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How To Have Rock Solid Faith

November 12, 2017 Speaker: Ted Detiveaux Series: The Parables of Jesus

Topic: Faith Scripture: Matthew 7:21–:27

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How to Have Rock Solid Faith?

Matthew 7:21-27

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

This may be one of the most surprising verses if you are reading it for the first time.

To think that there are those who have done what appeared to be the work of the Lord only to be rejected by Him at the end of time.

In fact, one of his very own disciples named Judas Iscariot would fit into this category.  

Judas was called to follow Jesus.  He was listed among the twelve that were sent out by Jesus to cast out devils and to heal all manner of diseases.

Matthew 10:1

 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.

Judas is listed by name among the twelve in the following verses. 

We even see in John’s account of the gospel that Judas appeared to be a person concerned with helping the poor. 

John 12:4-5

 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 

Judas appears to be doing the right things and saying the right words, yet this is what Jesus would say about his betrayer.

Matthew 26:24 

The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

Jesus sees right through Judas’ actions and words and looks right into his heart.  

Through Judas’ life we see an example of what Jesus was talking about when He said that there will be many that say to me in that day Lord, Lord. In response He says depart from me I never knew you, you workers of iniquity.  Heaven is reserved for those who do the Fathers’ will.

This should serve as a warning to us. Though it may look like we are doing our part on the outside, Jesus knows the condition of the heart.

How many people do you know, who think “I am a good person, surely God has a spot for me.

He knows if we sincerely love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

He also knows if we sincerely love each other as we love ourselves.  He is not fooled.

Jesus gives us a parable which explains the conditions for obtaining eternal life.

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 

If we want to be considered wise, then must not only hear the word but be doers of the word as well.  Unfortunately, there are many hearers of the word, but not a lot of doers. 

In Matthew 5 Jesus gives His sermon on the mount.  In this sermon we learn a great deal about our responsibilities as believers.

Here is a quick test to see if you are a doer of the word and not a hearer only.

  • Being poor in spirit- Do we have a dependency upon Him.
  • Thirsting after righteousness- Do we want Him more than anything else?
  • Merciful- Are we quick to show mercy to those who have wronged us?
  • Pure in Heart- Do we have a pure heart?
  • Peacemakers- Are we peacemakers or do we stir the pot?
  • Persecution- Do we give up faith and hope when things get hard?
  • Anger- Do you struggle with being slow to speak and quick to listen?
  • Lust- Have your eyes caused you to sin?

These were just 8 of the many things that Jesus taught his followers to do. Note this was only 2 chapters prior to our text today.

When we are willing to be doers of the word and not hearers only then we fulfill the will of God. If you have ever wandered what is the will of God for your life, it begins with loving your enemies, and controlling your anger, being merciful to those who have wronged you. 

As we apply the words of Christ to our lives, we build our house on a sure foundation.

Christ and His teachings are rock solid.  His teachings were relevant then and they are certainly relevant now.

Christ taught about heaven, and He showed us how to get there.  What He taught is absolute truth.  We can hold on to those absolute truths because they will be accomplished.

Christ is coming back for His bride (church) who has made itself ready. 

To build our lives upon the words of Christ is to build upon a rock-solid foundation.

It is important to have a proper foundation established because the storms of life are coming.

25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 

You will not be disappointed when you build your life upon the rock of Jesus Christ.

Storms will come your way intending to break you.   But you will not be broken if your foundation is in Christ.  However, the same cannot be said for those who have their foundation elsewhere. 

26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

We have talked about the wise, now Jesus turns his attention toward the foolish.

  • Has anyone ever built a sand castle before?

(Personal story) When we go to a beach we like to compete in building sand castles…

It does not matter where you build a sandcastle it will eventually be swallowed up by the waves of the nearby body of water.  Sand was not meant for building structures that last.

Jesus is saying when we hear the word of God, but we do not apply it to our lives, nor do we live by His truths then we are building on something that will eventually come to ruin.

For all those who believe that being a good person will get them to heaven, they will be sadly mistaken, and their hope will be deflated on the day of judgment.

For all the religions out there, that think they will obtain heaven through another way besides going through Christ, are only fooling themselves.

They are in a sense building upon something that will eventually be their ruin.

John 14:6

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 

There is no other way to the Father except through Him.  Not through Mary, or any of the saints, not through Muhammad, not through buddha, not through any other name but through the name of Jesus Christ. 

He is the cornerstone of our faith.  It is through Him that we are saved.  It is by Him that we are being sanctified.  Our faith and our hope are found in Him alone.

The consequences of having a foundation other than Christ are detrimental.  In His Parable Jesus said that such a life is compared to the house that is built on the sand.  As we have examined, Sand houses do not last.

Here is the thing with houses built on the sand. Eventually there is a wave coming.  That wave will level anything that is not structurally sound. 

For some the sand house may be worldly prosperity.  Many people will spend their whole life focusing on money or material possessions. In their minds the more stuff they obtain means the more favor of God is upon them. However, eventually that person will die and then what. 

  • Will God be impressed by all the stuff or money that they have obtained in their life?
  • Will that be enough to get them in?

For some the sand house may be a worldly relationship.  You spend your lifetime investing in relationships that lead you away from Christ. That too will prove to be sand swept away by the waves.

For others the sand house is a false belief that they can get in by their own good merit.  If they do enough good to outweigh the bad they think this will be sufficient.  Or a belief that they can get in by some other way than through Christ.

If we were to get in by our own good merit, then why would Jesus have to die for our sins.  The truth is all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and because of that sin comes death.

The belief that we can fix ourselves is foolish and it is as building a house upon the sand.

Putting our hope in our jobs, sport teams, fashion, youthfulness, health, the list can go on and on if we were to name every house of sand that we build upon and put our trust in.

Eventually the waves are coming and everything, every belief, every possession, every relationship, that is not of Christ will be destroyed by the waves.

The waves could very well represent the judgement of God just as it was in Noah’s day.

God will search every heart and test everything in our lives, and the only thing that will stand on that day is that which is found in Christ.

The waves will prove the things that we have trusted in to be merely sand houses.

To those that have heard the word but have not obeyed will not stand against the waves that are coming.

They may try to give God their resume and list all the good deeds that they have done while on earth, but God’s response to many will be “depart from me I never knew you.”

Knew- never had any acquaintance with you.  I never had any personal knowledge of you.

In other words, we were never close. 

If we were close, then you would have not only heard my words but also obeyed them. My words would be in your heart not only your head.

John 14:15

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

When we hear the word only, yet we are not doers, we reveal that we really don’t love God.

Again, this is compared to a house made sand.  It will be proven in the end times, when we stand before the omniscient God, who knows all things.

To close out this sermon I would like to do an illustration to give you a visual on what will happen on that day of judgment.

The key to having rock solid faith is to be doers of the word. Let the word of God come in you, let it affect you, but also let the word of God move you.

 

 

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