God can sever his relationship with you, allow you to keep working for him, and reject you at the end in spite of all those good deeds you did.

This is a warning to all the pastors, leaders and the gifted in ministry. To the Hebrew and the Gentile saints in Christ. What I’ve come to know is this: God will take advantage of those who want to teach, preach, prophesy, even if their motives are wrong.

If you want to do great things for God, God will let you, but it doesn’t mean he’ll accept you at the end of it all. Ministry must be done for his glory, according to his will and in his power (not your own).

There are people doing great things for God but with the wrong motives. Some of those being for the honor of men, the control of souls, or for financial gain. Yet God still blesses their ministries and people are enlightened and helped.

Ministry must be done for his glory, according to his will and in his power (not your own).

I see this happening with this influx of women pastors. A woman with an ambition to teach and shepherd God’s sheep can bring many to Christ but she herself, being out of order, will not have the work accredited to her as righteousness, because it wasn’t faith (obedience) in the first place (Genesis 15:6). On top of that, she’ll have to give an account for the disorder she caused among his sheep because of her rebellion.

Then you have men who shy away from teaching the whole truth, while focusing on sermons that make people feel good. We also have those who continue to hold to doctrines that have been refuted and clearly shown to be false. They fail to examine the accuracy of their doctrines, not relying on the Holy Spirit to correct them, and thus causing their students to stumble.

Then there are the lying prophets who keep forecasting what thus saith the Lord and getting it wrong because they speak from their flesh and from the devil.

All these people are in danger. Everyone involved in these sins will lose their place with God for all eternity if they don’t repent now. Jesus said it:

“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?” (Matthew 7:22)

And we can add to that list whatever thing we feel God has called us to do. But Jesus responds:

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:23)

What we see here is that these were, in fact, born again children of God, (not the “un-regenerated” as the Calvinists proclaim) for how can these people perform such great acts like casting out demons, miracles and prophecy apart from the Holy Spirit’s power—these are the gifts and the signs of the Comforter himself.

And we also see that Jesus doesn’t rebuke them by saying they didn’t perform these acts, or that they did so by some other means. No. These were children of God. They did those works, but their error was iniquity.

The work of iniquity

Iniquity is defined as contempt and violation of God’s law, wickedness. His law is found in the 10 commandments. We know that we’re not under law, but under grace if we walk in the Spirit. If we walk in the flesh, we’ll find ourselves in all kinds of iniquity:

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:18-21)

Closely examine the Galatians passage and see if anything listed is present in your life. Overall, walking in the Spirit saves us from the works of the flesh that lead to damnation.

Referring back to the the words of Jesus in Matthew, notice how God allowed them to continue in their gifts. “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” as Romans 11:29 says. In other words, the Lord doesn’t take back his callings and gifts from us, instead, he let’s us keep them. Lucifer was the most wisest and beautiful being next to God, he still is today, even though he fell from grace, he still retains his abilities.

This is how a person can work for God, and “work iniquity” at the same time. You would think they would lose their gifts, but they don’t. So the troubling part about this is God can sever his personal relationship with you, allow you to keep working for him, and then reject you at the end in spite of all those good deeds you did through him. As Jesus said, this will happen to many, and what a terrible day that will be.

God can sever his personal relationship with you, allow you to keep working for him, and then reject you at the end in spite of all those good deeds you did through him.

Do you think God is unfair for doing this? It wasn’t like these people weren’t warned. Rest assured, these people were warned numerous times that they had sin to repent of. The Lord rebukes ad corrects those he loves (Rev 3:19; Prov 3:12). But something happened were these people just didn’t listen and repent. Why?

The reason why they don’t repent

The number one reason why they don’t repent is because they believe the lie that since God is using them, the relationship is OK. “I just witnessed a hundred people give their life to Christ today through my sermon, certainly God is OK with me,” so they think.

They fail to understand that we all are tools of God. He uses the wicked and the righteous, and even animals. He used a donkey to warn Balaam about a death angel in the road (Numbers 22:21-39). Is the donkey going to heaven because it spoke for God? Is the donkey mentioned in the great Hall of Faith? No.

Some leaders think because they work for God, they automatically have an eternal position in his kingdom, but this isn’t true. The truth is:

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. (Matt 7:21)

And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. (Luke 8:21)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying [obedience], he shall never see death. (John 8:51)

The truth is, those who obey God to the end will have an eternal position in his kingdom (Matt 10:22, 24:13).

But the enemy’s voice will say, You have nothing to worry about, obviously you’re doing the will of God. But you can’t do evil and good at the same time and expect God to accept you. This “work of iniquity” is often expressed in three ways:

  1. Doing God’s will along with unrepentant sin, either public or private.
  2. Doing God’s will but doing it your way, and in your power.
  3. Doing God’s will but taking the glory for it.

Number one is the primary reason servants of God end up rejected. The other two are just as sinful but harder to see because they can be spiritually hidden. We have to really take the latter two to the Lord for revelation and remedy.

Remember Solomon and all the wisdom God gave him? He wrote at least 3 books of the Bible too. Will he be with God in eternity? Probably not. It says his wives turned his heart away from God before he died. He didn’t continue with God to the end (1 Kings 11:4). And since we know God shows no favoritism (Romans 2:11), the Lord doesn’t care if he used just one man to write the entire Bible. If that man didn’t continue with him to the end, that man won’t be accepted into his kingdom.

God don’t play. God is righteous.

Yet today, many Christian leaders don’t take God’s word seriously and get caught up in the kind words people say about their work, or the TV appearances “validating their ministry.” They fail to accept the truth of the scriptures about endurance in righteousness to the end.

Loving the truth

These unrepentant men and women of God are deceived by Satan. They accepted his lies because deep down they don’t really love the truth. Since they don’t love the truth, God gives them over to a “strong delusion” (2 Thess 2:11-12).

However, a lover of the truth loves the person who is truth, which is Jesus Christ (John 14:6). A lover of the truth, despite his work for the Lord, is always coming to God and asking, “Am I right with you?”

A lover of the truth seeks to see his soul conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). A lover of truth loves God more than the ministry God gave him. If ministry isn’t what makes you, but it’s his Spirit that lives in you, then you’re on the right track towards eternal citizenship in the kingdom of God.

We have to remember: God doesn’t accept us because of what we do. Yes, we were created to do good works, but that’s not what saves us. We are saved by his grace, through our faith, which leads to obedience (Eph 2:8-10). Obedience is the key. No obedience, no eternal life. I don’t care what great things you’ve done for God, if you don’t obey to the end, in all areas (public and private), he won’t accept you in the end.

But how do we obey God? We walk in the Spirit.

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7 Comments

  1. Great reminder. I’ve heard it said, “God is the only boss that’ll fire you and let you keep working.” Saul is a great example of that; king for fourth years but only anointed for two.

  2. Thank God for this sobering reminder. We are never to anointed or deep to be reminded foundational truths. I teach the people in my church and other young leaders, your first study of scripture is for you. Stop studying to preach. Study to get right with God.