“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
The old spiritual said, “Everybody talkin’ ‘bout heaven ain’t goin’ there.” And that, essentially, is drawn from this passage. “Everybody talkin’ ‘bout heaven ain’t goin’ there.” How true that is.
In Proverbs chapter 30 and verse 12 we read, “There is a kind of generation who is pure in their own eyes, yet not washed from their filthiness, pure in their eyes, yet now washed from their filthiness.” Romans 10:2 says of the Jewish people, “They have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.”
Now what makes this passage so shocking is the disparity between what people think and what is reality. Many are going to believe that they are about to be ushered into heaven, and they will be sent to hell from the portals of heaven, from the doorway in a sense. They have respect for Christ, they have a measure of orthodoxy. They may have had religious experiences, and they may have gone through ordinances and sacraments. They may have served in some capacity. But they’re nothing but counterfeits; and the Lord says, “I don’t know you. I have no relationship to you.” And the reason that that’s obvious is because they say and they do not do, they say and they do not do. That is the difference back in verse 21: “Not everyone who says, but the ones who do.”
From Sermon by John MacArthur “Finding The Narrow Way To Heaven”