The Gift Pt 4: A False Gift

The Gift Pt 4: A False Gift

The Gift pt 4: The False Gift


Of late we have given consideration to an object to which is the single most important object of our lives, the one and only item for which all eternity hangs, the single most precious element of life that will determine eternal joy or eternal misery, and it is that which relates to our relationship to God the father, through Christ the Son. We refer to salvation, this is a gift, but tragically many are trusting in a false gift.

Created by God, man has rebelled against him, sin has eternally separated man from God and cast him into the same condemnation as the Devil. The series we have attended to speaks of THE GIFT of everlasting life through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died for our sins to REDEEM us to God. 

I had thought to have concluded it last week and to return to our study of the book of Romans which we had lifted for a time back in September last year, but the Lord did not see fit to allow me to resume it. I have two last and very important messages relating to The Gift, one is a warning of a False Gift, the other a response to its reception.

The Warning, being todays message, is absolutely vital; 

For as simple as the gospel is and as simple as the receiving of the Gift is, there is also the greatest danger of all that lay ahead for those who have only THOUGHT to have received it, but are yet lost. 

The Bible teaches us that MANY people have deceived themselves, believing they belong to Christ, but are not known of him.

The Title of the message today is A False Gift, and it is based on the passage found in Matthews Gospel in the final paragraph of the Sermon on the mount that began in chapter 5.

Matthew 7:21–23 

Here, sandwiched between six verses of the warning of false teachers, and six versesidentifying true recipients of the Gift, are three of the most frightening verses ever seen in the Bible.

It is those verses that I must expound to you today.

This is not a passage I delight to preach on, but when it comes to eternal life or death, I would be the most irresponsible pastor to neglect it. 

In short, there are going to be many people who have thought to have received the Gift of God, thinking to themselves that they shall enter into the kingdom of God, to whom the Lord shall profess to them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (v 23).

These are they who believe they have received the gift of eternal life, but remain dead in trespass and sins. These are they who deceive themselves into thinking they are saved, they believe themselves worthy of eternal life, but remain damned to eternal destruction.

These are they who have spoken in the name of Christ, attended to miracles of Christ, worked what they believed to be the work of Christ, but remain strangers to him.

These call themselves Christians, they act like Christians, even preach like them, but are lost.

Charles Spurgeon reflects on such as these writing;

A man may go in and out among Christians, join in their prayers, and praises, and communions, and preach their gospel or hear it, till, at last, without any reason for his belief, he may persuade himself that it is all right. He may even pass through the portals of death undeceived. The righteous are often troubled when they come to die; but it is with these self-deceived people as the psalmist says, “There are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.” Take heed, I beseech you, of self-deception… [If] “in that day,” we should say to him, “Lord, Lord,” and begin to argue that we were all right, and Christ should put an end to it all by saying, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.[1]

I stated that this is the single most frightening passage of the Bible because it affects “MANY”.

  • MANY who believe themselves safe from the day of vengeance of God, but no fruit has ever born witness to it.
  • MANY who believe themselves examples of Christ, who inwardly are ravening wolves seeking their own desires above that of Christ.
  • MANY who would claim the comforts of heaven, but will experience the torments of hell.

And there may be “Many” in this congregation….beloved, if there is but one in such a state, it is “too many”.

I pray the sermon this morning awakens you to the danger. I pray that if you are yourself convinced you stand upon an unstable foundation, you would seek out the Lord earnestly to secure it. 

If this describes you at all, or if you are not sure and I have not made clear how you can be sure, please feel free to speak with me. NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT!

Lets give consideration to the text at hand.

Matthew 7:21–23 

21 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. 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 

  • Many Professing Him, Are Unknown to Him
  • Many Attending His Works, He Never Knew
  • Many Surprised, He Knows Them Not
  • Many Discover Too Late, they were Never known.

Three prior messages are;

The Gift Pt 1: The Gift Bearer

The Gift Pt 2: The Gift Sealer

The Gift Pt 3: The Gift Procurer


Many Professing Him, Are Unknown To Him

Matthew 7:21–23 

21 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. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?…

According to a Barna Research report in 2021, only 28% of those who call themselves Christian, believe themselves to be “Theologically Born Again”, in other words, they claim to believe in their hearts what the Bible teaches is to be saved. 

