Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We have done many wonderful works

3 Nephi 14: 22-23: says

"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."

It says "many" will say these things to the Lord at that day (judgment day).

A friend Denver posed these questions in regard to this scripture:

Who will claim to have "prophesied in [His] name?"
Who will claim to have "cast out devils in [His] name?
Who will claim to have done "many wonderful works" in His name?

Interesting questions....who will claim that kind of thing? Will I? Will you? Why would someone need to claim that? How does someone both do these works in Christ name and yet have Christ profess to not know them? It must have been lip service, a show to get attention, gather a following or praise of men, yet lacking in a fundamental element. A relationship.

I notice a difference in how Christ refers to works and his ministry and how those "many" refer to prophesying and casting out devils and doing wonderful works. It struck me that the "many" get stuck on themselves. They draw attention to themselves saying: Have WE not prophesied?...have WE not cast out devils?, have WE not done many wonderful works? As if trying to set the record straight that THEY did all these wonderful things and therefore deserve something in return. Their wording shows they saw themselves as the ones initiating these wonderful works although the 'we' was not said directly each time.

On the other hand here is one of Christ's examples during his ministry that to me sheds light on this. John chapter 14 vs 10-11. “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

Christ pointed to His Father and the harmony in their relationship. The "many" seem to have spoken Christs name with the lips yet had a heart far from him (Matthew 15:8). The heart is what matters. There was no relationship. It appears "wonderful works" can be accomplished but not in a way that is approved of by Christ. This is a very interesting glimpse into the day of judgment. Seems Christ is giving us hints about the future and how to have the judgment day be a joyous one, instead of one full of regret.

More from John 14
vs 13-14 “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

I conclude therefore we should seek, ask, and knock and come to know God. We are invited to have that relationship. We are invited to prepare now for the day of judgment, there needn't be any surprises. Better to find out if your inadvertently "working iniquity" while the day lasts.  And instead accept the privilege and honor of worshiping and serving the true and living God.

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