“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.”Matthew 7:22-23
Rebekah was the first real girlfriend I ever had. On May 2, 1990, she checked the box that said “yes”, and we began our story. The girl I previously barely noticed in class was now the one I could not stand to be without. The ten minutes we were permitted to talk on the phone each day flew by like time spent at Disneyland. I could not wait to go to school each morning, which was quite the phenomenon for me at the time as I did not care much for school. My heart skipped a beat when I saw her, and I could not imagine life without her.
The school year ended shortly after we started our relationship, and the summer seemed to be so agonizingly long. I was not sure how I was going to survive a whole summer without the love of my life. We lived far apart and really had no way of seeing each other. There was a summer family camp that we both were planning to attend, and I had that date circled on my calendar as I could not wait to see her. A month passed since we had last seen each other, and I held on to the hug she gave me at my eighth grade graduation. I was so excited to go to family camp, but it was not for the reasons of spending time with my family or drawing close to God through the Bible preaching. I could only think of my blonde hair beauty, and I was elated to finally be able to see her.
When I first saw Rebekah at family camp, I noticed she got a perm that looked like a motorcycle helmet on top of her head. I made fun of her hairdo behind her back, but in my defense, it was pretty bad. She got word of my ridicule and I imagine my comments hurt her. I knew for a fact she was not happy with me. I had made some friends at the camp and they told me Rebekah was thinking of breaking up with me. I made arrangements to speak to her, but she was not willing to speak with me alone. She agreed to speak with me on the volleyball court where her friends could be nearby.
We did not speak for very long as she told me she was indeed breaking up with me. My heart broke into a million pieces there on the court, and I pleaded for a second chance. She was not mean about it, but she simply replied, “no.” I tried to still plead my case but her friends chanted in unison towards me, “She said no! She said no!” I wanted to punch them all in the face, but I thought it would not be a good idea. Rebekah turned to walk away from me, followed by her friends, and I was left there all alone on the volleyball court. I got no second chance that night, and I was glad the dark night hid the tears that flooded my eyes. I knew I had messed up, and I was not sure how I would go on without the love of my life. I still remember that moment as if it were yesterday, and the heartbreak I felt will never be forgotten. I deserved the break up, and I deserved to be left alone.
My sad story pales in comparison to those who will be turned away at God’s judgement seat. It is one thing to be dumped on a volleyball court and quite another for God to say to you, “Depart from me.” If you have not accepted Jesus’ death on the cross as the payment for your sin, these words from a holy God will ring in your ears for all eternity. You may beg for a second chance, but it will not be granted. You will be cast into the lake of fire and have no way out. Some will try to give an account of how successful they were or of the good works they did, but it will not be enough. There will be some who proclaim their religious affiliation and even some who attempt to claim all they did for God. But religion and works without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will ring hollow and be meaninglessness in that day.
What are you today friend? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Are you counting on your good works to get you to heaven or have you accepted His holy sacrifice as payment for your sins? What will God say to you on the day of judgement? Will He welcome you home or will He say “depart from me”? I pray you know where you stand with God, and if not, that you’ll reach out to me today.