Now, this does not mean that all of those 28% are truly saved, MANY may not be. 

There are certainly many who know all the doctrines, but are yet lost. Nevertheless, we will remain with the numbers as they are presented for the sake of this sermon.

This means that at least 72% of people who name the name of Christ, are not known by him. 72% of people who think they will enter into the Kingdom of God, will not. 

72% is a large majority beloved; that alone is a current study and certainly an indicator of the “Many who will say unto me in that day Lord, Lord”. This is now at the present time, yet the Bible indicates that this will get worse and worse as sin abounds before his return. 

Jesus said 

Matthew 24:12 

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 

When I consider those numbers, and give consideration to this Church that the Lord has me to shepherd, I can’t help but be greatly concerned. What if such a number was reflected here?

Beloved, I know that we as a church hold to the Bible, and we have understood the Gospel in large measure, we are Baptist by conviction and trust the word of God as our final authority; so perhaps that 72% figure does not apply to this church.

But even the reverse of that number still leaves 28% of the congregation who potentially believe themselves to know the Lord, but are not known of him. 

28% who might expect to hear, “well done my good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt 25:21), will instead hear  “I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity” (7:21) “In that day

Out of 100 people that is 28 lost souls who may claim the Lord as LORD.

Out of 50 people, that is 14 souls lost to a False Gift.

Out of 25 people who call themselves “Christian”, 7 Jesus does not know!

Beloved, this is a great grief, this is a great misery and sorrow, yet we are sure it remains true. Perhaps the numbers are not accurate, but we must know that the statement rings true.

How many have you witnessed in your day to day life, those who have claimed the name of Christ and in the same breath blaspheme his holy name by the foul words that come out of their mouths? They swear and think nothing of it, they curse and see comfort in the common tongue of the world. 

James spoke to these, consider 

James 3:8–12 

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Is that the indicator of a lost soul? Are the occasional cursing’s that escape the lips the sure evidence of one of the “MANY WHO PROFESS HIS NAME, ARE UNKNOWN TO CHRIST”?

Not completely, but the question should be asked by those troubled in its lack of control!

NOW this is an EVIDENT CONTRADICTION to all people.

What of those contradictions that take more discernment?

Jesus, speaking to Pilate said, “Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice” (Jn 18:37)

These are they whom “the Spirit of truth is come, and he will guide you into all truth” (Jn 16:13)

They “rejoice not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6)

The mouth that professes lies does not do so in accord with one who now has the Spirit of truth in him, Ephesians tells us that this is not in accord with the fruit of the Spirit, “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (Eph 5:9).

Those who belong to Christ have their “loins girt about with truth” (Eph 6:14)

And we all know “that no lie is of the truth” (1 Jn 2:21)

How can it be that those who profess his name have so little concern for the truth and find it so natural to lie?

 Their daily speech is deceit, they care little for the truth, their mouths are filled with lies even when there is no reason to lie.

They give excuses that are a fabrication, their schemes are from the smallest things to the largest. They have no conscience of the lies that come from their mouths, it is a natural to them as the father from whom they stem.

Turn to 

John 8:42–44

42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of yourfather the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it

How can it be that someone could claim to have received the Gift of God, which is the Spirit of Truth, and yet lies are their daily habit? 

How can they profess with their mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord, and yet confess by their mouths the Devil as their father?

We are living in a time where we are literally swimming in a sea of deception, and the world is also quite literally ‘lapping it up. Sadly, so too are many who call themselves Christians, how is that possible?

Turn to 2 Thess 2:8-12

Speaking of that terrible day in which Satan himself will reign this world for seven short years, when that Spirit of Truth is removed from the earth, the Bible says

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Revelation 21:8 

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

So, is that the indicator of a lost soul? Are the occasional lies that escape the lips the sure evidence of one of the “MANY WHO PROFESS HIS NAME, ARE UNKNOWN TO CHRIST”?

Not completely, but the question should be asked by those troubled in its lack of control by the Spirit of Truth.

Beloved, we could speak to many things that stem from the same lips as those who profess Christ as Lord and Saviour, hateful things, unkind things, spiteful things, yet those two are enough to have you ask yourself the question before it is too late.

Do your words testify to the truth of the state of your soul?

