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Matthew 7:21-23



Intro: You might not think it, but our world is very heavenly minded. That is a strange statement considering just how wretched and wicked our world is.

·       Yet, in a recent CNN poll, it was discovered that 81% of the people asked believed in a literal heaven where people lived with God after death.

·       61% of those polled said that they believed they would go to Heaven immediately when they died.

·       Another 88% believed that they would see departed family and friends when they arrived in Heaven.

I find these numbers astonishing in light of the wickedness that fills our society. Of course, there is another side to this story.

·       Of those polled 6% believed Heaven could be reached by doing good works.

·       Another 57% believed that Heaven was available to all who place their faith in God and did good works.

·       Another 34% believed that Heaven was for those who had faith in God alone.

Now, here is where problems begin to appear.

·       A full 63% of those who responded believed they were going to Heaven, but they cited the wrong method for getting there.

·       The other 34%, who believed that Heaven came to those who placed their faith in God, may be just as wrong as those who believe salvation comes as a result of works.

I want you to know today that not everyone goes to Heaven when they die! I know we want to believe they do, but the Word of God says something far different.  Not everyone who thinks they are going to Heaven really is. In what is, without question, the most important area of any person’s life, most people, are sincerely wrong concerning what they believe about salvation.

As Jesus drew near to the end of the Sermon on the Mount, He takes the time to remind people of the seriousness of their salvation. He wanted everyone who heard Him to be sure that they were genuinely converted.

That is my desire for each of you today. I would like for us to spend a few minutes with these words of Jesus and notice some thoughts that come from this passage. I am going to preach today on the thought Not Everyone Gets To Go To Heaven.

It is my prayer that you will allow the Spirit of God to speak to your heart today. It may be that there are some here who have never been truly saved. Perhaps this is the day when you will meet Jesus as your Savior.

Maybe there are those who think they are saved, but in reality, you are not. I am praying that God will speak to your heart today! Perhaps there are those who know you have never been converted. There is no better time than right now to get that taken care of. Let’s join Jesus as He teaches us the truth that Not Everyone Gets To Go To Heaven.


  I.  v. 21a        A STARTLING


A.  Jesus makes one of the most startling statements in the entire Bible. He says that not everyone who claims Him as Lord will be saved! He is telling us that there will be some people who will think they are saved, but who, in fact, are still lost and headed to Hell!

B.  Jesus makes it clear that not all who profess Him possess Him! A mere profession of Jesus as Savior is not enough to save! A person may believe in the doctrines of the faith. They may be sincere and good. However, merely saying you know Jesus is not enough to save your soul. Belonging to the church, being a good person, doing religious things, etc, are all good, but none of them can save the soul! Salvation come only through the new birth, John 3:3, 7.

C.  I think it is clear that Jesus is telling us that there will be some who will think they are saved and in reality they are deceived. Why would I believe this? I believe it because the Bible has much to say about this matter.

1.     “For many are called, but few are chosen,” Matt. 22:14.

2. The parable of the Wheat and the Tares, Matt. 13:24-30; 13:36-43.

3. Paul also knew that there would be some in the church who would be fooled by their profession.

                  “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Cor. 13:5.

4. Simon Peter also mentioned this phenomenon, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”,2 Pet. 1:10.


D.  Why is this matter such a major concern? It is important because without Jesus, there is no hope for salvation. There is hope for nothing but Hell fire! Sadly, there are too many in our day that base their “salvation experience” on what their mother or daddy told them happened. Too many look to a time when they had a strange experience.

                  What we need to understand today is that there are many people who are trusting in some “fuzzy” experience to get them to Heaven. Friend, you had better be sure where your faith is today! Why? Your eternity depends on what you trust in! Remember, not everyone gets to go to Heaven!


  I.  A Startling Communication



A.  Here, Jesus clears up the matter of what brings salvation to a life. He says that people are saved by “doing the will of His Father.” Does this mean that people are saved by works? Of course not! Eph. 2:8-9. If we are going to understand this verse, we are going to have to find out what the will of the Father is.

B.  According to John 6:40, this is the will of God, “And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”

C.  So, the Bible makes it clear that salvation comes to those who see the Son and believe in Him. What is the bottom line? Salvation is by pure faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. If you can come to the place where you trust nothing but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to save you from your sins that is biblical salvation. It is stated as simply as possible in Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

D.  God has made salvation so easy to receive that He is able to invite anyone who thirsts to come to Him for salvation, John 7:37; Rev. 22:17. Salvation is simple, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved...”, Acts 16:31.

E.  Where is your faith today? It had better be in Jesus because not everyone gets to go to heaven!


  I.  A Startling Communication

 II.  A Simple Condition



A. When these people hear the requirement for salvation, they begin to recount all the things they have done in life. They had done some pretty impressive stuff! They had preached the Word of God! They had cast out devils! They had done many wonderful works! And, they had done it all in the Name of Jesus!

B.  You see, they were sincere! They were busy! They were doing good stuff in a good Name. They were making a difference. They were so busy working for the Lord that they never took the time to get to know Him personally!

C.  These people appealed to their works to save them. They even call Him Lord, but they do not know Him! If this verse teaches us anything at all, it teaches us that works cannot produce salvation! My friends, you can do it all! You can work and give and visit and preach and teach and go to church and on and on and on, but the truth still remains. Salvation is by “grace through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast.”

