The Worst Surprise Of All

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.”
–Matthew 7:22-23

Sometimes when I am debating people on TV, they will say, “Only God can decide who is going to be in Heaven. Only God gets to make that decision.” I say, “That is absolutely true. Only God can decide who will be in Heaven. The fact is, He has already decided that, and He has made His decision public. He said there is only one way to Heaven and that is through faith in Jesus Christ.” Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).

Only God is “able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). I think we will be surprised to find that many people we thought would have never trusted in Christ actually did end up trusting in Christ as Savior. But we are also going to be surprised that many people we thought had trusted in Christ, in fact, in their hearts had never trusted in Christ for salvation.

The Bible indicates many people will be surprised by their eternal destination. It will be the surprise of a lifetime when they discover that although they thought they were going to be welcomed into Heaven, God turns them away. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus said, “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.’” What day was Jesus talking about? He was talking about Judgment Day. He said that on that day, not just a few people are going to be surprised–many who thought God would welcome them into Heaven are going to be turned away. Why is that? Simple: they were on the wrong road the whole time.

The Bible teaches that there are two roads in life that lead to two very different destinations. Jesus explained in Matthew 7:13-14 about the fact that there are two roads that lead to two destinations. He said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

There are two roads in life. One road is a broad road. It is the highway that leads, ultimately, to Hell. Jesus said most people are on that road. But Jesus said there is another road going in the opposite direction that is very narrow. It is the road that leads to Heaven, and very few people are on that road.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Who Will Be In Heaven?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)

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