Are you One of the Many?

Many Attending His Works, He Never Knew

Matthew 7:21–23 

21 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. 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?

It may be of interest to you that this portion of our passage that speaks to the MANY WHO ATTEND HIS WORKS, is preceded by those whom Jesus states are “false prophets”. 

Who is it that claim to do the Works of Christ more than those who prophesy in his name?

Understanding that to ‘prophesy’ does not always refer to speaking things in advance, the context bears witness to whether it refers to teaching or a “Thus saith the Lord” prophecy. Clearly in this context Jesus is referring to false “teachers” whose fruit bears them witness.

By far the worst workers of works that are claimed to be of Christ are manifested in “Many” preachers of today who the Bible teaches shall wax worse and worse.

The Godly men are those who preach the Bible and hold it as their final authority in all matters. These men are certainly in existence, but they are becoming few and far between, nevertheless the Lord will always have men who will preach him… even if some of these men feel they are the only ones left.

But the Lord no doubt has reserved to himself thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal (Rom 11:4) 

            But of the latter days the Bible has much to say; 

2 Timothy 3:1–9 

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

In our passage in Matthew referring to false prophets, Jesus said “ye shall know them by their fruits”. The only ones who are able to discern the Spirit of truth in men are those who have the Spirit of Truth in them, and even they are charged to exercise discernment through the reading of the Scriptures “who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb 5:14).

Nevertheless, the greatest workers who will claim to work the works of Christ in the latter days JESUS NEVER KNEW.

Turn to 2 Pet 2:1-3

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

What we see here beloved confirms that which we read in Matthew 7. There are MANY who will claim to work the works of the Lord that JESUS NEVER KNEW. 

Not all who claim to be Christian are Christian, the Bible makes it plain for us, but will those who make such a claim come to see they are deceived “before that great and notable day of the Lord comes” (Acts 2:20)?

Are you one of them? Do you do the work that you do in the name of Christ, expecting that you are accepted of him, but yet to know him…or rather are known of him?

This passage is not limited to false teachers, but applies to those who have prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works

It is a fascinating picture of the Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches today, who are preparing the world to be deceived by the lying signs and wonders of AntiChrist in the day of the Lord.

These claim to do all manner of things for the name of Christ, they claim “words of knowledge”, “prophecy”, call down fire from heaven, they are binding and unbinding in the name of Jesus. They are commanding Viruses to cease and desist in the name of Jesus, and even giving us the date in which Covid 19 will be all cleared up.

You can read all about them in the short epistle of Jude

They look at the ‘wonderful works” as evidence of their saved condition, but have neglected the simplest of works, such as Prayer.

I personally cant understand how someone can claim to have a relationship with anyone yet never speak to them?

Cody preached a message at camp a few weeks ago and told of how he literally saved a young boy from drowning. That little boy followed him everywhere, talking to him and talking about him.

How can it be that a person saved by Christ from an eternity in hell for their sin, never speak to him or about him?

How is that possible? 

Take warning beloved, we are speaking of a false Gift. We are talking about those who profess to be saved but have never been known of the Lord. I have mentioned a few items ONLY that should raise the question in your minds.

John wrote of others in his day, saying 

1They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they wouldno doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 

1 John 2:19

Many Surprised He Never Knew Them

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 

Matt 7:23

That’s it…now you have read them. The single most frightening verse in the entire Bible. Never have such horrific words been penned than those found here in this passage, in this context, for those who might hear them.

I can’t imagine the thought that would go through the minds of those who hear these words, I can’t imagine the horror of such a surprise as this. Self-deception, whether it be lifelong or simply a day long, these will be surprised to hear such words.

I never knew you”.

What must it be like to think that you have come to church, you have grown up in Church, you have brought up your children in the Church, grown old at Church, heard the gospel at church again and again only to discover that the one you have claimed was your own, never knew you?

Is this a risk to you? It certainly is for “Many”. 

Many” have put their trust in the Churches they grew up in. They got ‘sprinkled’ when they were babbies and trusted they were saved through the Church this way.

They attended communion on a regular basis, they were never denied membership in the Church, they never felt convicted of sin and pastors never challenged them. They felt comfortable living for the Lord on Sundays and living for the world Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday…

(well perhaps not all day Wednesday, they’d shower off and scrub up in time for prayer meeting, quietly content to hear the last “Amen”)

I never knew you

Just listen to those words now.

