A Clay Jar

Encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thess. 2:12 NIV)

Sermon on the Mount: True and False Disciples – Matt. 7:21-23

Published on:

Last Updated on:

True and False disciples

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7:21-23 NIV

In the world today, as in the past centuries of Christian history, there are many who claim to be disciples of Jesus. And it can be a challenge to distinguish true disciples from false disciples. We may take the approach that we should not judge whether or not a person is a true disciple or not. But in the previous passage, Jesus gave us one test of true discipleship; look at the fruit they produce.

In this passage, Jesus gave us another test. Do they do the will of the Father above? Those who do will enter the Kingdom of God. Those who do not will be rejected and cast out.

Jesus divided professing believers into two groups based on this test. The one group called him Lord. They prophesied in Jesus’ name. They drove out demons. And they performed miracles in Jesus’ name. In today’s world, we might say that they taught Sunday school, they tithed, and were faithful in attendance whenever the church gathered.

But what did Jesus say to them? He told them words that no one wants to hear. I don’t know you. Go away, you evildoers. That sounds awfully harsh for those who had done so much. But one thing they had failed to do. The will of the Father. They had substituted other, commendable, activities for doing the Father’s will.

The Father’s Will

What is the Father’s will that they have failed to do? That may vary slightly depending on what God has called you to. But his general will for us can be summed up in one word. Love. Jesus identifies the two greatest commandments as loving God and loving others.

God is not as concerned with our exterior activities as he is with our relationships. We need to develop a loving relationship with God. And we need to selflessly love our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Do all of that good stuff. But don’t let it be a substitute for doing the Father’s will. Love!

Additional Related Posts

Subscribe to A Clay Jar

If you have found value in this post, please consider subscribing to A Clay Jar so that you don't miss any other posts. 

Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

4 thoughts on “Sermon on the Mount: True and False Disciples – Matt. 7:21-23”

  1. The will of the father is not to love everyone,,,anyone can show love to everyone,,,u have to really look at the answers u give be ause, u could lead people down the wrong road,,,the Catholics teach to love everyone and do good work,,most of them aren’t saved, very few are,,have a wonderful day in the lord

    • The Father clearly does love everyone as John 3:16-18 makes clear. But that is not the same as saying that everyone will be saved. As that same passage says we must believe in the Son he sent to us in order to experience his eternal life. It is not enough to say the right words. Or to do certain things. It is a commitment of ones life to the Lordship of Jesus. Your denomination does not matter. What does is your heart and where it is. Why your faith is placed in.

  2. Thank, so much for the post its educative for the christian that believe and fear God and love God. Gid isnt. Mock what ever seed a man sow he also reap.
    This is why a child of need to make a decisive decission for God and have a complete relationship. AMEN

    • We can find many groups of gatherings called churches where people are noticeably showing love to each other, but what about the things done in private, where only God can see what others don’t ?

      That is key which God sees and which is important to him and our salvation;

      Obeying his word and genuinely living according to it… not for show
      but sincerely.

      There are many church-goers who are sincere as well as insincere.

      All together say Lord, Lord ; guess which group will make it, according to Jesus’ own observation?


Leave a Comment