The past several weeks we have been on a journey through The Sermon on the Mount. We have seen Jesus’ view of hate; it equals murder (Matthew 5:21-22). Jesus explained His view of lusting; it means adultery (Matthew 5:27-30). He explained that using God’s name to make a vow is taking His name in vain (Matthew 5:33-37). Jesus taught us how to pray (Matthew 6:5-13) and described the life of faith (Matthew 6:25-34). He told us not to judge others (Matthew 7:1-5). Jesus told us that we enter the Kingdom by asking, seeking and knocking (Matthew 7:7-11). Entering the Kingdom of heaven is what Jesus wants for His followers, but, in order to do this, we must respond with obedience to this great teaching by Jesus.
As we come to the end of our study of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:13-27), we are presented with four warnings, each of which offers a pair of contrasts and our need to choose: two ways (7:13-14), two trees (7:15-20), two claims (7:21-23), and two builders (7:24-27). The principal theme of these verses is obedience. You see men, the so-called follower of Jesus who never enters the narrow gate, who bears bad fruit, who says, “Lord, Lord” to Jesus but who does not do the will of the Father, who builds his life on a shifting foundation will one day be dismissed from the presence of Christ as an “evildoer” (7:23). As D.A. Carson writes, “No one can leave behind a study of the Sermon on the Mount without facing these alternatives and recognizing that one’s eternal destiny hangs on them.”
Therefore men, the Sermon on the Mount must not simply be studied; Jesus’ teaching must be practiced and incorporated into our daily life. It is this person, the one who is obedient to Jesus’ teaching who experiences the power of God’s reign in his life. Men, there is no third option, no other alternative. Either you choose obedience to Jesus and have life or you choose disobedience and have death. Choose wisely. My prayer of each of you is that you take the narrow gate, you produce good fruit, you do the will of the Father, and you build your life on a firm foundation.
This Week’s Challenge Of these four warnings, which one challenges you the most? How do you need others to help you in choosing wisely?