But Lord, Lord …

They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. (Titus 1:16)

I find that verse of Scripture chilling. They profess to know God, but they don’t. So are they lying? Or do they really think they know God and they’re just missing the mark?

But how can you think you know someone when you don’t? There has to be a fair amount of self-delusion. I think of movie-star stalkers. People who follow and photograph stars often think they have a real connection with that famous person. But they’re deluded. They know about the star, but they don’t have a relationship. The truth is, the star has no idea who they are.

God, of course, knows who we are, whether we are His children or not, but the reverse is not true for everyone. These people who profess Christ don’t actually know who He is.

Jesus pointedly asked those who followed Him this:

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)

So the first clue that people don’t know God is that they don’t do what He says. John makes this same point:

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:3-4).

Matthew addresses this issue, recording what Jesus said this way:

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves . . . So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ ” (Matt. 7:15, 20-23)

So these people Jesus was addressing were doing things in God’s name–they weren’t sitting idly by. What “fruits” then was Jesus referring to? The fruit of obedience–doing the will of the Father.

Apparently these people were doing what they thought constituted service to God–prophesying and casting out demons and performing miracles, all the while producing “bad fruit.”

Paul gave a fairly detailed description of what this bad fruit looks like in his second letter to Timothy:

For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these . . . But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Tim 3:2-5, 13 – emphasis mine)

The thing is, considering these verses seems to bump up against Scripture’s command not to judge “lest we be judged.” Too often, I think, we Christians give a shrug when we hear false teaching and say, well, I think they’re wrong, but who am I to judge?

The truth is, we’re not judging anyone. We’re recognizing a fact: people who claim to be Christians but disavow God’s Word can’t really know Him. If they claim the Bible isn’t God’s word and therefore they don’t have to obey the Bible, how can they know the Author?

They’re pretty much calling God a liar when they claim the Scripture He inspired isn’t actually from Him. They set themselves up as the authority, not God, and tell Him what He’s like rather than listening to Him reveal His own character.

What a sad day awaits them when they stand at the judgment seat with a pile of burned up wood, hay, and stubble, saying, But Lord, Lord, …

Shouldn’t we warn them?

Published in: on July 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm  Comments (10)  
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