The Basis of Judgment
Jesus said, "Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness’" (Matthew 7:22-23). The basis of judgment is doing the will of the Father in heaven (verse 21). Even those who are very religious (Acts 17:22) will not be acceptable to the Lord in any other way.
Lord, Lord —
As in the previous verse. There are those calling on Jesus and saying "Lord, Lord!" Unlike our translation, the original places the expression "in Thy name" first in each of the three phrases. "In Thy name, we prophesied and in Thy name we expelled demons and in Thy name we did many mighty works." They seem to believe that there was something magical about "in Thy name." They gave it special emphasis as if just saying it is going to make the difference. That is exactly what people are being taught today. Preachers will say, "Just call on Jesus as your personal savior. Say, ‘Lord, save me’!" The truth is that there is not a passage in all of the Scriptures that teach that concept.
I Never Knew You —
This is literally, "Never have I known you." When Jesus said this, He did not mean that He did not know who they were. Certainly God knows everyone along with everything they do. The expression is used here of knowing one as a citizen of heaven. They had never been born again of water and the Spirit in order to see and enter the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3-5) However, now they are wanting to enter the kingdom of heaven (verse 21). There is more to knowing the Lord and His knowing us than merely knowing that He is Lord. In the New Covenant "all shall know Me" because "I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:8-12). Those whom the Lord knows as citizens in the kingdom of heaven, are those who are doing the will of the Father in heaven (verse 21). All others are practicing lawlessness.
Depart From Me —
It only makes sense that if we spend our lives doing what we want instead of strictly following "the will of My Father in heaven," then in judgment it is going to be too late to come crawling around trying to get the Lord to pay attention to us. Saying "Lord, Lord" will not change the fact that we have demonstrated no desire to be with Him. Why then should He want to be with us? If we are to be accepted into the kingdom of heaven, then we must subjugate our entire being to His will, NOW!!! Don’t wait until it is too late. Now He says, "Come unto Me" (Matthew 11:28-30) Then He will literally say, "Go Away!!!"