Keep Eternity In View
IN concluding the greatest recorded sermon, the goal of our Lord Jesus Christ is to make us “wise unto salvation” (2 Timothy 3:15). Indeed, this is the goal of the whole of the scriptures and the goal of every message from the Word of God. Multitudes of people had heard this great message from Christ, the Saviour of the world. The Lord had revealed God’s requirement for the blessed life. It was a great privilege to hear the truth of the Kingdom from Christ Himself. But hearing the Word, even from Christ, the Lord of glory, is not enough; there must be a proper response to the message.
The Lord divides all who hear the truth of the Gospel into two classes. These two groups of people are classified as wise or foolish. The two groups have some similarities. They both hear the Word of God. They know the way of salvation, as revealed by Christ. They build a house of spiritual life after hearing God’s Word. Both builders think that their houses will stand and withstand the tests and trials of life. The outward appearances of their spiritual houses look alike. These similarities are superficial. The differences actually determine the strength and quality of our spiritual lives. One house has its foundation on the Rock; the other, with no foundation, is built on the sand. One group of hearers obeys the Word of repentance and righteousness; the other group does nothing and does not obey the Word. The wise man receives grace to live in obedience to God’s Word; the foolish man merely hears the Word without living in obedience. The wise man will rejoice throughout eternity, while the foolish man will suffer throughout eternity.
Our wisdom begins with hearing God’s Word with a purposeful heart to obey. There is no wisdom in hearing and not doing what God says. Hearing about repentance, believing and entering the Kingdom, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, being pure in heart, walking in the light and glorifying God in all we do – this is our wisdom. The wise builder constructs on a strong foundation that will withstand all storms of life. Christ is the foundation of the Christian life. Yet, we need to remember that Christ Himself refers to the foundation here as ‘obedience to His Word’ (Luke 6:46-48). The foundation is also referred to as “repentance and faith toward God” (Hebrews 6:1), separation and departure from all iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19), trusting in the living God and doing good (1 Timothy 6:17-19), the fellowship and teaching of the Apostles and Prophets of the New Testament (Ephesians 2:19,20). Obedience to Christ’s Word and a gracious life of godliness is the unassailable foundation of the wise builder, whose house will stand till eternity. True wisdom consists of building our spiritual house on the Rock, Jesus Christ, making the building firm and strong by having our motives, tempers and lives conformed to His Word, leaning on nothing but His grace and enabling power.
More and more people are hearing the Word of God in our nation, but how many are keeping, doing or obeying what they hear? He, who reads or hears God’s Word, but does not ask and receive grace from Him to conform his life to that Word, is like a fool that will suffer the sting of his foolishness throughout eternity. Knowing and learning of Christ’s righteousness, His sacrifice and atonement, while we do not pray to conform to His Word in our daily lives, is a terrible self-deception. Let it be observed and seriously considered that it is not the man who hears or professes to believe these sayings of Christ, whose building shall stand, when the earth and all its works are burnt up, but the man who DOETH, that is, the man who consistently obeys them. Many people assume that obedience to the Christ’s Word is unnecessary as long as we believe in Him.
The gospel of grace was brought to us by Christ to liberate us from sin and disobedience, and to lead us in the way of obedience to our heavenly Father. The house, or the Christian profession, that has no foundation of repentance, faith and righteousness will not stand the waves of trials and temptations on earth, neither will it stand the storm of judgment and wrath on the final day. Preaching and not living by the Word, hearing and not obeying the Word, worshipping and not walking in the truth is dangerous and damning. It is not too late to establish the foundation of repentance, to receive grace for godliness in order to continue living in righteousness for God’s glory.
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 7:24-29; Luke 6:47,48; 2 Timothy 2:19-22; Colossians 3:16,17; 1 John 2:3-6; 1 Peter 4:12-19; 2 Timothy 3:12-14; 2 Corinthians 4:7-18; Romans 8:35-39; Revelation 3:10-13; Luke 6:49; Ezekiel 33:31,32; Proverbs 1:24-32; Romans 2:8-29; 1 John 3:10-15; Psalm 36:12; Jeremiah 25:4-7,27; 2 Chronicles 36:16; Hebrews 12:14-17; Mark 1:21,22; Matthew 13:54-57; Matthew 22:22,33; Luke 4:22-29,32; 11:27,28; Acts 13:40,41; John 7:45,46; 4:39-42; James 1:18-25.