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Entering the Kingdom, Pt. 1 (Matthew 7:21-23)

Part of the The Sermon on the Mount series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

David Torres
David Torres
May 27, 2012

Sermon preached on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at Garden Valley Chapel during our morning worship service based on Matthew 7:21-23.

Take your Bible if you will and open it to the seventh chapter of the book of Matthew where we begin our study of verses 21-27.

It is with much sadness and excitement that this week and next provide for the last two messages on the content of the Sermon on the Mount.

It is filled with much excitement in that it will catapult us into another season of study into God´s eternal Word. I look forward to it.

Yet, it is filled with much sadness in that I don´t want to leave the "greatest sermon every preached by the greatest preacher who has ever lived."

On the third Lord´s Day, Lord-willing, we will endeavor to preach the entire Sermon on the Mount in one setting, giving the overarching truths and concluding with the last two verses of this chapter.

That day will come, but it will not be today, not today.

Today we go further, beyond the beginning of the end, but to the end of the end.

It was Bishop J.C. Ryle who said -

"The Lord Jesus winds up the sermon on the mount by a passage of heart-piercing application. He turns from false prophets to false professors, from unsound teachers to unsound hearers. Here is a word for all. May we have grace to apply it to our own hearts!"

I trust you are ready for this "heart-piercing application," my beloved.

I invite you to stand in the reading of God´s Word. Read Matthew 7:21-27.

Our Lord moves from false teachers in His discourse to false disciples and he addresses the problem of false profession.

Not only must you be guarded against the falsehood of so called "teachers" who lead people astray, but you must be guarded against the falsehood that may reside in the deep crevasses of your own soul.

To think that there may be falsehood in us! A frightful thought at that but a necessary one that needs to be addressed this DAY, while it is still called today!

God in Christ moves from a stern warning about false teachers to a stern warning about false disciples.

It is no wonder that J.C. Ryle prays, "May we have grace to apply it to our own hearts!" This is that "hear-piercing" truth that is highlighted at the conclusion of the Sermon of the Mount.

Are you the real deal or are you a phony? Will you enter the Kingdom of heaven?

Forget about your worries today and the distractions that weigh heavy upon the mind and consider for a moment/examine your heart if you are truly a child of God, of His household, of His Kingdom.

Are you a true member of the Kingdom of heaven?

We cannot be deceived, either by others or by self. Beware.
Our Lord makes it clear in this last portion of this Great sermon that:

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"

In the words of our Lord, quoting from Isaiah in Mark 7:6 -

6 ... "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: `THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.

Or in the words of James 1:22 -

22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

Either way, we do not want to delude ourselves. In mathematics, the meaning of "delude" is that of miscalculation.

It would be horrific spiritual miscalculation for you to think that you are a true Christian when all along you do not obey God.

That is exactly our Lord´s point in this passage. It is about obedience. For obedience is the necessary expression of true faith.

Hebrews 11. The outworking of faith is obedience.

Satan has continually tried to confuse and mislead men and women, even believers, about the relationship of faith and works.

He has and he will attempt to convince people that they can be saved by doing good works. It is an effective ploy and he knows it.

He seeks to persuade Christians to accept one of two extremes - good works are necessary to maintain salvation (i.e. legalism), or because salvation is through faith, good works are unnecessary (i.e. license).

Yet throughout Scripture, the Holy Spirit makes it clear that people are saved only by grace through faith.

That is written, for example, in Ephesians 2:8-10 -

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Verse 10 is the reality of a genuine believer. For when they are saved, good works will always verify their profession of faith.

The apostle James illustrates it this way in James 2:14-17 -

14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

If our faith in God is truly alive, we will show it in the way we live, in what we say, and in how we serve Him. Later in the same chapter, in v. 26 -

26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Just consider Noah. To Noah, God´s words undoubtedly sounded totally strange and absurd. "Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood" (Gen 6:13).

The guy had not seen a "flood of water" (v. 17) before. Yet he did not question God, complain, or procrastinate. He obeyed. He believed and therefore he obeyed. Simple, right?

If it were up to us, we would have done anything or offered any sort of an excuse to get out of it.

He didn´t even know what he was building. There had never been a large oceangoing ship before. He had never seen an ocean before.

He was chopping down wood well over 500 years of age (cf. Gen 5:32) and Hebrews 11:7 says that he did it "in reverence" - with a sense of genuine spiritual devotion.

Noah was a man of obedient faith. He was the real deal.

Here our Lord points out, it is the one "who does the will of My Father who is in heaven" who will enter the kingdom (v. 21).

Furthermore, in verse 24, our Lord says -

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.

Just like the rest of the Sermon on the Mount, here God in Christ is preaching about salvation. It is about identifying who is saved and who is not.

It was soon after our Lord sat down, that "the disciples came to Him" (5:1).

They know He has something to say and they want to listen to Him.

And so they lend their ears to hear the greatest of sermons and this is how he closes that sermon, with a stern warning about false disciples.

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"

Today we will cover the first point and next Sunday, Lord-willing, cover the second.

About David Torres: David Torres is a graduate of The Master’s College (BA ’01) and The Master’s Seminary (MDiv ’06) and is currently pursuing his Th.M. degree in Theology (graduating Lord-willing May 2019). He served as a pastor-teacher in Garden Valley, CA for 8 years. He works at Grace to You as the GAV Radio Producer serving the Spanish speaking world through the teaching ministry of John MacArthur. David is committed to expository preaching and shepherding God’s flock. He serves as a deacon at Grace Community Church and is a part of the Joint Heirs Fellowship Group. He was married to Angie in 2000, and they have been blessed by God with seven children: Isaiah, Emilia, Micah, Eva, Isabella, Elizabeth, and Jeremiah.

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