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Does Jesus Christ Know You?

by David A. DePra

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. 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 to

them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matt.


Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek

to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the

is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without,

and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he

shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then

shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence,

and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know

you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

(Luke 13:24-27)

     In these two parables, we find the same theme. We discover

people who are not permitted to enter the kingdom of heaven. In

both cases they present to Jesus the many things they have done

for Him, and in His name. But Jesus gives both groups the same

rebuke: "Depart from Me. I never knew you."

     We often talk about our great need to know Jesus. And it is

indeed a great need. It is what the Christian life is all about. But

here, in these parables, we find things reversed. We find people

who Jesus did not know. And it was something that was so serious

that it kept them out of the kingdom of God.

     So the question is: Does Jesus know you and I? He'd better, or

we are in the category of these people who were not able to enter

the kingdom. Thus, it behooves us to understand what it means for

Jesus to know us. And it means we have to discover how to make

that possible.


     Life is about relationships. Certainly life in Jesus Christ is about

that. God wants to have a relationship with us. In fact, He wants to

have the most intimate relationship with us that is possible for us to

have. But relationship is a two-way street. Not only do you have to

get to know the other person. The other person has to get to know


     When we talk about relationship, we are, of course, talking about

much more than learning "facts" about someone. We are talking

about experiencing them on an intellectual, emotional, and in the

case of marriage, a physical level. You share part of yourself with

someone, and visa versa, in any relationship. Knowing facts about

someone is not the same as knowing THEM. It is not the same as

them sharing themselves with you, and you with them.

     Have you ever tried to get to know someone who refuses to "let

you in?" Perhaps you have opened up to them and taken the risk

of being vulnerable. But they just won't do the same. In fact, most

people who refuse to enter into such a relationship really aren't all

that interested in knowing you -- despite your openness. If they

were interested, they would open up.

     Now, in the case of our relationship with God, we are talking

about something a bit ironic. Right off the bat, we are talking about

a God who ALREADY knows everything about each of us. In fact,

He knows more about you and I than we know about ourselves. So

when Jesus says, "I never knew you," He is not saying that He did

not know those people existed. He is not saying that He does not

know everything about them. No. What He is saying is this: "You

never gave me access to you. You never exposed yourself to me.

You never opened up and let Me come in."

     There are Christians by the thousands who go to church every

week. They serve at church. Some are even in the ministry. They

do all kinds of good things "for God." But the question is this: Have

they ever given God access to THEM? In the final analysis, God

does not want what we do. He wants US.

Workers of Iniquity

     Serving and doing ministry is good. We should all do more. And

if you notice, Jesus never told these people in the parables that the

claims they made were lies. No. They were probably valid claims.

They DID do mighty works. They did eat and drink in His presence.

He did teach in their streets. Sounds like church, doesn't it? Or

something close to it. But Jesus was so totally unimpressed with

the works they did that He called them "workers of iniquity."

     Is Jesus being unfair? Well, of course, Jesus is never unfair. So

if He calls them "workers of iniquity," they must be that. But why?

Well, read again the parables. Not once -- mind you, not once --

do we find these people mentioning a single thing Jesus did for

THEM. Nope. In fact, the very reason they give Jesus as to why

they think He should let them in the kingdom are those works they

have done for HIM. No mention of what He has done for THEM.

     Right away we see why Jesus was right to call these people

"workers of iniquity." It wasn't because the works they did, in and

of themselves, were evil works. No. They were GOOD works as to

the actions. But the works were done in unbelief. The works were

done, not as the result of God's grace, but as a means of earning

God's grace.

     This is why Jesus calls the way to life the "narrow gate." It is a

gate through which we can enter by only ONE means. Not a "wide

gate" which can be entered through a variety of means. Only by

grace, through faith, can we enter through the "narrow" gate. That

is the only means which will "reduce" us enough to make it possible

to squeeze through the gate which leads to life.

     Notice in Luke 13 Jesus says, "many will seek to enter into life,

but will not be able." Why not, if they are seeking life? Because

they seek to enter on their own terms. That is exactly what the

people He goes on to describe are doing. They WANT to enter.

