Presentation on theme: "Does it matter what Christians practice in their attempts to follow Christ and go to heaven?"— Presentation transcript:
Does it matter what Christians practice in their attempts to follow Christ and go to heaven?
Jesus said, Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate, and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matt. 7:13-14) Of the two ways mentioned by Jesus, which one leads to life? What does Jesus say of the number of those who find it? What does find it imply? Again, Jesus said, Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate, and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matt. 7:13-14) To what does the broad way lead? Does it matter, then, which gate we enter or which way we travel? The question is not: Are we too narrow? The question is: Are we narrow enough?
Jesus further said, Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. (Matt. 7:15) Why should we beware of false prophets? How does Jesus depict false prophets? What is implied, concerning the safety of the sheep, by this depiction of false prophets? Should we be any less wary of those who do not claim to be prophets, but nevertheless mistakenly claim to be teaching the truth of God? Jesus said, My sheep hear My voice...and they follow Me. (John 10:28)
You cannot identify false prophets by the way that they look because they can and do disguise themselves as sheep. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11:14-15) How, then, can we identify false prophets? Jesus gave us a key by replacing the figure of wolves with the figure of good trees and bad trees. He does this because no distinction can be made between good and bad wolves.
He said, You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matt. 7:16-20) But what is the fruit of a false prophet? The fruit of a tree is that which you get from the tree. Therefore, the fruit of a prophet is that which you get from the prophet.
From a true prophet you get the truth of God. From a false prophet you get that which claims to be but is not the truth of God. The fruit of a prophet [whether true or false] is the teaching of that prophet. Would you go to a thornbush to pick grapes, or to a thistle to pick figs? Should you go to a false prophet get the truth of God? What will happen to every tree that does not bring forth good fruit? Every [such] tree…is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Jesus also said, Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Matt. 7:21) We must conclude, therefore, that some who say to Him, Lord, Lord, are not doing the will of His Father. Some say they are doing His will but their practice belies their claim. If they are not doing His will they must be on the broad way rather than the narrow way.
Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! (Matt. 7:22-23) Its not just a matter of calling Him Lord. It is a matter of practicing what is lawful! Perhaps these thought they were practicing what is lawful but in actuality they were not! JUDGMENT DAY
But why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great. (Luke 6:46-49; Matt. 7:24-27)
What did the two men in Jesus illustration have in common? Each was building a religious house, just as each one was either on the narrow way or the broad way. One was building on the rock of Gods word; the other was building on the sand of human error. The former was on the narrow way while the latter was on the broad way. Remember, the narrow way leads to life and the broad way leads to destruction.
DOES IT MATTER? Did Jesus speak as though it does not matter what Christians believe and/or practice in religion? Did Jesus speak as though it does not matter which gate one enters or which way one travels? Dont let false prophets lead you, via the wide gate and the broad way, to destruction.