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Does Matthew 7:21-23 mean that believers can lose salvation?


Matthew 7:21 - 23

ESV - 21 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 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?

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The two questions most frequently asked about Matthew 7:21-23 come about because the verses seem to contradict two strongly held beliefs"one cannot lose his salvation and anyone who performs miracl...

July 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
Jesus starts out telling how to tell false teachers, wolves in sheep' clothing. He said they have bad fruit. What was the bad fruit they were preaching. He goes on to tell us that all that come before Him who even called Him Lord will not enter in to the kingdom. And He gives the reason, that they did not do the will of God.

Then he says, many will come before me on that day and tell me about all their good works, They even cast out demons in His name and did many wonderful works. But Jesus says, Depart from me ye that work iniquity, I never knew you.

If we back up to why Jesus says they can not enter, it is because they have not done the will of God. What is the will of God? If we go to John 6:40 we read what the will of God is. And this is the will of Him who sent me, of all that seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

These are people who go to church, give money, help their neighbor, and do many good things. But the one thing that is the most important thing any one can do in their life, is to trust Jesus as the only way to be saved without works. Romans 11:6 Salvation is all grace, what Jesus did for us on the cross, not by what we do or do not do, our works. Our work good or bad have nothing to do with salvation, which is what Jesus did for us on the cross.

These poor souls believed they were saved because they did many good works, but the bible is clear that no one can be saved by works, but only by grace through faith which is Jesus finished work on the cross to be saved. 

Many preachers are unsaved, and they lead others to not be saved also. They preach if you keep from sin and do good works, you will be saved. But that is salvation by works, and we can not be saved by works but only by grace, what Jesus did for us on the cross.

False teachers and preachers are always careful to never preach the gospel because men love to hear that they will be rewarded heaven for their works. But that is a lie from Satan to deceive many. They Keep Gods laws and do not live in great sin, but have never trusted Jesus as the only way to be saved and are trusting in their works, what they do to save themselves.

Galatians 2:21 Paul said, I do not make void the grace of God, if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Keeping Gods laws and commandments can not save us.

The only thing that can save us is what Jesus did for us on the cross and does not depend on our merit or our performance on how good we are.

We can only be saved when we accept Jesus full payment for all our sin.

The gospel that saves sinners is given in First Corinthians 15:1-4 That Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, that He was buried and rose again the third day, according to the scriptures.

In Galatians 1:8-9 Paul says, Though we our an angel from heaven preach any other gospel, than that which we have preached unto you, let them be accursed. 9 As we said before, If any man preaches any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

There is only one gospel and only one way to be saved. It is to believe that gospel that Jesus died for all our sins and gives us eternal life as a free gift. If we add works to what He did, then it is really saying that what He did is not good enough and now we must do something to finish the job He did not do. We can only be saved by what He did for us, without works, and then do good works because we are saved. But if we did no works after we have received the free gift of salvation, we are still saved because we are saved by faith alone. A one time faith that Jesus died for all our sins, Past, present, and future. It is all grace and nothing from us.

Romans 4:5 This is the most important thing in the bible. To believe the gospel.

I know it sounds to easy to just believe the gospel to be saved, but it is just that easy.

July 13 2017 6 responses Vote Up Share Report

Meinbw David Whitley Deacon at Orange View church of Christ
The answer is of course, yes, you can lose your salvation. Far too many profess a stronger belief in in the notion of saying "I believe" thus I am saved, rather than in God the Father. This is very easily seen in (James 2:26) Faith without works is no faith at all. Faith without works (or a life filled with demonstrated faith, bearing fruit) is nothing more than self deception. Those that say "I believe" and then fail to do the will of the Father will lose their salvation. The very first act of obedience is baptism and far too many lose their faith right then and there when they disobey and then live a life that is represented by daily dis-obedience rather than obedience to His will.

June 12 2014 25 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Carolyn Hostetter Wife, mother, grandmother, retired church administrator
Does Matthew 7:21-23 mean that believers can lose salvation?

