“Surely not I, Lord?”

Matthew 26:20-24
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”
22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely not I, Lord?”
23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” (NIV)

Had Judas realized what he was doing he would not have done it. We know this from what he did after he came to realize.

Matthew 27:3-5
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. (NIV)

It is vitally important to listen to the Lord and do what he says. Jesus is in the driver seat, he is the man in charge. We must let him dictate policy and determine what must be done.

Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (NIV)

To my mind this is one of the scariest Scriptures in the Bible. It is totally possible to be exceedingly zealous for the Lord but be totally wrong. Jesus must be Lord! We must listen to him and believe what he says.

Romans 10:2
For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. (NIV)

Romans 12:11
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (NIV)

The following passage shows us another very dangerous belief.

Deuteronomy 29:19-20
When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.” This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 20 The Lord will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. (NIV)

What Moses is saying is that it is dangerous to read the Bible and invoke the blessings contained within it toward yourself without having the proper attitude toward the Lord, that is, the Lord must be LORD. If you read the Bible and say that ‘I’m saved and going to heaven because the Bible says that I am’, without actually having a personal relationship with the Lord then you are in very big trouble.

I am not saying that you must be perfect, or be righteous enough to be worthy of salvation. No, I am saying that you must be in a right relationship with the Lord, a relationship where he is Lord and you are an obedient and watchful servant. Read your Bible and do what it says. Reach out with your heart to understand what the Bible is saying. If you are told one thing but see in the Bible something else, then go with what you see. Every passage in the Bible must harmonize. The truth will agree with every passage.

2 Corinthians 13:1
This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (NIV)

There are a few passages in the Bible that don’t have any supporting Scripture, so take care with those. Don’t establish a ridged doctrine with those passages. Rather let every doctrine be established on the testimony of two or three Scriptures.

Pray to the Lord for understanding of every passage. The passages that you don’t fully understand keep in your awareness. Be open to correction. Don’t rely too much on what others tell you. You, yourself, must have your own personal relationship with the Lord.

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