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The two verses in question are these:

Matthew 7:22-23: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Then, in Matthew 25 we have:

Matthew 25:41: “Then [the King] will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels"

Are these two sets of passages not closely related? They each seem to represent similar events, where, in both cases, "accursed ones" are being addressed, who are then told to "depart from" 1) Christ (7:23) and 2) "the King" (25:41)?

1

Should we view Matthew 7:22-23 and 25:41 as analogous?

Answer: We might view them as synonymous.

Consider what is being said, and the audience to whom Christ is speaking. First, we might reiterate the passages before us (including a third mentioned by a another contributor):

Matthew 7:22-23: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name... ?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Matthew 25:41: “Then [the King] will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels"

Luke 13:26-27: “'[We] ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’"

Suppose we break this down:

  1. We should understand that Christ is the Figure addressing the audiences. He is not only "Lord", He is also "the King", and "Son of Man".
  2. His audience consists of human beings.
  3. "Lawlessness" is faithlessness, or disobedience to the Gospel (Heb. 3:12).
  4. If we draw the 3 verses together, we should be able to conclude the destination of all those to whom Christ will speak is "the eternal fire [prepared] for the Devil and his angels."*
  5. The "day" (Matt. 7:22-23) is the Day of Judgment.

*Wait a minute! Does that fourth point read "prepared for the Devil and his angels?" What do angels have to do with all of this?

The "accursed ones", or "lawless" ones, or "evildoers", are denounced for their absence of compassion, among other things. All of the examples throughout Matthew 25 contrast human beings who were prepared (Parable of the Ten Virgins), faithful and obedient (Parable of the Talents), with those (human beings) unprepared, unfaithful and disobedient. The only prior mention of angels is this:

Matthew 25:31: “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne."

Clearly, "all the "angels" in verse 31 are the full compliment of the King's celestial majesties. Why then, do angels appear along with the Devil in Matt. 25:41? The “accursed ones,” those condemned by "the King" are obviously human. Is it too presumptuous to believe that the "angels" in verse 41 may be referring to the audience: lost humans spirits? Or, to paraphrase: "The Devil and his messengers"? It may be remembered that in John's Gospel, Christ hurled some especially aggressive words at His unbelieving Jewish audience:

John 8:44: "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him."

What is the distinction between the "Devil and his messengers" (Matt. 25:41) and "children of the Devil" (Jn. 8:44)? The two passages appear virtually synonymous, both describing those condemned as eventual lost human spirits. The only difference is that the first group has no hope whatsoever while the second may still receive the blessings offered by Christ through salvation.

Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that God is omniscient. There is, therefore, nothing that He does not know: past, present, or future. Why, then, knowing that many human beings would fall away and be lost, was there an eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels — omitting human beings entirely, the very target of His wrath in all three instances? Why does the text not read: "prepared for the Devil and the disobedient" or "the Devil and the faithless"? After all, there should at least be consensus that the audience to whom Christ speaks is fully human, with no angels under consideration whatsoever in this extraordinary encounter.

These 3 passages appear to raise more questions than they answer. Nonetheless, no they are not only analogous, they are synonymous.

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I think your intuition is correct. To fall into God's oblivion, not to be known of God is a cursing.

Here is what Christ says about being known of God:

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Whereas Paul says

The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Timothy 2:19)

and

But if any man love God, the same is known of him. (1 Corinthians 8:3)

So if we are the Lord's we must depart from iniquity. If we work iniquity, we will be told to depart from God. For as we read in Psalm 5:5: "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity."

And yes, those that work iniquity are cursed, according to Deuteronomy 27:15-26 or Psalm 119:21:

Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

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This phrase (in English) actually occurs three times:

  • Matt 7:23 - Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’ ἀποχωρεῖτε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ
  • Matt 7:41 - Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Πορεύεσθε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ
  • Luke 13:27 - And he will answer, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers.’ ἀπόστητε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ

Note that in each case we have the following similarities:

  • Jesus is saying/pronouncing the words
  • Jesus is discussing eternal judgement
  • Jesus is pronouncing a curse on the wicked

However, note that in each case the actual Greek verb is different but the intent is always the same. That such a pronouncement, "depart from me" is an eternal curse is readily deduced from the following:

  • John 15:5 - For apart from Me you can do nothing
  • 1 John 5:11, 12 - And this is that testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Thus, separation from God is equivalent to eternal death.

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  • In Greek John 15:5 reads: "χωρὶς [without] ἐμοῦ οὐ δύνασθε ποιεῖν οὐδέν": Without Me Ye can do nothing. But it amounts to the same truth.
    – fev
    Jun 12 at 17:54

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