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“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt. 7:21-23


As I read this passage, it was an awakening for me. It brought fear and sobriety to mind. I had to do a self examination, as well as an examination on where and how I worshiped to see if it was pleasing to our Holy God. I did not want to hear from our Lord on that day “I never knew you: depart from me, ye workers of iniquity.”

Friends, this is one of the most frightful passages in the Bible, and sadly, many do not take heed to this warning and will not enter His Kingdom. First of all, I would like you to take a careful look at this passage and see that these souls that our Lord Jesus spoke of are not Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, or Jehovah Witnesses. They were “Christians” who faithfully and doubtlessly believed that they were going to heaven. They believed that all they had done was pleasing to God and that it was according to His will.

In verse 22, notice they call Him Lord and fully knew and recognized Jesus as Lord. But knowledge alone cannot get you into heaven you also need the Spirit. (you need both) John 6:63; 2 Cor. 3:6. They also said, “Have we not prophesied in thy name?”  They were not prophesying in any other name; they were bold and unashamed of the gospel. They were passionate and committed, perhaps scholars of the Bible. They also claimed that they were casting out devils in His name, believing that Jesus was working through them in doing ‘many wonderful works’.  They were absolutely confident of their doings and trusted that by

Those good works they will enter in. But, our good works are not good enough to get us into heaven. Rom. 3:12; Isaiah 64:6a. And may I say  that neither you nor I could have told them that their beliefs and practices were contrary to biblical teachings. They might have told us that we were out of our minds and plain crazy. In verse 23, Jesus says, “Then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me ye workers of iniquity”. Here he tells them that he NEVER knew them, not at any time, and not even for a little while. These souls trust in a gospel of their own making, but it was not the gospel of the Scriptures. He also told them, ‘depart from me’, meaning “to go away” in the Greek. Sometimes we may ask how can a loving and caring God say these words. The latter part of v.23 tells us one of the reasons why: they worked iniquity – the word “iniquity” meaning lawlessness or transgressors of the law. These are those who say we are not under the law, but under grace.

My friend, the opposite of law is not grace; the opposite of law is lawlessness. The opposite of grace is damnation, to be condemned or damned. Unfortunately, many Pastors and teachers misunderstand this. There are some laws that we are no longer required to practice. In the Bible, there are 613 laws which are under three categories: Ceremonial laws, Moral laws, and Civil laws. The ceremonial laws are ceremonial duties and practices unto God like, Burnt offerings, sacrifices, and circumcision ect. Moral laws are man’s duty and practices towards God and man like, “…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind… Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself…” Mark 12:30-31 Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt kill Ex. 20:13 ect. The civil laws are to govern the land and to bring peace and stability, like obey those who are in authority, Romans 13:1 and do not remove land mark, Duet. 19:14 ect. Since Jesus Christ who is the sacrificial lamb made atonement for our sins, 1 Peter 1: 18-20, we no longer practice the ceremonial laws, except for those that were replaced like baptism and the Lord Super. But we still practice God’s moral and Civil laws. Like David says in Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” He being a man after God’s own heart, Acts 13:22. Paul says in Romans 7:22, “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:” Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 7:12, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Prov. 6:23, “For the commandment is a lamp; 

and the law is light;…”  Instead  of saying we are not under the law we are under grace we should rather say that we are not under the curse of the law because “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: For it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.” Gal. 3:13


My beloved friends I hope you are not one of those whose worship is not pleasing to God. Remember Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:3-7) God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected Cain’s offering, God was NOT pleased. Remember also, God’s High Priest, Aaron, whose sons, Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire unto God which was not pleasing to him who brought down fire and devoured them both at the altar (Lev. 10:1-3)  Also Deut. 9:19-21; 1 Samuel 13:11-14; 15:1-35; 1Chronicles 13:6-10; 15:2, and 2 Chronicle 26:16-21. God is very serious with worship it must be pleasing unto him or it is an abomination unto him and he will reject it, in fact he gives examples and patterns to follow Ex. 20:4-6, 25:40 we should not add to his worship or take away from his worship.


