What a desperately scary verse. I spent about a year pondering the passage from Matthew that those words are from: Yeshua says,
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”(ESV, Matt. 7.21-23).
I thought, if only those who do the will of the father are going to enter the kingdom of heaven, then I need to know the will of the father! What is the will of the father? It seems like it is pretty important to know, and I felt that the time that I surely did not know what it was!
I have a number of translations of the Bible at my house, but it was a long time until I found out that “iniquity” is the same word as “lawlessness,” which is to say, the law of Moses, which is really not of Moses, but of God, as God speaks of all he says as his own when he calls the torah “my statutes,” “my judgments,” and “my commandments.”
So what does it mean to work lawlessness, anyway? It is to do things contrary to God’s perfect, holy, just law, his torah. Believing in God is one thing, but even the devils believe–and tremble. There are two sides waring on the spiritual battlefield: those who fight to establish God’s laws and those who fight to destroy God’s laws. Believing in God is not enough! Let us, like Paul, establish God’s law.