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:
- 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".
- His audience consists of human beings.
- "Lawlessness" is faithlessness, or disobedience to the Gospel (Heb. 3:12).
- 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."*
- 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.