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 Vol. 9, No. 1 

January 2007

Priscilla's Page *Editor's Note*

~ Page 16 ~

"Depart from Me"
-- The Ultimate Rejection

By Marilyn LaStrape

Image In what is commonly referred to as Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 7:21-23 he teaches on the true and acceptable way to enter the kingdom of heaven. He states it is not enough to say, "Lord, Lord," we must do the will of his Father in heaven. He further states many will say they have prophesied, cast out demons, and done many wonders in his name. However, the bottom line will be, "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness'" (Matthew 7:23).

To be rejected is to be refused, discarded, eliminated, thrown out or denied. How did Jesus mean a person could practice lawlessness? It means the deliberate defiance and rejection of the known will of God, and the substitution of the will of self. To be pleasing to God, we must conform to his will in thought, action and purpose. Jesus asked this most pointed question in Luke 6:36, "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?"

Jesus was the first person in the New Testament to tell us about the existence of hell. A person told a member of the church that if there is such a place, it will be only for the mass murderers and the like. The rest of us will just get a "stern talking to"! In view of what the Bible teaches us about heaven and hell, can we even imagine that kind of thought being seriously entertained? However, when we give our gravest attention to the words of Jesus, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness," it does not get any sterner than that!

We as children of God must be about our Father's business in spreading the word of the Gospel of the kingdom every day we live. Paul told the church at Corinth, "You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men" (2 Corinthians 3:2). God has given us the ministry of reconciliation and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. "Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).

How do we become the "righteousness of God"? Since we have no righteousness of our own, we are made righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ. When we obey the Gospel by faith and obedience to the truth, our sin debt is paid. We all can understand debt and some of us know exactly what it means to be in such debt that we are unable to pay.

In the spiritual sense, we all have a sin debt that must and will be paid. We have one of two ways to pay it. We can allow Jesus Christ to pay our sin debt by our faithful obedience to the Gospel, or we will pay for our own sins in hell forever! Those are our two choices. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Sin pays the lowest and most horrifying wages! Thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord we have been made free by his sacrifice on Calvary!Image

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