Bible verse and the Spirit of Prophecy insight
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.22 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Only by knowing God here can we prepare to meet Him at His coming…. But many of those who profess to believe in Christ do not know God. They have only a surface religion. They do not love God; they do not study His character; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. They do not know what restful love is, or what it means to walk by faith…. They fail of understanding that it is their duty to receive, in order that they may enrich others. Mar 76.2Ellen G. White – Maranatha p.76.2
Present day application
Some say that the words “depart from me, I never knew you” are the scariest words one could ever hear. I would also add they are the saddest. Jesus Christ makes it clear that some of His professed followers do not actually know Him. It is one thing to know someone as we might know someone nowadays, but a rather distinct thing to know someone in a biblical sense. The book of Genesis tells us that “Adam knew Eve and she conceived”. The translators of the King James Bible wanted it to be clear that ‘knowing’ someone meant much more than just being familiar with the person. It meant being one with them. We find a confirmation of this in one of the last prayers of our Lord, where He asks the Father for His followers to be one the way He and the Father are one.
OK, but how does one actually become ‘one’ with Jesus? Certainly not by going through any rituals or by keeping the traditions of men, nor worshipping Him with his lips while disregarding His commandments. Ellen G. White says we must study His character. This requires two things: to read what the Bible has to say about Him, and to apply it to our life. And it is not just the Gospels I am talking about, we can find Jesus all over the Bible. Through the Holy Spirit working in our lives, we can get to know Jesus intimately. Followers of Christ can expect strange things to happen to them, but it will be through those trials that they will get to know Him better.
Once you know Him, you will act like Him without even trying hard. His character will (literally) become your ‘second nature’. As a result, you will become an ambassador of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The more you know Him, the more you will hate the world and, sadly, the world will hate you as it hated Him. We ought to try walking in His shoes, imitate Him, rejoice in the things he would have rejoiced, be sad in moments when he would have been sad, act the way he would have acted. He is not that distant from us. During His time on earth, He has experienced the same temptations as we do. By choosing to follow His footsteps in this life, we gain the right to be by His side in the life to come. What a way to spend eternity–with the ruler of the universe as your best friend!