Summary: Message examines the wise and foolish builders. The first in a series entitled "Put Into Practice".
Pastor Don Jones
West Glendale Baptist Church
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Several weeks ago I was approached by one of our people with a question. It was a simple one. It was, "Why don’t people who say their Christian act like it?" I thought that if I could answer that one I would be on all the talk shows and have the best selling book in the world. Instead I said simply, "I don’t know." But I did begin looking at what God’s Word says about the subject and want to share some of what I found over the next few weeks. The scripture today comes at the end of a great message.
Cue slide - Two Groups
Jesus was ending what we call the Sermon on the Mount. Those who were in attendance were His disciples and a very large crowd that had come to hear Him speak. He gives us a warning about the requirements of being one of His followers. Most who were there would walk away and forget what they had heard, much like our modern day churches. A few, a very few, would hear His words and follow. For all, He gave a stern warning. Matthew 7:21-23 says,
“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!’
Look at the last few words of the passages. "I never knew you". What had these people done? Surely their crimes or sins must have been absolutely horrible. Jesus sent them away and called them evildoers. Of course evildoers will not enter the kingdom. But what did He say they had done?
He sent away those who had first, called Him Lord. WHAT? He sent them away because they called him Lord. For us "once saved, always saved" Baptists this is very alarming. But Jesus did say, "I never knew you." By now I hope your alarm bells are ringing.
But wait there’s more. What about the others. They were doing evil, must have been. Jesus said they were prophesying, casting out demons, and performing miracles all in His name. WHAT? For those who think good works will get you there He says, "I never knew you." WOW!
Surely He didn’t mean it. These people were the honest to goodness church going believing people who are involved just like we have each Sunday morning and Wednesday night. If these people didn’t "cut it" then what can we do to make sure we will be in the Kingdom?
Cue Slide - One Response
First, there are 2 groups approaching Jesus. The first group proclaimed Jesus as Lord, probably said they believed in Him. But, as far as we know that is all they did. I know a lot of people who have come to profess Jesus as Lord. They have prayed the "sinner’s prayer", walked to take the hand of the pastor, and have stood before the church to proclaim His lordship and then, they leave never to be heard from again. The scary part of all that is, we may have led them to believe they were ok. Jesus said to that group, "I never knew you."
The second group did miraculous works. I wish we had a few more of these in our churches. They were busy going about prophesying about Jesus, they even performed miraculous signs by His power, and to top it all off, they even cast out the odd demon or two. You have to admit in the list of things these definitely out score coming to church each week or even twice a week. These people were cooking! The scary part about this group is they would be the ones we appoint as pastors, deacons, and elders. Jesus responds to them with words of disappointment as well. He says, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’