Was troubled by your dilution of the Word of God – Mat 7:21-23 etc. When Jesus said He never knew them – He means he never knew them as walking in His light fully. Many Christians today are saved, born-again, but are not walking worthy – consider the church of laodecia in Rev chapter 3. The word says “without holiness, no man shall see the Lord”
Please don’t be troubled! I have no intention whatsoever to dilute the Word of God. Considering the church of the Laodiceans, I’ll make my point.
Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 3:19: As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Verses 14 thru 21 is speaking directly to the pastor (angel) of the church of Laodicia about his own flock. In verse 19 Jesus is telling them in the same verse that there will be a special honor granted to them if they will just repent of the wickedness mentioned in the previous verses. Then in verse 20 the Lord is trying to tell them that he’s on the outside looking in. He’s telling these born again folks that unless they let him back in control there is a chastising (punishment) on the way. Verse 20 has absolutely nothing to do with ones salvation but a sincere desire on the Lords part to come in and be where He belongs in the first place!
The only verse I found that came close to your example was Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: I would assume this is the one. Look at the word underlined! That word is Holiness from the Greek (hagiasmon) which means “Sanctification”. How then are we sanctified? We’re sanctified by the Blood of the Lamb when we’re born again! Therefore this verse means that unless you are sanctified (born again), you’re not going to see Him. Isn’t that the Gospel we’ve been proclaiming here in the first place? It doesn’t in any way mean that your going to loose your salvation.
Normally, I don’t revert to the Greek, Hebrew & Aramaic because the Holy Spirit always speaks thru His Word plainly in the King James English, but this time seemed appropriate. Actually there’s no harm in dividing (dissecting) the Word of God into the original language. Have you ever considered what Paul meant when he penned 2nd Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. and in Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Then there’s the thing you mentioned about Jesus saying ‘He never knew them”. It’s contained in these verses: Matthew 7:22 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? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Would you ever call Jesus a liar? I wouldn’t be so foolish. Jesus also said: John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 10:30 I and my Father are one.
Jesus would be lying to those folks in Matthew 7 if they had once been saved, and then lost their salvation. Why? Because Jesus knows His sheep. He would have to tell them “I knew you when you were saved, but I guess I don’t know you now” and not “I never knew you”. If He said “I never knew you” to those who had been saved before, He’d be lying and we know the Savior would never lie!