SEPT 12, 2004
24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
INTRO; MY EYES AND THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS HAVE BEEN DIRECTED SOUTH FOR MOST OF THIS PAST WEEK. WITH IVAN MAKING HIS WAY NORTH, AFTER CHARLEY AND FRANCIS, AND THE PATH OF THIS ONE HEADED, IT SEEMS UP THE WEST COAST, OF FLORIDA, I THANK GOD THAT I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH ALL THAT, BUT THEN I THINK OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS THAT ARE THERE AND DO HAVE TO. WATCHING THE DESTRUCTIVE FORCES OF THESE HURRICANES, MAKES YOU THINK ABOUT HOW SAFE OUR HOMES REALLY ARE. WOULD YOUR HOME WITHSTAND 150 PLUS MPH WINDS?
LAST WEEK, ANNE AND I WATCHED A MOVIE MADE IN THE 80’S, MONEY PIT. TOM HANKS AND SHELLY LONG, BOUGHT THIS HOUSE, A MANSION, APPEARED NICE WHEN THE ELDERLY WOMAN WAS TRYING TO SELL IT, PRICE WAS RIGHT, SHE NEEDED TO SELL TO SETTLE SOME DEBTS, SO THEY, NEEDING A PLACE TO LIVE, BOUGHT. WELL, OUTWARD APPEARANCES CAN OFTEN BE DECEIVING, AS THEY SOON FOUND OUT. THEY FINALLY HIRED A CONTRACTOR TO DO THE WORK, HIS PAT ANSWER WAS, TWO WEEKS. TWO WEEKS DRUG INTO MONTHS. FINALLY, THE HOUSE IS FINISHED, AND IT LOOKS LIKE BRAND NEW. TOM HANKS IS TALKING TO THE CONTRACTOR AND SAYS, I HAD MY DOUBTS. THE CONTRACTOR SAYS, AS LONG AS THE FOUNDATION IS GOOD, IT CAN DONE.
LETS SEE WHAT JESUS SAYS ABOUT FOUNDATIONS.
TODAY WE WILL CONCLUDE OUR STUDY IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
JESUS HAS BEEN PREACHING THIS SERMON FOR SEVERAL HOURS, ALL OF WHAT HE SAID IS NOT RECORDED. WHAT WE HAVE IS PROBABLY MORE OF A HIGHLIGHT OF HIS SERMON, THE CLIFF NOTES VERSION. HE HAS HELD THESE SEVERAL THOUSAND LISTENERS IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND. WHAT JESUS IS SAYING IS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR, IT IS DIFFERENT, IT IS NEW, AND EXCITING.
THEY HAVE NEVER HEARD TEACHING LIKE THIS BEFORE. NOW, WE WILL EXAMINE HIS CONCLUDING REMARKS. REMEMBER THAT HE HAS JUST SAID, MANY WILL NOT MAKE IT. BECAUSE THIS IS TRUE- THEREFORE, THAT CONNECTING WORD, THAT IS THERE FOR A REASON, THESE TWO THOUGHTS ARE TIED TOGETHER. IF EVERYONE IS NOT GOING TO MAKE IT, WHO WILL? JESUS ANSWERS WITH TWO CONTRASTING PICTURES.
I. HOUSE BUILT ON THE ROCK
EVERYONE WHO HEARS- TO HEED, TO LISTEN TO, TO UNDERSTAND, MY WORDS, AND PUTS THEM INTO PRACTICE. THERE IS MORE INVOLVED HERE THAN JUST THE PASSIVE ACT OF LISTENING. IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO JUST HEAR THE WORDS OF JESUS. BECAUSE HE ADDS, PUT THEM INTO PRACTICE. DOETH THEM. TO ADOPT A WAY OF EXPRESSING BY ACTION THE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. YOU MUST NOT HEAR PASSIVELY- TO HEAR THAT WAY IS NOT ACTIVE HEARING. JESUS SAYS, DO THEM. ACT UPON THEM. TAKE THE WORDS AND PUT THEM INTO ACTION.
