“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Farther in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out devils, and by thy name do many mighty works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.'” Matthew 7:21-23.
Professions of faith, by themselves, will not identify true Christians. Christians are the persons doing the will of God. In other words, Christians can be identified by those who keep Christ’s commandments (John 14:23). No Christian will keep all of the commandments perfectly due to their fallen nature and will commit individual acts of sin where confession will be needed (I John 1:9). But a true Christian will hate their sin and be ever endeavoring toward righteousness by dying to themselves and letting God work through them (Galatians 2:20). Persons who feel that a confession of faith and nominal belief ,without a changed life, will allow them to “sneak” into heaven will be sadly mistaken.
There will also be many at judgement day who profess having performed seemingly miraculous good works who will not make it to heaven as God never “knew” them. Only persons God “knows” will find eternal life. Bonhoeffer puts it this way – “But Christ’s followers must ask by what ultimate criterion Jesus will accept or reject them. Who will pass the test, and who will not? The answer lies in the words of Jesus to the last of the rejected: ‘I have never known you.’ Here we are at last, here is the secret we have been waiting for since the Sermon on the Mount began. Here is the crucial question – has Jesus known us or not?’
Lest, as Believers, we wonder if we are “known” of God John 10:14 tells us that true Christians know the Lord and he knows them. True Christians have a relationship with God and a love of righteousness. This changed life (not perfect but decidedly changed) and related evidence of Christ living in us through the Holy Spirit will provide us the security of our salvation. It is the person without a relationship with Christ who “practices iniquity”, even while professing a belief in Christ and performing seemingly good works, that will miss the kingdom of heaven. We must be known of God to find eternal life.