Sermon preached on Sunday, June 3, 2012 at Garden Valley Chapel during our morning worship service based on Matthew 7:24-27.
Take your Bible if you will and open it to the seventh chapter of the book of Matthew where we conclude our study of verses 21-27.
We come to a passage of Scripture that Martyn Lloyd-Jones calls, "the most solemnizing in the whole range and realm of Scripture."
Solemn words for such a solemn time as this. As is our custom, I invite you to stand in the reading of God´s Word. Read Matthew 7:21-27.
Our Lord closes His sermon on the mount with a call to "enter through the narrow gate" (v. 13). He closes with a gospel application.
He is drawing the line as clearly as possible between the way "that leads to destruction" (v. 13) and the way "that leads to life" (v. 14).
And He calls you and I to "choose life in order that you may live" (Deut 30:19). He calls you to the way of life - of life in Him "for there is salvation in no one else...there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved" (Peter in Acts 4:12).
Now that road established by Christ Himself is a most difficult road to travel. Because it calls for knowledge of the truth, repentance, submission to Christ as Lord, and a willingness to obey his will and word.
My beloved, we believe salvation to be by grace alone, but by no means is salvation easy.
We may hear, "Just recite this prayer." "Just ask Jesus into your heart." It all sounds simple. The only problem is that none of those actions has anything to do with real salvation and getting through the narrow gate.
According to Jesus, it´s very, very difficult to be saved.
It´s difficult on one hand because of false teachers leading people astray - "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep´s clothing" (v. 15).
On the other hand, it is difficult because you have false disciples who have deceived into thinking they are going to heaven.
In fact, if "the day of judgment" (cf. Matt 10:15) that Jesus is speaking about refers to the Great White Throne judgment (i.e. referred as such because 50x there is mention of a throne in Revelation - a judgment throne in Rev 20:11-15 that is elevated, pure, and holy), you have many professing believers who are not genuine who will already have spent centuries in hell awaiting their final judgment thinking,
22 ... `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?´
Perplexed, self-deceived, and ultimately condemned by the Lord Jesus Christ who will say to them on that day -
23 ... `I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.´
Paul writes in 2 Thess 1:6 -
9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
As Leon Morris writes in his commentary,
"They pass into a night on which no morning dawns."
Do not think salvation is easy. You have to agonize to enter into the Kingdom. It´s hard because you´ve got all hell against you.
Satan´s pervasive lies in the world today is that it´s easy to become a Christian. It´s not easy at all. It´s a very narrow gate that you must find and go through alone, anguished over your sinfulness and longing for forgiveness.
Now as our Lord speaks of two kinds of builders in verses 24-27, he continues with the same theme of warning against self-deception or we could say of false profession. Beware.
Notice the connection he makes in v. 24 -
24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
It is a continuation and the final clinching of His previous warning -
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,´ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
In the first illustration Jesus gives (vv. 21-23), we see a contrast between the true and false verbal profession of faith and good works.
In this second illustration Jesus gives (vv. 24-27), we see contrasts between obedient and disobedient hearers.
It is what James spoke of in James 1:22 -
22 ... prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
"Prove" - Literally "be continually" or "keep on striving to be," doers of the Word.
You see a true believer will not be satisfied with mere knowledge of God´s Word because the indwelling Holy Spirit will keep convicting him of sin, of his failure until he becomes obedient.
Jesus not only has his disciples listening to His words, but the crowd as well and this is how he closes that great Sermon on the Mount.
"Enter through the narrow gate" (v. 13) or "enter the kingdom of heaven" (v. 21), but let this be my warning to you:
1. Lip Service is Not Enough (vv. 21-23) - "Not everyone who says to Me"
2. Listening is Not Enough (vv. 24-27) - "Everyone who hears these words"
It is this latter point that we want to unleash today.
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