Matthew 7:21-23
21 “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. 22 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?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

I don’t think this passage has anything to do with losing one’s salvation. If you put Scripture into context and compare Scripture with Scripture, the answer to this question seems pretty clear to me. Simply, Matthew 7:15-20 puts Mathew 7:21-23 into context. 

Matthew 7:15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Jesus is not talking about believers here – He’s talking to believers, warning them about false prophets and telling them how to recognize them. The issue is not about the good or bad fruit, or the obedience of the Christian. It’s about the deceit and motives of some people who claim to be Christian. Simon the Sorcerer in Acts is the perfect example of what this verse means.

Acts 8:9-24
9 Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; 10 and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, “This man is what is called the Great Power of God.” 11 And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts. 12 But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. 13 Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed.

14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.” 24 But Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

Simon was a false prophet and his fruit was evident to Peter. Even though Simon believed and was even baptized, his motives and heart were foul. Repentance had not taken place, and I believe people know that within themselves. He might have said the words in Matthew 7:21-23 to Jesus. (The Bible doesn’t tell us about his eternal destination.)

September 06 2016 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Brad Schmidt
One of the most important foundational truths is the security we have in our salvation, which can never be lost. Three general aspects encompass our security:

1) Jesus Christ will never push us away based on anything that we will do (John 6:37); therefore, there is nothing we are going to do that will cause Jesus to reject us.

2) Jesus Christ will keep us strong to the end (I Corinthians 1:8), so cannot become weak and fall away since our strength is not based on ourselves, but on Him

3) Satan or any other demonic being cannot take us out of our salvation (John 10:27-30); therefore, nothing can pull us away from our Lord and our salvation

Based on the above, there is no way we can lose our salvation: Jesus will not push us away, we cannot get weak and fall away, and Satan cannot pull us away. Would recommend checking out the website FoundationsForOurFaith.net for a more thorough study on the security of our salvation.

God Bless

November 20 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Miho Valle Evangelist
Matthew 7:21
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; 

Note: who calls Jesus Lord? Unbelievers?
How can unbelievers call Jesus Lord if they don't believe in him? Do Atheist calls him Lord. Try asking a devout Jew,see if they will call Jesus Lord. Only believers calls him Lord.

Luke 6:46
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Romans 10:13-14
…13)for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14)How then can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?

Note: I grew up a Christian, a believer of Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. Yet, I've gotten into drugs, and an alcoholic for 30 years. Went into the Occult, and New Age beliefs.
I would drink, get drunk and preach Jesus as Lord and savior. I would preach in church and come home drink and smoke cigarettes.Yet I called Him Lord. If I had died, would I still go to heaven after calling him Lord? 

Matthew 7:21.." but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

Note: was I doing God's will, and expect" to enter into heaven"?

Matthew 7:22 " 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?

Note: Do unbelievers prophecy in his name? Can an unbeliever cast out demons?......

Acts 19:13-16 (KJV)
13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Mark 9:38-40 (KJV)
38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

Matthew 7:23 " And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Note: How can, after doing miracles, and good works for Jesus, yet, he never knew you?

Ezekiel 18:24 (KJV)
24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

Note: This was the story of my life. Occult, New ager, alcoholic, drug user, etc. But, I called him Lord. I prayed. Read the bible. Went to church.Did the alter calls. Accepted him as Lord and savior many of times (Rev. 3:20). But I did "All the abominations that the wicked man doeth", yet shall I stil go to heaven if I died, or hung myself (which I once attempted). Yet, I called him Lord. I would have to face God after I die.....

Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Than I would see Jesus and say," Lord, Lord, It is I Miho. I preached in your name. Did many wonderful works in your name, let me into your kingdom that you made, and you died a horrible death for the punishment for the ugliness for sins". Come on Jesus, once saved always saved right? I cannot lose my salvation right Lord, everyone is preaching it, so it must be true, even though your word says otherwise, but hey, they seem sincere". View this..https://youtu.be/jSET-WTN3kU

December 27 2016 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

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