A Christian should govern himself biblically according to God’s Will and not according to his own traditions. The Bible has much to say about the traditions of man. Jesus warns us in the same chapter this text is taken from, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matt. 7:15 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Cor. 11:4) “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17)


Friends, here is a short version of the “Doctrines of Grace” that God teaches us from His word, the Bible.




Doctrines of Grace (TULIP)


T = Total depravity U = Unconditional Election

L = Limited Atonement I = Irresistible Calling

P = Perseverance of the Saints

Total Depravity

Man’s depravity, as a result of the Fall, is total.  All men are born into this world spiritually dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; the sinner’s heart is desperately corrupt. His will is not free; it is in bondage to his evil nature.  Therefore, he has lost his ability to choose good

over evil in the spiritual realm.  It takes more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring the sinner to Christ, it takes regeneration by which the spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature.  Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God’s gift  of salvation, it is God’s gift to the sinner, not the sinner’s gift to God.

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalm 51:5

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags;”Isaiah 64:6a

“As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:10-12

Psalms 58:3; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:3, 8:44; Ephesians 2:2-3; 1Corinthians 2:14

Unconditional Election

God’s Choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc.  On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected.  These acts are the result, not the cause, upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God Sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus, God’s choice of the sinner, not the sinner’s choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:” Duet. 7:6-7“No man can come to me except the Father which hath

sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44

Isaiah 55:11; John 15:16; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:28; Romans 9:11-13; 2Timothy 1:19

Limited Atonement

Christ’s death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners.  Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save only the elect (those whom the Father had given him) and actually secured salvation for them. Christ’s redemption secured everything necessary for the elect’s salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The elect are the sole

object of God’s saving grace.

“And she shalt bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name, JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

“As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father:

and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” John 10:15-16

Matthew 20:28; John 17:9; Acts 20:28; Roman 5:8-9; Titus 2:14; Revelation 5:9

Irresistible Grace

In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external  call (made without distinction) can be and is often rejected; whereas the internal call (made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call, the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited by man’s will or dependent upon man’s co-operation for success. The spirit graciously causes the elect sinners to co-operate, to believe, to repent, and to come freely and willingly to Christ. God’s grace, therefore, is invincible;  it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19-20

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

John 6:37

Romans 8:30; Colossians 2:13; James 1:18; Titus 3:5

Preservation of the Saints

All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved.  They are persevere to the end. kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and, thus, preserved to the end. Therefore, salvation is wholly dependent upon the God who had willed to save those whom He gave to His dear son.  Their salvation can never be lost. The elect are kept by God’s power through faith, and nothing can separate them from His love. They have been sealed with the Holy Spirit who has been given as the guarantee of their  salvation, and they are thus assured of an eternal inhertance. This doctrine does not maintain that all who profess the Christian  faith are certain of heaven.  Many

who profess belief and then “ fall away” do not fall from grace; they were never in grace.  True believers fall into various temptations and commit grievous sins, but these sins do not cause them to lose their salvation or separate them from Christ.“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee: and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Isaiah 43:2

“And I will make an everlasting covenant with them,  that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” Jeremiah 32:40

Romans 8:35-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; 1Thess. 5:23-24; Jude 1:24-25 1


Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son dies for them, and the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel.  The entire process of election, redemption, and regeneration is the work of God and  is by His grace alone.  Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the

gift of salvation.

“But as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John 1:12-13

“What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.” Romans 9:14-16

John 15:16; Ephesians 1:2-14 1

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Jesus Teaches The Doctrine of Grace



TOTAL DEPRAVITY – Mark 7: 20-23 “And

he said, ‘That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Matt. 7:17,Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit..”


UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION – John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:65, “And he said, ‘Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” Mark 4:10-12, “And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11 And he said unto them, ‘Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” Matt. 11:27, “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” John 6:38-40, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 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. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”


LIMITED ATONEMENT – John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:26, “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” Matt. 25:32-33, “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”


IRRESISTIBLE GRACE – Matt. 4:19-20, “And he saith unto them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.” Matt. 9:9, “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, ‘Follow me.’ And he arose, and followed him.” John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:65, “And he said, ‘Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”



John 6:38-40, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 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. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

By Matthew J. Slick