32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” — Matthew 10:32, 33.
Jesus equips his apostles for their mission (1) to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (v.6), and (2) the whole world (28:18-20). He warns them of persecution and death (vss. 16-26). He also tells them not to fear men, their persecutors and enemies, but to fear God (vss.27-31). God knows their need and cares for them. In this context, he tells them that their open or public confession of Him before the world is linked to His confession of them as His disciples before His (and their) heavenly Father. Their open or public denial of Him before the world is likewise linked to His denial of them before God.
Discipleship is not a secret to be kept. Belief in and loyalty to Jesus as Lord implies using our lives as dynamic confessions of our faith in Him. Jesus simply and bluntly said that the consequences of denying Him will be that He will deny us. He will not lie to the Father on our behalf. He will deny that we are His disciples on the day of judgment if, in deed, we are not, even though we may have pretended to be when it had been convenient to do so.
21 “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. 22 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?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ -– Matthew 7:21-23.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.