Read Matthew 7:21-23
21 “Not everyone who calls out to me,’Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me,’Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply,’I never knew you. Get away from me,you who break God’s laws.’ (NLT)
It can be hard to discern if a certain ministry or activity is in the name of Jesus or not. The words can sound right. There can even be some spectacular results. The actual name of Jesus can be used. But none of these things in and of themselves constitute Christian ministry. We have Jesus’ word on that.
The real test seems to be how people doing that ministry live out their lives day by day. Are they seeking,however imperfectly,to follow God’s commands? Once that person is off the stage and out of the limelight,what sort of person are they? Once that person walks out of their public role,what are they really like?
This is not to say we are to dismiss any ministers or ministries when there is human imperfection. Even the very best Bible teachers or social-justice advocates are prone to sin. There is always an inevitable disconnect between who we are in public and who we are in private. But the genuine minister or servant of Jesus will be deeply aware of this and not pretending to be anyone other than who they really are.
The danger comes when ministers and ministries begin believing their own publicity and relying solely on the public role played and assuming this role is what gets them favour with God. In other words,we neglect humility and grace at our peril.