But they want to enter on THEIR terms, on the basis of THEIR


     Don't think of these people as simply being mistaken from a

doctrinal standpoint. No. They are wrong morally. As we are

going to see, at some point, they had the chance to expose

themselves to Christ so that He could get to know the real them.

But they would not. They refused such an exposure. It did not fit

their religious agenda. So Jesus never did get to know them. And

their only other option was to try to enter on some other basis than

a relationship with Him.

     We have to get it settled once and for all that if I am trying to do

through my works what Jesus has already finished through His

work, I AM SINNING. Unbelief is sin. It is THE sin. It is THE sin

which we need to repent of more than any other sin. It is so serious

a sin, that several epistles are written to combat it. And Jesus, in

these parables, says to such a person who walks in this unbelief,

"I never knew you. Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity."

     The terrifying part of all this is that none of these people who are

refused entry into the kingdom expected it. They all expected to get

in. Such is the deception and blindness which comes from unbelief.

The Light

     Jesus Christ wants access to us. He wants to come in and know

us. But He will NOT force Himself upon us. This means we have to

make the choice to pull down the facade, the barriers, and the

games we play with God. We have to open ourselves to Him.

     Too often, however, we fail to see the present and practical

application to these Truths for NOW. For instance, Jesus' parables

talk about people trying to enter the kingdom of God, and Jesus

rebuking them. We tend to limit this possibility to the final judgment.

But there is an application NOW. It is really NOW that we are to

enter the realm or kingdom of God. Thus, Jesus' parables are

applicable to those who seek to enter God's kingdom right NOW,

but are trying to do so on their own terms. They will not allow Jesus

access to them NOW, and therefore cannot enter the kingdom

NOW. This will only project out in the eternal sense if they persist

in their choices.

     One way to understand what it means to allow Jesus to know us

is by likening God to a big LIGHT. The Bible does this. In fact,

Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world." But the best picture of this

is found in I John 1. There, John says, "God is light, and in Him there

is no darkness at all." (I Jn. 1:5) Not only does this tell us much

about God, but it tells us what will happen if we open ourselves up

to God: We will be IN that Light.

     What does it mean to be in the light of God? It means to be fully

exposed for what we are. It means that all of the secrets are over,

and all of the religious games are done, and that every single

shadow and corner of my heart is going to be exposed in the light

of His presence. God is Light and IN HIM there is no darkness.

And THAT is precisely what He wants for us as well.

     Now, this is not a bad thing, but a GOOD thing. For when God

exposes us for who we are it is never for the purpose of condemning

us. It is for the purpose of showing us our need, evoking a

confession of need, so that we can then be free.

     The key here is to realize that God exposing us is only one side

of the story. The other side is that we are exposed in HIS light, that

is, in the light of Jesus Christ. In other words, the moment we give

God access to us and are exposed as dead sinners, or needy as

Christians, we see Jesus. And that takes the focus off of us and puts

it on Him.

     It is so essential that we open ourselves to God and let Him

know us in this way, that John echoes the rebuke of Jesus to those

who wanted to enter the kingdom on another basis. He says, "If we

say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie,

and do not the truth." (I Jn. 1:6) We CANNOT have fellowship with

God -- which is another way of saying that we know Him and He

knows us -- unless we expose ourselves to the LIGHT.

     Notice what John says the first result is of opening ourselves up

and letting God know us; and letting God expose us: "If we walk in

the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

(I John 1:7)

     Notice FELLOWSHIP is the result of exposing myself to the

Light. And what IS fellowship? It is oneness. It is me knowing

God and God knowing me. Sure. What else would coming into the

Light AS HE IS IN THE LIGHT do? It reveals Him to me, and me to


     But notice: It also reveals me to myself. I will see my sin. We

cannot skip this step.

     John writes, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,

and Truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to

forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

(I Jn. 1:8-9) Here we see a clear CHOICE given as to what to do

when I am exposed as a needy sinner by the Light. I will either deny

I have sin, and thus deceive myself. Or I will confess what I am and

confess what Jesus did about it.

