never knew you’.  And here is why . . .  there is a principal that was twice repeated in the verses above:

‘But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity . . . All his righteousness that he hath done SHALL NOT BE MENTIONED . . . ‘  (Ez. 18:24)

and

‘ . . . if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, ALL HIS RIGHTEOUSNESSES SHALL NOT BE REMEMBERED . . . ‘  (Ez. 33:13)

Just as completely as Jesus forgets the sins of those who have turned to Him in humble repentance . . . so completely does He forget those who have turned back to sin, rejected the warnings of His Holy Spirit, and despised His chastisement.  Don’t believe He can ever deny someone?

‘But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’  (Matt. 10:33)

Remember this?

‘They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him] . . . ‘  (Titus 1:16)

That ought to put a little fear in you–and that kind of fear is a good thing. 

‘ . . .Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.’  (Job 28:28)

Better you learn the fear of God now, and turn from wickedness, than to hear those most dreaded of words on judgment day:  ‘I never knew you: depart from me’.

‘For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?’  (Hebrews 10:26-29)

‘For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.

or the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers [is] rejected, and [is] nigh unto cursing; whose end [is] to be burned.’  (Hebrews 6:4-8)

The Bible also has something to say about pastors that teach false doctrines such as ‘Once Saved Always Saved’ . . .

‘For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. . . Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.’ (Jude 1:4, 13)

‘These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.’  (2 Peter 2:17-21)

If you are backslidden now and this message has gotten ahold of your heart, I want to offer you hope and a plea:

‘when the wicked [man] turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.  Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, he shall not die. . .

Repent, and turn [yourselves] from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.  Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die . . .?  For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn [yourselves], and live ye.’  (Ezekiel 18:27-28, 30-32)

But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, he shall not die.  All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: [and] not that he should return from his ways, and live?’  (Ezekiel 18:21-23)

‘Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; [If] the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, he shall not die.  None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.’  (Ezekiel 33:14-16)

But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.’  (Ezekiel 33:19)

‘The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’  (Psalm 51:17)

If you are ready to turn from wickedness, God is willing to forgive you of all your sins. Jesus–God in the flesh–died upon a cross, in your place, to pay the price for your sins, so that God could forgive you.

Jesus was perfect and sinless. He died, not for any sins of His own, but for you. If you are ready to count yourself as dead and live for Him, then confess your sins to Him and ask Him to forgive you and fill your heart with His presence.

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