What foundation is your house built upon?
Matthew 7:24-27:The Parable of the Wise and foolish builders
I would however like to ask the question: Do you know where you will spend eternity.
Jesus was wonderful in illustrating truths about God with simple stories. One of them is the story of the Wise and Foolish builders. He takes very simple everyday things to illustrate deeper spiritual meanings.
Being a Christian does not require a fantastically deep intellect but rather a simple openness to hear what God is saying to you.
The famous French mathematician, some say probably one of the most brilliant minds ever, was Blaise Pascal who said of his faith "Je crois comme une charbonniere". - I believe like a charwoman.
The parable is known as the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders.
What is the context.
Jesus is preaching his most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount and He has come to the end of it. He has been talking to the people of how to get into the Kingdom of God. He says it isn’t easy:
1. Being a Christian is not going to be an easy option. Matt 7:13-14
13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
2. People will try to hijack and con you Matt. 7:15-16
15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
You know a con man when you see him. Look at all the false sects that we find today. (Slide)
3. But you will be able to tell them apart
16By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.
4. Jesus is interested in attitude
Jesus goes on to say, that it is not a matter of saying the right things but rather doing the right things. In fact he is more interested in attitude. Let’s let Jesus speak for himself.
21"Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
So that is the background to this parable. Let’s look at the parable in more detail
Frame 1. The House.
This parable is not taken from an ARCHITECT’S HANDBOOK. It is not a guide to building houses. So what does the house represent?
Story: I preached this once at the refugee church in Switzerland and before I had even started, one of the Indian refugees there saw the slide and turned to the interpreter and said: He’s going to speak about my life!
It represents our lives: The house represents the human heart, the very being of man. It represents the REAL you
In the book of Proverbs, Prov 23:26 God says to us:
My son, GIVE ME YOUR HEART and let your eyes keep my ways.
In Proverbs 4: 23, we are told
Above all else to GUARD YOUR HEART for it is the well spring of life.
Your heart is one thing that can’t be stolen from you. You decide whether or not you are going to live God’s ways or go your own way. It’s your choice.
2. The Foundation
What foundation are you building your house on?
Jesus in verse 24 and 26 tells us about the foundation of the two houses.
Both relate to hearing what Christ has to say.
The man who built his house on the sand HEARD CHRIST’S WORDS but they did not go down into his HEART.
THEY did not however result in action.
Story: Paul Little, IVF secretary in his book spoke to a student who had all sorts of intellectual questions about Christianity. After Paul had answered all he asked him if he would like to become a Christian: The student said no, because quite frankly it would mess up the way I am living!!
Is that where you stand about following Christ?
Sand can be packed together quite nicely so that it looks like a real foundation. Is that how the foundation of your life is?
In contrast the rock is a sure foundation on which we can build. Jesus in Matthew 7:24 equtes this to the man who hears AND PRACTICES what he hears to a man who builds his house on the Rock.
Rock not only looks a solid foundation, it is solid.
My question to you this evening is:
Is the foundation of your life rock solid?
Frame 2. Each comfortably in his house.
At first both houses look OK. The weather forecast is great and the two houses seem to be both as good as each other.
The sand foundation seems to be OK. You think you don’t need to worry about God now because there will be time enough later.
The time to think about God is now, while you still have time:
I’d like to read you a short letter that was sent in to the magazine: Our Daily Bread:
" I would like to thank you for the video "Why There Is No Peace On Earth"? While watching it, my wife said" You know, he’s right. Do you think Jesus would want someone like me?" She gave her heart to Christ right then. Later, on her way home from visiting a friend she’d gone to tell about her new birth in Jesus, she was run down by a speeding car and killed instantly as was my lovely daughter. I thank you so very much for leading her into the way of heaven"
Are you ready to meet God if today was your last night on earth?
Frame 3: The Storms of Life come.
What are the storms of life?
I’m sure you can add to this list
Getting out of here in one piece
Making lots of money by any means,
The perfact wife.
The flash car?
You name it there is a storm for everything.
We might well know all the "right" religious terms to use. We might even say "Amen" in the right places in the sermon. But when the storms of life come we crack up.
The Scripture tells us that we will know foundations in a man’s life: By their fruit you shall know them. (Matt 7.16).
In other words by what they do.
You guys know better than I do a con man when you see him, don’t you?
Same with God. You can con us but not him.
We will know the false foundation by the fruit shown when the storms of life come.
When the storm comes, the mask is torn away and our real self surfaces. I have met people who know all the right words and have been to all the "right" conferences and yet when troubles come to their lives they swear and curse like a trooper.
Where is your heart when the storms of life come? Will your faith still be standing?
Frame 4. The house on the rock remains standing and the house on sand collapses.
So what happens to us when we do not build our foundations on Christ’s teachings. The first storms that come along and our house collapses like a deck of cards because the sand that we have built on is whipped away from beneath our feet. They blame God for all their misfortunes.
However, if we know Christ, the storms will still come along, but we have a foundation for our lives. Christ.
Which house is yours, the one on the sand or the one on the rock?