     This is the point at which those in the parable refused to let Jesus

know them. Instead of calling themselves what God calls them, and

opening themselves to Jesus, they reverted back to their religion

where it was comfortable. They said, "We have no sin." -- not in

words, but in attitude. But in doing so, they were guilty of unbelief,

which is THE sin.

     Religious people never say, "I have no sin." No. In fact, some of

the most religious people confess sin all day long. But they don't

do so as the result of coming into the Light. They do so because

they want to be religious. This too is unbelief. They are trying to

turn their "confession" into a work that will qualify them for the grace

of God.

     True confession entitles us to nothing; qualifies us for nothing. In

fact, the spirit of true confession of sin is that we know we can never

qualify. THAT is what we are confessing.

     The result of being in His Light and seeing my sin should be to

CONFESS what I see. And what do I see? That my sin is wrong,

but Jesus has already forgiven and cleansed me of it.

     We need to understand that coming into the Light, for a believer,

should not be something we do once in awhile -- almost like we

need to get a booster shot. We are not to confess sin interminably

so we can keep our accounts up to date. NO. Once we walk out

into this LIGHT we are never to leave it. Ever. We are forever IN

that Light. Thus, we are saved once for all. And our confession is

not in order to GET forgiven. It is a confession of the fact that we

ARE forgiven.

      Frankly, the point is somewhat moot anyways. If we come into

this Light -- I mean, really come into it -- we are, in effect, repenting of

unbelief. Sure. Because by coming we ARE believing. And if we

never leave that light, we are experiencing the once for all finality of

what Jesus has done.

Unconditional Surrender

     In order for Jesus to know us, we have to let down our guard, and

open ourselves to Him. We have to expose ourselves to Him -- to

the Light He is. This is a principle all through the Bible:

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my

thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me

in the way everlasting. (Ps. 139:23-24)

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part

you shall make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hissop, and I

shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Ps. 51:6-7)

Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

(Psalm 26:2)

     These three Psalms are prayers. The author is asking God to

come in and search him -- to know him. We are to do that, not to

God information about ourselves. No. We are to do it in order to

give ourselves to God.

     The question, however, is HOW to start. Where do we begin to

give ourselves to God in a way that will enable Him to know us?

The method is given in Romans 12.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you

present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service. (Rom. 12:1)

     We begin by making the conscious choice to unconditionally

surrender to God. No strings attached. No agenda. We say to

God, "Whatever it takes Lord, bring me into this relationship with


     When we use the term, "unconditional surrender," it is almost a

redundant term. Why? Because UNCONDITIONAL surrender to

God is the ONLY KIND of surrender there is! A "conditional"

surrender is no surrender at all.

     It is important to be clear about this. I cannot say to God, "Lord,

I want you to come into my life, to fully know me, BUT -- don't mess

with this, and this, and this." Neither can we say, "Lord, come into

our church, but don't disturb it too much. We pretty much like it the

way it is." No. Giving ourselves to God in an unconditional

surrender means that we set NO conditions. It means that, by faith,

we are leaving the consequences of our surrender to God and

taking our hands off.

     Once we do this, Jesus Christ will begin to invade us. It will take

some time for the process to unfold. But He will begin to bring an

adjustment to our thinking, our living, and more importantly, to our

fellowship to Him.

     Now if you haven't yet noticed what is happening here, God is

not the one who must change. Rather, WE must change. WE must

be adjusted and made fit for God. That is the whole point of

fellowship. It is THE REASON why Jesus wants to know us. He

wants to adjust us so that we can live and fellowship with Him

forever. Thus, if we WON'T LET HIM, is there any doubt why we

cannot enter into the kingdom?

     Eternal life consists of an eternal relationship with the One who IS

life. If we continue to distance ourselves from Him, and refuse to

give Him access to us, then we will never be made able to enter

into that fellowship. But some people think they can have it both

ways -- such as the people in the parables. They think they can

refuse Jesus access, but have fellowship anyways. The rebuke

Jesus gives to them speaks for itself. This is impossible.

     One of the greatest deceptions we can come under is the notion

that we can pray for God's will, all the while deliberately living

outside of it. It is amazing how many Christians tell Jesus that they

want His will "no matter what," yet continue to live in sin and in

unbelief. I do not "get God's will" as merely the result of God doing

things for me. God wants to do them IN me, and through me. That

means that if I expect to realize God's will in my life, at some point

I am going to have to OBEY HIM.