D.  Do you hear these boasting? Notice that their whole claim to Heaven rests in what “they” have done! The focus is on them and not on the Lord. May I just remind you today, your salvation will never be about you? It will never be about what you have accomplished or what you may have done. Salvation is all about Jesus and what He did when He went to the cross and took the sins of the world on Himself at Calvary, 2 Cor. 5:21. Salvation is about Him! Salvation is about the One Who suffered, bled and died to accomplish what a million lifetimes of religious works can never do, Ill. Heb. 9:12-14; Heb. 9:25-28; Heb. 10:10-14! (Ill. The awful sufferings of the cross, Isa. 52:14; Isa. 53:4-11! Glory Hallelujah!

E.  Because of all this, I am glad that I can tell you today, “It is done, and there is nothing for you to do, but accept Jesus and His plan for your salvation!” If you have received Him and His plan, then praise the Lord. If not, then you need to realize that not everyone gets to go to Heaven!


(Ill. One day, a king died. His servants spread the unbelievable news all over the palace. He had died in his bed of natural causes.

         “Where has he gone?” asked one of the king’s wisest counselors

         “Why, to Heaven of course!” answered all the others.

         “No”, said the other gravely, “I served this king for many years and traveled with him to many places. He loved to travel and would go over the details of each journey. Every element was planned and anticipated. But I have never heard him say a word about traveling to Heaven. It is a journey for which I saw him make no preparation. I am quite sure he did not go to Heaven.”

         What about you? Have you made the right preparations?)


  I.  A Startling Communication

 II.  A Simple Condition

III.  A Stunned Complaint



A.  As those people stood before the Lord, surely they were shocked at what they had already heard. Now they are about to hear something that will forever seal their destiny. He tells them, “I never knew you.” They had claimed to be working in His name. They had claimed that they knew Him. They had professed a relationship, but Jesus tells the truth. He tells them that at no time in their lives had He ever known them!


(Ill. Of course, Jesus is God! He knows everything. He knew who they were and He knew their hearts. What He means here is that He had never known them in a saving relationship. These people had never been saved!)


B.  There are those who feel that this passage is speaking to backsliders. Some feel that these people were once saved and now, for whatever reason, they are lost again. Of course, Jesus says that He “never” knew them. If He ever knew then He cannot say that He never knew them! These aren’t backsliders! These people are just plain lost in their sins!


(Ill. By the way, I am convinced that many who we call “backsliders” in the church are really people who were never been saved in the first place, 1 John 2:19.)


C.  The whole point of this verse is this, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his2 Tim. 2:19. If Jesus ever knew you, He still does today. If not, then you might be in this crowd that gathers on that day and finds they have no future in Heaven. Not everyone gets to go to Heaven!


  I.  A Startling Communication

 II.  A Simple Condition

III.  A Stunned Complaint

IV.  A Shocking Confession


V.  v. 23b        A SOLEMN


A.  These lost ones are ordered to leave the presence of the Lord! There is only one place in the universe where men can be free from the manifest presence of God and that is in the fires of Hell, 2 Thes. 1:8-9, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power”!

B.  We need to remember that there is a vast difference between Heaven and Hell!

1.  Heaven is described as a place of endless bliss and eternal glory, Rev. 21:4; John 14:1-3.

2.  On the other hand, Hell is described as:

A.  Unquenchable Fire - Mark 9:43

B.  A place of memory and remorse - Luke 16:25; 27-28

C.  A place of thirst - Luke 16:24-25

D.  A place of misery and pain - Luke 16:24-26; Rev. 14:10-11.

E.  A place of frustration and anger - Matt. 13:25; Matt. 24:51

F. A place of endless separation - Rev. 21:8; 2 Thes. 1:8-9

G.  A place of undiluted divine wrath - (Ill. Hab. 3:2, There will be no mercy for those who go to Hell!)


(Ill. It is clear to see that there is no comparison between Heaven and Hell. Which one do you want to go to when you die?)

C.  I think the saddest words in all the Bible will be these words recorded here, “I never knew you, depart from me.” These are people who expected to hear the Lord welcoming them into Heaven. They were sincere. They thought they were saved. They knew all the catchwords and the right things to say. They knew “Gospel speak”.

                  Why then will these people hear these words? They will hear them because they are basing their hope of salvation on their own works and goodness. They will hear them because they have failed to place their faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. They will go to Hell because they chose their way over God’s way. I wonder, what will Jesus say to you? Remember, not everyone gets to go to Heaven!


Conc: 81% of Americans believe in the existence of a real literal Heaven. Almost that many expect to go there immediately when they die. Will they? They will go to Heaven only if they are trusting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Unless they come to God through Jesus Christ, they will never be saved, John 14:6.

Today, I want you to know that I do not have the ear of 81% of Americans. However, I have had your ea today. Where do you stand with the Lord Jesus? Do you think you are saved? Do you hope that you will do to Heaven when you die? What are you basing that hope on today? If there is the slightest doubt in your heart that you are saved, you need to come and get that things settled right now. Some of you are lost. You need to get out of your seat and make your way to Jesus right now. He is calling will you come?

I remind you again, not everyone gets to go to Heaven! Will you?


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