Sermon preached on Sunday, May 13, 2012 at Garden Valley Chapel during our morning worship service based on Matthew 7:16-18.
Take your Bible if you will and open it to the seventh chapter of the book of Matthew where we continue our study of verses 15 to 20.
In it we find a stern warning against false prophets.
I invite you to stand in the reading of God´s Word. Read Matthew 7:15-20.
It was the 16th century English poet John Donne who wrote -
"No man is an island, entire of itself." (Meditation 17)
The quality of your life is the platform of your personal testimony.
Who you are will be made manifest to all, by your very speech, by your conduct. Jesus said this way in Matthew 12:34-35 [Pharisees] -
34 "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
35 "The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.
What a person is on the inside, his mouth will give evidence of on the outside.
Remember: The heart represents the character of a person, and therefore to say that words reveal what the heart is like is to say they reveal what that person is like.
Whatever is in a man´s heart will overflow into his life. It is laid bare for all to see. Our life is not as hidden as we think.
For example, if a person harbors will against someone else. Those feelings will eventually be expressed in word or in deed.
A person´s heart is the treasury of his thoughts, ambitions, desires, loves, attitudes, and loyalties. That eventually comes out in the way they live.
A common expression in the computer world is GIGO, which stands for "Garbage in, garbage out." In other words, the quality of data entered determines the quality of the results produced from that data. In exactly the same way, the quality of what is in a person´s heart determines the quality of speech his mouth produces.
You cannot detach yourself from this world.
Years ago Elihu Burrit (1810-1879) who was an American philanthropist and social activist said -
"No human being can come into this world without increasing or diminishing the sum total of human happiness, not only of the present but of every subsequent age of humanity. No one can detach himself from this connection. There in no sequestered spot in the universe, no dark niche along the disc of nonexistence to which he can retreat from his relations with others, where he can withdraw the influence of his existence upon the moral destiny of the world. Everywhere his presence or absence will be felt. Everywhere he will have companions who will be better or worse because of him. It is an old saying, and one of the fearful and fathomless statements of import, that we are forming characters for eternity. Forming characters? Whose? Our own or others? Both. And in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence. Who is sufficient for the thought? Thousands of my fellow beings will yearly enter eternity with characters differing from those they would have carried thither had I never lived. The sunlight of that world will reveal my finger marks in their primary formations and in their successive strata of thought and life."
That is true of the believer as well as an unbeliever. Your life is laid bare for all and it does influence humanity.
It is this same principle that our Lord will use to expose the false prophets.
If you recall this passage is about a stern warning from our Lord against those that would declare themselves to be a spokesman for God, sent by God, to deliver a message for God´s people.
Beware of false prophets. Not only be on guard against them, but be on the lookout for these false prophets as well.
And our Lord will us how we can do so in the verses we will cover this Lord´s Day.
16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. (ESV)
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