     God reveals to us the Truth. But He does not force us to obey

Him. God shines His light. But He does not force us into it. WE

must do that -- although God will give us all the grace in the world

to enable us to obey Him. But never think obedience to God is

ever a matter of God acting upon you and somehow giving you

the power to obey. No. God gives us power AS we obey. In

effect, if you know to do right, you are accountable to obey. And

in Christ, the power is already there.

     Don't misunderstand. I am here talking about things we CAN

obey. Not about things we cannot obey. Many people have

various emotional and temperamental problems which run contrary

to the Truth. We cannot make those things behave simply by

trying. But there are other things -- things having to do with honesty

and immorality -- which anyone can obey immediately. That is

where we must start to obey God in an outward fashion.

     So what do we do about those things which don't ever seem to

want to behave, such as emotions, etc. Well, we CAN obey God

with regard to them. How? By surrendering them to God! THAT

IS obedience. And if we do that, and continue to do that, they will

eventually come under the adjustment of the Holy Spirit.

     Notice here that we are NOT talking about "qualifying" for

anything because of works. We are not saying, "If you want to have

fellowship with God, here are the requirements." No. We are saying

that these things are the results of fellowship. Obedience is going

to be the outcome of standing in the light of God and allowing God

to set us free. It HAS to be.

     When all is said and done, either we want God or don't want Him.

We want the Truth or don't want it. If we do want it, we will stand in

the Light. And if our faith is real, it will always result in good works.

So we see that good works without giving Christ personal access

to us cannot get us into the kingdom. But if we give Christ personal

access to us, good works will emerge.

Eternal Fellowship

     If we know Jesus Christ, allowing Him to know us should be the

natural outcome. After all, if we know Him, we will understand that

opening to Him is a good thing, not a bad thing. In fact, it is a

redemptive thing. For He loves us.

     When everything is said and done, it boils down to LOVE. The

Bible says, "We love Him because He first loved us." (I John 4:19)

It also says, "But if any man love God, the same is know of Him."

(I Cor. 8:3) The progression is clear: First, God loves us. Then,

because of that, we are able to love Him. But then there is even yet

another result: We become "known of Him," that is, we are then

able to open ourselves to Him and have fellowship with Him. Sure.

Anyone who truly loves God will WANT to expose themselves to


     Jesus Christ is preparing us for an ETERNAL relationship. An

eternal fellowship. What do we think we are going to do for all

eternity? We don't know the details, but we are certainly going to

be at one with God in an eternal fellowship. Well, ask: How will

that be possible THEN, if we are refusing to open ourselves to Him

NOW? It won't be possible. Jesus said so. He said, "Depart from

Me -- I never knew you." That is, "There is nothing about you that

I have ever known. You have never opened yourself to me and

allowed me to fellowship with you." Consequently, there is nothing

in those people which can function in the eternal kingdom.

     Of course, we are here talking about things in a final sense. But

there IS a more immediate application. Truly, if RIGHT NOW, I am

not exposing myself to the Light of God in Jesus Christ, I cannot

enter into His kingdom. If, RIGHT NOW, I am not opening myself up

to Jesus, that He might get to know me, I cannot enter into a

fellowship with Him.

     We read that in I John 1:6. It says, "If we say we have fellowship

with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the Truth." If we

are hiding from Jesus, refusing Him access, we ARE walking in

darkness -- rather than in His Light. We do NOT, and CANNOT

have fellowship with Him -- regardless of whether we have many

mighty works in His name, etc. No. The only way to have fellowship

with Jesus Christ, RIGHT NOW, is to "walk in the Light as He is in the

Light." Then we do have fellowship with Him, and the Blood of

Jesus continually keeps us clean from all sin.

     Does Jesus KNOW you? Does He know me? It is not necessary

to guess. All we need to do is open ourselves to Him, in an

unconditional surrender, and He will know us. And we will discover

that we have a fellowship with God which transcends all we could

have imagined.

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