Sermons

Summary: Life, Actions, Discipleship

JESUS STRAIGHT TALK - Sayin’ It Don’t Make It So!

Matthew 7:21-23 (p. 679) June 11, 2017

Introduction:

I had an Elder in West Virginia named Jack Clay. He grew up in the coal. He and his wife Hazel were some of my favorite people…at 86 he still parked in the back of the parking lot so new people could have a better spot. He fell in his garage changing a light bulb one day…didn’t tell anyone…then came to board meeting that night…and we had to rush him to the hospital for brain surgery. He spent 2 weeks in the hospital and walked out. Jack couldn’t hear very well and during one meeting we were talking about resurfacing the parking lot…and Jack got mad and stood up and yelled. “If you are going to spend $3,600 on coffee pots you’re crazy.” Another of our leaders tugged on Jack’s sleeve and said, “PARKING LOT, JACK…PARKING LOT!” He laughed and said, “Oh…well that’s different” and sat down.

I remember Jack commenting about new projects and ministries with these words more than once… “Sayin’ it don’t make it so!”

And then Jack would volunteer to help. He would show up and be there no matter whether it was resurfacing the parking lot or men’s breakfast…Jack didn’t just talk about stuff…He did stuff…He supported stuff. He helped make it “so.”

On the heels of talking about false teachers and leaders and the fruit that they bear…In the context of wolves among sheep…Jesus makes an amazing statement…One of the most powerful Jesus Straight Talk moments recorded in scripture…He says:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven.”

I. SAYING JESUS IS LORD DOESN’T MAKE IT SO

Let me make one thing very, very clear as we start this discussion. Neither Jesus or I, are talking about a works theology of earning His grace and salvation.

In fact, it’s clear in this discussion there were some who tried that method.

Jesus indicates that on the Day of Judgment, “Many will say to me on that day ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?”

Clearly these are individuals who believe they’ve done a lot…they believe that the stuff they’ve done should gain them entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. And it’s not little stuff either…It’s preaching…teaching…engaging in spiritual warfare with demons…it’s miracles.

Jesus isn’t talking to the crowd here…He’s talking to the church…He’s talking to people who defend themselves with these words:

“In Your name we prophesied!”

“In Your name we cast out demons.”

“In Your name we performed miracles.”

It sure seems to me that the problem is the statement “In your name.” Jesus uses this statement 3 times in 1 verse.

My point is…doing stuff in “the name of Jesus” can make you feel good like you’ve earned kingdom entrance…but if you have no real relationship with Him…If He doesn’t really know you and you don’t really love Him…it’s worse than doing nothing at all because it leaves you deceived.

This might be one of the most heretical and damning teachings of the Church today. It’s certainly one of the greatest tools that our enemy, Satan, uses to deceive people who have a loose association with Jesus in the Church today.

“Let the stuff you do become more important than the Leadership of Christ.” Let Him just be a name you speak…not a Savior you passionately love and serve.

David Platt in the amazing book “Follow Me” writes this:

I have a friend - let’s call him John - whose first exposure to the concept of hell was during an episode of Tom and Jerry when he was young. During one particularly vivid scene, Tom was sent to hell for something bad he had done to Jerry. What was intended to be a humorous cartoon scared John to death, and he later found himself at church talking with an older man about what he had seen.

The church man looked at John and said, “Well, you don’t want to go to hell, do you?”

“No,” he responded.

“Okay, then,” the man said, “pray this prayer after me. Dear Jesus.”

John paused. After an awkward silence, he realized he was supposed to repeat after the man, and so he hesitantly responded, “Dear Jesus…”

I know I’m a sinner, and I know Jesus died on a cross for my sins,” the man said.

John followed suit.

“I ask you to come into my heart and to save me from my sin,” the man said.

Again, John echoed what he had heard.

“Amen,” the man concluded.

Then the man looked at John and said, “Son, you are saved from your sins, and you don’t ever have to worry about hell again.” Surely what that man told my friend in church that day was not true. Surely this is not what it means to respond to Jesus’ invitation to follow him. Yet this story represents deception that has spread like wildfire across the contemporary Christian landscape.

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