Sermon on The Mount: 2 Foundations

Sermon on the Mount:
2 Foundations
Stephen "Red" Shumate
Sept 12th, 2017
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Sermon on the Mount: 2 Foundations
Matthew 7:13-29

Narrow Gate
Today we wrap up our study on the Sermon on the Mount by looking the few final points that Jesus makes. He begins this final section by saying…

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.

Wow, for a motivational speech that’s not very encouraging is it?  But that’s okay because Jesus isn’t giving a motivation speech, is He?  Nope, instead He is preaching truth.  And let’s be honest, the truth hurts.  The truth is difficult. And truth here is that living a life of following Jesus is neither easy or popular.

But this is often not what people are taught.  Many have been taught that being a Christian is easy…all you have to do is believe. But this is simply not true.  We must not only believe THAT Jesus can save you, but we must believe IN Jesus to save us.  And the way we believe IN Jesus is by committing our lives to Him.  We give our lives to Him so that He will changes our lives from being centered and focused on self and physical things…to being Christ centered and focused on spiritual things.  And the thing is, Change is never easy.  It, as it says here, is a difficult road.

Because it is difficult there are many who will reject this path.  We are in the minority, we always will be.  If you ever find that you are in the majority of belief in the World, then you better reevaluate.  If everyone is going down that road, there is a good chance that is the wide gate and wide road, not the narrow gate.

But the path we choose is a difficult one.  Sadly, I don’t think this is what many churches are teaching these days.  Instead of preaching the difficult, life changing, toe stepping on truth… each week they are preaching motivational messages, with a Bible Verse catch phrase. 

False Prophets
This is why Jesus says next….

 “Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit.

I believe that the concept of recognizing people by their fruits is one of the most overlooked concepts in the Bible. If you want to know if a church is a good church, or a pastor is a good pastor, look at the fruits they are producing.  Keep in mind we are talking about spiritual fruits not physical fruits like attendance numbers or offerings given.  We are talking about spiritual fruits like producing believers with a deep and strong faith.  We are talking about spiritual fruits of seeing the lost commit their lives to Jesus…and not just for a weekend or a few motivated months, but seeing people come to Jesus desperately seeking a life long commitment. 

If you don’t know what to do or who to trust.  Look at the fruit… from a spiritual point of view.  Not who has most success, but whose efforts produce more righteousness.  There are people, there are pastors, who are producing results… physical results…  large attendance, huge church budgets, fancy church buildings… who will not be in heaven.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!’

This verse is talking about people who believe in Jesus for their own gain.  It is talking about false prophets, who preach motivational messages, but don’t preach truth. It is talking about false prophets who preach in Jesus’ name but are not following God’s will.  It is talking about people who seek their own glory, using the name of Jesus, instead of seeking truth for the glory of God.  There is a clear difference…

2 Foundations
Jesus wraps up His message by saying…

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.”

Jesus tells us here, that anyone who listens to Him and lives how He tells us to, with a focus on spiritual things and not on physical things, will be building their lives on a foundation that is as solid as a rock. 

And the reason He says this is because when we focus on spiritual things, we are building our life on eternal things, not temporary things.  So, if we do what Jesus has told us in the Sermon on the mount and we follow the law both spiritually and physically, if we seek heavenly treasures and not earthly ones, if we give, pray and fast with the right motivations, if we build our life seeking His Kingdom first, then we are building our lives on eternal things.  And when we do, as the storms of this world blow… our faith, and our life will stay standing.  When moth and rust destroy our physical world, and when thieves break in and steal…  We will still have your eternal treasurers.

However, if you build your life chasing after physical things… If you build your life, focused on following the letter of the law instead of the intent of the law, if you build your life seeking glory for how good of a Christian you are, if you build your life chasing possession, fame, jobs, fortune… 

Then one day, a storm will blow in…  The market will crash… the great depression will happen… A hurricane will destroy… A fire will ravage… A Government will be over-thrown… a famine will destroy… A CEO will embezzle… a 500 year flood will wash away… disease will kill… people will disappoint…  a job will give you a pink slip… a career will be destroyed…  a loved one, will pass away… Health will fade…and these temporary things will blow away like the sand, and your faith will crumble. 

So, I ask you…
Are you seeking physical things, physical relationships, physical security, when you need to be building your life on the foundation of Jesus Christ and a relationship with Him?  Are you building your life on His eternal security, an eternal foundation?

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