I never knew you

Think about what it would feel like when it’s too late to do anything about it.

I never knew you, depart from me

You make sure to come to church on time, you walk in the door shake hands with the Pastor, proudly slot 10% of your income in the giving box, close your eyes and bow your head in prayer but cant get the words out of your mind;

I never knew you, depart from me

You hear the words now, not knowing if it applies to you.

Depart from me, ye that work iniquity

You run through your mind and give consideration if you are the subject of that verse.

How many people are sitting in Churches today who have NEVER been challenged with this verse, never heard it before, never even read it before but will hear it stem from the lips of Christ for the first and the last time….to late to do anything about it?

  • Charismatics are too busy babbling in incomprehensible tongues to speak words of soberness and truth.
  • Pentecostals are too busy dazzling one another with lying signs and wonders to show any sign of danger.
  • The reformed churches are too busy trying to show they are still alive not dead.
  • The emergent church has its focus trying to make the earth a better place to go to hell from.
  • And the Roman Catholics just want everyone to come together for a global Gaia festival. 

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord…23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 


No doubt there are many who may listen or are listening to this sermon wondering about those ‘many’ churches and pastors leading ‘many’ astray. They wonder how it can be that such calamity can come upon them for being led astray.

Jesus answered such questions, saying “they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matt 15:14) This is the reality.

But God will make sure such Pastors are dealt with, as he did in ancient days saying;

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. 2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD (Jer 23:1-2)

These are the pastors God had NOT SENT

But this is about you, not the pastors.

Are you self-deceived? 

The “Many” in the passage before us, clearly think themselves worthy of the kingdom of heaven.

This is a more difficult question for the pious, than the obviously lost person. 

But the question remains..

Many Discover Too Late, they were never known.

Turn back to our passage in Matthew 7:21-23

21 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. 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 

There is a suddenness to death that certainly catches “many” unawares. We all know it to be an inevitability, yet when it comes it does not always sound a trumpet before it. There is not always warning, one minute we have life above ground, next we are buried under it.

To those who have believed the gospel and trusted in Christ, nothing can overtake them, to those who have trusted in something else, the end is sudden, irrespective how long it takes to come to pass.

This is the greatest tragedy of dying deceived. 

Indeed there are far too many pastors today who will not awaken their congregations to this danger. They are more worried about being loved than love. Instead of a great awakening, they move their members to a great slumber, they fluff the pillows of the dammed.

Spurgeon speaks of their sermons as being “sweet enough only to catch flies not souls”.

They don’t want you to question your salvation, they are please for you to go to hell for ever as long as you feel good about yourself today.

“and my people love to have it so” says the Lord.

This tragedy is not a new one, it is ancient. Jeremiah wrote of it saying, “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Jer 3:30-31)

It’s too late in the end to ask such a question. 

It’s too late when you hear those frightening words stem directly from the lips of Christ.

Its just too late.

Those words will torment you for eternity. You had ALMOST HEAVEN!

You had the look, you professed with your mouth, but your heart was far from him.

This ain’t new, but does it describe you?

So what do you do?

How can you make your calling and election sure? (2 Pet 1:10)

2 Corinthians 13:5 

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? 

Beloved, those that would judge themselves will not be judged. Peter charges us to make our calling and election sure (2 Pet 1:10), this is not an unreasonable command in the light of Matthew 7.

What a joy it will be when you know that you know you are known of him?

What rejoicing will it be when your confidence and joy is found in Jesus?

This you have opportunity to do now.

This side of eternality all is open to you, only humility is required of you. Only a true sense of self-preservation will willingly testify of any danger you may be in.

The only people I fear for are those who have NEVER questioned their salvation. 

Spurgeon mentioned them spoken of by the Psalmist, 

For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm (Ps 73:4)

There is no fear of God before their eyes (Rom 3:18)

These are they I pray I might have sounded an alarm. 

Romans 13:11-12 closes this sermon well;

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

The Lord is coming soon, will he know you by name?


[1] Spurgeon, C.H. (1902) “The Disowned,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons. London: Passmore & Alabaster, p. 583.


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