The most important application of righteous judgment is to yourself. “Be not deceived” is a somber warning which echoes through the New Testament (see Luke 21:8; 1 Corinthians 3:18, 6:9, 15:33; Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 5:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:3).
The most hideous form of deception is that which is self-inflicted.
In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus declares three somber truths about the deception and self-deception of disobedience. He says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 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!’”
Each truthful statement warrants careful contemplation.
Disobedience is extraordinarily deceptive. According to Jesus, many people (v. 22) do not recognize the evidences of disobedience in their own lives. Lip service, partial obedience, inconsistent discipleship, and substituting religion for righteousness are all identified by Jesus as disobedience. His opinion on this is the only one that matters.
Disobedience is unquestionably damnable. Just as houses with foundations built on sand are certain to be ruined when violent storms come, so the disobedient will be banished from the presence of Christ. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 7:19). He has the final say on this matter.
Disobedience is no respecter of persons. Your life is like a house (Matthew 7:24-27). You are either hearing and obeying Christ—i.e. building on rock—or hearing and disobeying Him—i.e. building on sand. You must personally choose between living wisely or living foolishly. No one decides for you, and there are do “Do overs” to life.
Be not deceived about disobedience.