Summary: A look at the two foundations and four popular lies about final judgment.
1. Myth: “The line dividing heaven and hell is. . . who claims Jesus’ name.”
- Matthew 7:24, 26 – “puts into practice,” “does not put them into practice.”
- Focus: empty religion.
[a, c, g, o]
- There is a lot of empty religion out there.
- And, as I’ve shared before, one of the biggest myths that leads to an empty religion is the idea that I can have some vague “belief” in Christ that is completely disengaged from any obedience to Christ and I’m fine spiritually.
- There is just no way to thoroughly read the New Testament and come away with that belief.
- It’s clear that Jesus expects us to follow Him. And as we do that, our lives should bear fruit for God’s glory.
- As Bonhoeffer said, “Only he who obeys believes, and only he who believes obeys.”
- What is the source of this false confidence? A few of the possibilities:
a. Distorted “eternal security” focus that expects no discipleship.
b. Lack of self-examination.
c. A focus on religious activities.
d. Belief that their good works will balance out their sin.
e. Assurance because “I was saved as a child.”
f. Assurance because “I’ve been a member of this church for 20 years.”
g. Failure to recognize that commitment to a denomination or church is not the same as commitment to the Word of God.
Truth: “. . . who practices Jesus’ teachings.”
- This is the concluding idea of the sermon, emphasized repeatedly: put these teachings into practice.
- The difference between the two people here is simple and straightforward: one put Jesus’ words into practice and one didn’t.
- The difference was not that one was aware of Jesus’ words and one wasn’t.
- The difference was not that one heard Jesus’ words and one didn’t.
- The difference was not that one said he believed Jesus’ words and one didn’t.
- The difference was not that one praised Jesus’ words and one didn’t.
- The difference was in the act of putting His words into practice.
- It’s telling to consider how many people simultaneously consider Jesus a great teacher and completely ignore His teachings.
- There are those who agonize over the question “Am I saved?”
- There are those who wonder: how can I make sure I’m “in”?
- There is no need for that uncertainty. Simply and faithfully be someone who wants to know God’s will and to practice Jesus’ teachings.
- Read the Bible as a lifeline.
- We need to be hungry – desperate even – to know God’s will.
- Every choice, we need to ask: what would Jesus have me do?
- Not as one of the options that we’re considering, but as our de facto action.
2. Myth: “What matters most in my life is. . . what’s seen.”
- Matthew 7:24, 26 – “rock,” “sand.”
- Focus: superficial.
[e, f, h, i]
- Example #1: Materialism.
- We certainly have a focus in our society on the way that things appear.
- We are probably the most materialistic culture in history.
- The material blessings that we have access to are certainly thing we should be thankful for, but we need to recognize that there is a spiritual danger there.
- The danger is simply that when we focus so much on what is seen, you can miss what’s more important.