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Summary: "Built to Last" is an exposition of the Parable of the Two Builders. Sermon Point: The life that lasts is built on the word of God.Main ideas: (1) The life that lasts is built on a firm foundation. (2) The life that lasts is tested by severe storms. (3) T

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BUILT TO LAST

Matthew 7:24-27

My father typically ended his sermons with an illustration, which he would introduce by saying: “If you miss my message, keep my story.” Of course, he did not mean that literally. This catchphrase meant that to get the point of the illustration was the get the point of the message. This is the way Jesus preached. The Gospels record more than thirty parables Jesus told to illustrate the point of his message. In many instances, the parable was the message. Jesus would toss a common experience alongside a spiritual reality to both reveal and conceal truth at the same time. Matthew 7:24-27 records one of the great parables of Jesus. It is not as famous as THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON or THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN. But this simple parable has great significance because of its strategic location.

This PARABLE OF THE TWO BUILDERS is the conclusion of THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT recorded in Matthew 5-7. The theme of this discourse is stated in Matthew 5:20, where Jesus declares, “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This was startling news to this large crowd. In their minds, no one was more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees, because they misunderstood what true righteousness was. Romans 10:3 says, “For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” In THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, Jesus confronts them with the righteousness standard of the kingdom of heaven. Then Jesus ends the sermon by saying, as it were, “If you miss my message, keep my story.”

My father would retell the parable this way: One day, two men struck up a conversation while standing in line to get building permits. As they talked, they discovered they were going to be neighbors. They began their building projects approximately the same time. One man immediately began laying his foundation. The other man took his shovel and began digging. Sometime later, the first man began erecting the frame of his house. The other man just kept digging. The first man put up his walls and his roof. The other man kept digging. One day, the wife of the man with the shovel made her daily trip to bring him lunch. But she informed him that it would be her last. “This is embarrassing,” she complained.” That family across the street is having a house warming party tonight. And you’re still in this hole digging.” As she was leaving, her husband hit something hard. “Baby, wait!” he said. “I think I found what I was looking for!” Having established a firm foundation, he finally built his house. On his first night in his new home, a terrible storm arose. The rains fell. The floods rose. The winds blew. But he slept peacefully through it all, until his wife woke him up. “Honey, look!” she said. “That house across the street is toppling over. But he never got out of bed. He was too tired. He just slept right through the storm.

This is the story Jesus tells to warn his hearers that it is dangerous to hear his word without doing what it says. The life that lasts is built on the word of the Lord. This PARABLE OF THE TWO BUILDERS teaches us three facts about the life that lasts.

I. THE LIFE THAT LASTS IS BUILT ON A FIRM FOUNDATION.

THE PARABLE OF THE TWO BUILDERS is about hearing and doing the word of God. The emphasis is on obedience. But that does not mean that hearing is unimportant. Romans 10:14 asks, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” Hearing the word is essential to saving faith and Christian growth. But we must not stop with hearing. James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Hearing and doing must go together. In our text, Jesus describes the relationship between hearing and doing in terms of two men who built two houses on two different foundations.

A. WISE PEOPLE BUILD THEIR LIVES ON THE ROCK.

Verse 24 says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” In this verse, Jesus describes how wise people live. He does not identify wise people by what they know. Instead, Jesus teaches that wisdom is what you do with what you know. More specifically, wisdom is determined by how you respond to what Jesus calls “these words of mine.” This phrase directly applies to THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. It also applies to all of the teachings of Jesus. Ultimately, it applies to all scripture. The Bible is a Jesus book. John 5:39-40 says, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”

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