Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven.” We need to ask, then, what kind of faith those men and women had, who Jesus rejects and sends away. What is the difference between the faith that saves us and the faith that damns us?
It is possible to believe the promises of God, and have the assurance of salvation, and yet be lost forever.
Professing Christians with False Assurance
This possibility is implied in Matthew 7:22, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” These folks believed that they were secure in relation to Christ. They called him “Lord,” and they tapped into supernatural power in his name.
Perhaps they had even more “assurance of salvation” than many strugglers today (who are genuinely saved) because supernatural power was flowing through their hands. So when they read the promise, “I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5), they believed it was true of them. But it wasn’t.
That is why they will be shocked when Jesus says to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23). They are lost. But they thought they were saved.
Now Jesus’s point is that their lives of sin already testified to their lostness. But I am drawing out another point beneath their sinful deeds. I want to know what their false assurance tells us about how to truly believe a promise of God.