“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 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. 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. 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.”
(Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)
Jesus wraps up His Sermon on the Mount today by continuing the illustration of those who will go to heaven and those who will end up in hell. And once again, we see that our eternal destinies are the result of our own choices made in this life.
In this passage Jesus refers to everyone who hears these words of mine. Some will hear them and [do] them. These people are considered wise. Others, the foolish ones, will hear and not do them.
Our lives on this earth have a purpose. They are a means to an end. Every day we are building something with our lives that will either count for eternity or will not count. Some people realize this. Others do not.
Jesus refers to that which we are building with our lives as a metaphorical house. A wise person builds his house on a rock. That is, the foundation of the house was built into something solid – something that endures when tested by rain and floods and wind.
On the other hand, a foolish person builds his house on the sand. Sand is not stable. It shifts. When the rain, floods, and winds come the foundation of the house will move and the house will fall.
Those who build their lives on the sand are those who follow the ever-shifting wisdom of the world that rejects God’s truth and replaces it with their own. Such a faith system will not stand against the judgment of God (i.e. the rain, floods, and wind), as we learned yesterday.
Notice that both the wise and the foolish heard the same message. Yet only some believed it. That belief was demonstrated by their actions. Jesus has told us exactly how to ensure our eternity is in heaven. Some believe Him. Some do not.
But note that it is not simply hearing or knowing what God says that saves us. It is believing that saves us. And when we believe we do what God says. If we don’t believe we won’t do what God says. Our actions reflect what we believe [James 1:22-24; 1 John 2:3-6], as modern psychology would attest.
Some have heard God’s word yet have altered it to fit their own definition of truth. This includes Mormons, Catholics, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Others, such as atheists, Muslims, and Hindus, have flat-out rejected God’s word. All have built an unstable house that will count for nothing in the end.
God’s truth is unshifting. What was true of God thousands of years ago remains true today [Psalm 102:27; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17 et. al]. When God says something is right it is right forever. When God says something is wrong it is wrong forever. Human beings have no ability to create truth. We can only acknowledge it or reject it.
The entire Sermon on the Mount was Jesus telling His listeners (and us) how we should live our lives – what we should be doing to “build” a secure eternity. Only those who believe Him will actually do it. Sadly, the others will spend eternity wishing they had.
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