21 “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. 22 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?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
“I NEVER KNEW YOU.”
Words we would pray to never hear from someone we love. The anguish of being erased from a loved one’s memory is an emotional pain that we would never want to endure. This painful loss of a loved one looking at us with no recognition seems unimaginable. Yet, this is what it is like to have a loved one with advanced Alzheimer’s, a heart-breaking disease with no cure in this world.
Having experienced “I never knew you” with my mother who had advanced Alzheimer’s, I have a deeper understanding of what the words of Jesus will really mean if I allow sin to control my life. If Christ looks at me with no recognition, speaks the words to me “I never knew you,” and exclaims “Away from Me, you evildoer!” — the permanence of these words will be forever throughout eternity. There will be no hope of being with the One who loves me more– but turns from me if I have not followed His commandments. I will have chosen this eternal separation and forever loss of being with the One who loved me enough to die for me. The eternal anguish of “I never knew you” will be heard over and over and over again and again, forever and always, in my mind with unbearable pain and utter darkness apart from God.
All because I forgot Him today after today after today . . .
Have we ever looked at ourselves in a mirror and wondered who it is we see? Can we change so much that we might say, “I never knew you” to our former selves. In Alzheimer’s, the person may not recognize herself in a mirror, even to the point of acknowledging another person coming up behind her and appearing in the mirror’s image as herself. I have witnessed this with my mother. The comparison is applicable, because we can become someone we don’t recognize when we draw away from God. The self we should see is Christ in us, but we become someone else when we allow sin to enter our lives.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
(2 Corinthians 13:5)
The forgetfulness of Alzheimer’s is not a choice and can be cured with a new body from God after life here ends. Sin, however, is a decision to forget the One who loved us more. The cure must be here, today, in our hearts. God is waiting for us to change the image of the person in the mirror to reflect His goodness. He does not want anyone to be lost and turned away. Yet, the decision is ours to make in this life. We must realistically and honestly examine self in the mirror to know what words will be said to us on our judgment day with the Lord: “I never knew you. . . Away from Me, you evildoer” (Matthew 7:23) or “Well done, good and faithful servant. . . Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:23).
We must know who we are each day and have a full realization of the meaning behind the words, “I never knew you.” The eternity we enter will be our choice. The image in the mirror will be what we have decided to be.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:10-11)
WE MUST BE DILIGENT SERVANTS OF CHRIST,
EXAMINING OURSELVES ALWAYS BEFORE HIM.
Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)
(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/05/19) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word