To Whom Will Jesus Say 'I Never Knew You'? Bible Answer Man Responds

'Bible Answer Man' Hank Hanegraaff in a podcast on March 5, 2018.
"Bible Answer Man" Hank Hanegraaff in a podcast on March 5, 2018. | (Screenshot: Facebook/Bible Answer Man)

Hank Hanegraaff, also known as the "Bible Answer Man," tackled a question from a radio listener who said he fears Jesus' warnings that not all who claimed to follow Him will enter Heaven.

The listener spoke of Matthew 7: 21-23 in the Bible, where Jesus says:

"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!'"

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Another passage the listener was concerned about was John 15, where Jesus talks about how those who do not remain with Him are like a branch "thrown into the fire and burned."

Hanegraaff, who regularly answers listeners' questions and posts the responses on Facebook, told the man that he should not be fearful in wondering if he could be among those that Jesus is talking about.

He explained that Matthew 7 is specifically "a warning against false prophets."

"That's the context of the passage," he noted, and referred to the verses proceeding the section that warn against false prophets disguising themselves as wolves.

"I think in this passage, Jesus may well have in mind someone like Judas. Judas who was in his inner circle, who looked like a sheep, but was a wolf in sheep clothing," Hanegraaff said.

"By his fruit, he was eventually identified as what Jesus through His sovereignty and His knowledge of Judas was able to say, 'he is a devil.' Judas was never there because he loved Jesus. Judas was there because he loved what was on the master's table. So he did all the things that a sheep would do, that even a shepherd would do. He performed miracles, he drove out demons, but again, his heart was not with the Lord."

The Bible Answer Man insisted that what is important is that "we all ask ourselves do we really love Jesus, or is Jesus a means to an end? Do we really want to follow Jesus?"

He argued that those who really want to follow Jesus will walk with Him and be ready to love Him for eternity.

The question is "what is the condition of your heart, not is your life perfect. Every single one of us has our own besetting sins, every last one of us continues to sin in thought, word and deed," he said.

Hanegraaff clarified that Jesus is not expecting perfect Christians, noting that he prays all the time and asks Christ to cleanse him of his sins. He assured the listener that he does not need to be worried over such passages, but that he should reflect on what is in his heart.

"If you love the Lord Jesus Christ, you confess your sins and continue on in that journey," he said.

On the topic of what happens to followers of Jesus when they die, Hanegraaff said in a previous episode that they will receive eternal resurrected bodies.

When studying John 5, Hanegraaff analyzed that "someone who has died this year, died as a believer, they are absent from the body, present with the Lord. Their body is disintegrating in the grave, their soul is aware in the presence of God. That will be so until the time that the Lord descends, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet call of God.

"At that time, you will then see that those who are already in the graves will be resurrected. The souls will return to the resurrected bodies, and we will be what we were intended to be prior to the Fall (of Adam and Eve)."

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

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