How Can You Know if You Really Know God?

by Dale Partridge

One of the most terrifying passages found in Scripture is seen in Matthew 7:21-23. In these three verses, we see Jesus eternally rejecting what looks like devout followers of His ministry.

The words, “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’ are particularly frightening. As Christians, how are we to understand this passage? Further, what does Jesus mean when He says phrases like “know you” or “practice lawlessness”? But most importantly, how can we know that we truly know Christ? In this episode of Real Christianity, pastor Dale Partridge unpacks this text to help Christians find peace in knowing that they savingly know their Redeemer.

This Episode’s Question

“Pastor Dale, in Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus makes a terrifying statement to a group of people, who, by all visual accounts, look like followers of Christ. They are prophesying, casting out demons, and even doing miracles in the name of Jesus. In fact, they even call Jesus Lord. However, Jesus responds to them, “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ How can I be sure that I will not be one of these people who think they know Jesus but in reality they don’t?”

Christina -Helena, Montana

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Scripture References

  • 1 John 4:19

    “We love because he first loved us.”

  • 1 John 4:8

    “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

  • Romans 8:28-30

    “28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

  • Amos 3:2

    “You only have I known of all the families of the earth;”

  • Matthew 7:21-23

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

  • John 17:3

    “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

  • John 14:6-7

    “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him. Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

  • 1 John 2:3-6

    “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

  • John 10:27

    “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;”

  • 2 Timothy 2:19

    “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,”

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After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.

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