A Big Challenge from Jesus
by Rod Smith
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Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. Matthew 7:21-27
Much of what Jesus says has the effect of someone vigorously slapping our cheeks at 4 am. The words above are surely a get moving call for those who have “said the salvation prayer” and sit comfortably in the church each week waiting for heaven. Once saved, always saved? The Lord questions here whether those who minister in His name are really born again.
There are plenty of hearers (v 26) today going to conferences and seminars to listen to this or that speaker – many hearing but few doing. James 2 has much to say on that.
In verse 21 above, Jesus stresses we must do the will of the Father in heaven. So what is that will? It is obeying the instructions God gives in the Bible.
Practising the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the will of the Father. Leaders of denominations ignoring the gifts had better think hard. “Oh, those gifts are not for today,” they say. Hebrews 13:8 states “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” His Early Church which used those gifts is an example for us all.
Whatever is in the Bible is there for a purpose, and God expects believers to practise it. Following human tradition is what the Pharisees and Sadducees did. The denominations say “Oh it doesn’t matter about our tradition, we’re still saved.” Jesus’ words in Matthew 7 bring a warning. Not doing the Father’s will is disobedience.
The Father’s will is that none should perish – 2 Peter 3:9. Look around in your local Main Street: how many (including Pentecostals) are practising Mark 16:15 outside the church?
The Lord’s will is for us to become a new creation (1 Corinthians 5:17). The key words in that: “If any man be in Christ.” The old things must pass away, all things must become new. It means casting aside conformity with the world. It means having such a love for Jesus that nothing is too much trouble if it means furthering His kingdom.
Many are lukewarm in the Christian life today (at least in Australia where I live). It stems from a general lack of teaching on obedience, holiness and righteousness. Unless that is remedied, many in the church will collapse like the Twin Towers when hard times arrive.
In verse 25 we could say the “house” referred to is the person of the believer; the floods and the wind being attacks by satan on the “house” – you. The devil will defeat you every time unless you are built on the rock of Jesus. He has given you the armour of faith to put on (Ephesians 6) as you move into combat against satan.
Dear reader, in these last days you need to be a house founded on the rock of Jesus. A house which satan cannot knock down. A house so full of the Holy Ghost, the devil won’t find a crack or crevice to get in.
Do the will of the Father (v 21). Be God’s soldier not just a church member. Don’t be a half-hearted toe-dipper; bathe in the living water of God’s Holy Spirit. Put aside human tradition. Use the Sword of the Spirit – God’s Word - to cut through satan’s ropes that bind the unsaved all around us. Be a holy, righteous Christian who will stand for truth.
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We come to Jesus and we stay with Jesus - going with Him, doing His will in His way..... May the church of the living God fill us with a fresh desire to do all of the above! Another challenging piece - thanks!
Amen, and again I say, amen!
Well said. Like Laodicea, there are too many lukewarm. Let's be on fire for Christ!