In this series we’ve been looking at the closing of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7. Jesus has been teaching on the Kingdom of Heaven; who is who in it, how we should live in it and how to get into it. We have looked at His warning about self righteousness, how we should ask, seek and knock, the narrow and wide paths, and how we should watch out for false prophets. Today I want to look at the next teaching in this section.
Here is the whole section for some context
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
This final paragraph is in a sense a summation of the first two. Jesus has said that we need to strive for the narrow path. He says not everyone will enter it and in fact most don’t. He then calls out the false prophets – those promising life outside of His teachings even if they say they come in His name or promise similar things. Here in the final paragraph He is reiterating that not everyone who thinks they’re in or who profess to be following Him will be in.