IF YOU HEAR AND DO WHAT JESUS TEACHES–> THEN YOU ARE LIKE THIS PERSON. THE ROCK SOLID MAN. WHEN YOU BUILD A HOUSE, THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE BUILDING PROCESS IS –> THE FOUNDATION. IF IT’S STRAIGHT, LEVEL, CORRECT, EVERYTHING THAT IS ADDED WILL BE STRAIGHT, LEVEL AND CORRECT AS WELL. IF ON THE OTHER HAND THE FOUNDATION IS NOT LEVEL, NOT STRAIGHT, NOT CORRECT- EVERYTHING ADDED TO IT, WILL NOT BE AS WELL.
I HAVE NEVER BUILT A HOUSE. I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN SOME REMODELS. I CAN TELL YOU FROM SAD EXPERIENCE WHAT A PAIN IT IS TO REMODEL WHEN THINGS AREN’T STRAIGHT. JESUS, WHO BY THE WAY WAS A CARPENTER, SAYS,
IF YOU DO MY TEACHING, YOU HAVE BUILT YOUR HOUSE ON THE ROCK. PAUL WRITES IN 1 COR 3;11, "FOR NO MAN CAN LAY ANY FOUNDATION OTHER THAN THE ONE ALREADY LAID, WHICH IS JESUS CHRIST." AGAIN IN EPH 2;20-22, CHRIST JESUS HIMSELF AS THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE, IN HIM THE WHOLE BUILDING IS JOINED TOGETHER AND RISES TO BECOME A HOLY TEMPLE IN THE LORD. AND IN HIM YOU TOO ARE BEING BUILT TOGETHER TO BECOME A DWELLING IN WHICH GOD LIVES BY HIS SPIRIT.
WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION THAT YOUR LIFE IS BEING BUILT UPON? THERE IS ONLY ONE FOUNDATION–> JESUS. THAT WILL WITHSTAND THE STORMS OF LIFE.
THE RAIN CAME DOWN, THE STREAM RISES, THE WIND BLOWS AND BEATS AGAINST THE HOUSE. WE HAVE SEEN THE AWESOME DESTRUCTIVE POWER OF NATURE. BUT JESUS IS NOT TALKING ABOUT HURRICANES, TORNADOS, OR EARTHQUAKES.
HE IS TALKING ABOUT THE THINGS THAT AFFECT OUR FAITH, THAT EITHER STRENGTHEN OR WEAKEN OUR WALK WITH HIM. WE ALL FACE TESTS/ TRIALS.
BUT, WHEN WE OVERCOME BECAUSE OF JESUS, WE ARE MADE EVEN STRONGER, MORE REFINED. WE DRAW CLOSER TO HIM AS A RESULT OF THESE THINGS. THE END RESULT OF A LIFE BUILT ON THE ROCK SOLID FOUNDATION OF JESUS IS THIS–> THE HOUSE DID NOT FALL. VICTORY.
II. SADLY, NOT EVERYONE WILL BUILD UPON THE ROCK SOLID FOUNDATION. JESUS SAYS, THE FOOLISH MAN, HEARS, BUT DOES NOT PRACTICE. HE BUILDS ON SAND. I SUPPOSE IT IS EASIER TO DO IT THAT WAY, LESS WORK, LESS COST.
THE EASY WAY OUT. BUT, THIS FOOLISH MAN, TOO, FACES TRIALS AND TROUBLES. HIS HOUSE FALLS WITH A GREAT CRASH.
(ILLUS. Ravi Zacharias writes, "A few weeks ago, I did a lectureship at Ohio State University. As I was being driven to the lecture, we passed the new Wexner Art Center. The driver said, "This is a new art building for the university. It is a fascinating building designed in the post-modernist view of reality." The building has no pattern. Staircases go nowhere. Pillars support nothing. The architect designed the building to reflect life. It went nowhere and was mindless and senseless.
I turned to the man describing it and asked, "Did they do the same thing with the foundation?" He laughed. You can’t do that with a foundation. You can get away with the infrastructure. You can get away with random thoughts that sound good in defense of a world view that ultimately doesn’t make sense. Once you start tampering with the foundations, you begin to see the serious effects. Yet the foundations are in jeopardy; the foundations of our culture do not provide coherent sets of answers any more."
THE SERMON ENDS. JESUS LEAVES THE LISTENER WITH THIS, YOU HAVE HEARD MY WORDS, NOW, WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THEM?