28. Sermon on the Mount 13

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:21-27).

The Lord Jesus Christ here teaches that there is no other way of salvation than the one He prescribes. The wise accept, but the foolish the soul-saving power of the Gospel.

Those who build on the sand
Notice that there are those who claim to know Christ yet have no foundation laid in Him. They may pray, and even preach about Him, but this does not qualify them as children of God. It is possible to do wonderful works in His name and still remain lost.

There will always be those who go no further than avoiding wrongdoing. All our good deeds and religious activities can never buy salvation from God. We may think that we are pleasing God, but He is not moved by good works. Those who base their religion on works fail to understand the salvation Jesus Christ paid for by His blood.

Why can they not enter the Kingdom? They do not have the Kingdom within, in other words, the Lord is not enthroned in there lives. Christ does not know them as His own, and, regardless of how many good deeds done, He describes them as “workers of iniquity.” Everyone who does not act upon the word of God is doomed to fail and perish forever.

Sooner or later such a one will turn away from God and His word. Temptation and trials will overwhelm them. They fail because there is no eternal support to sustain them through the storm.

Those who build on the Rock
These both hear and obey God’s word. True wisdom builds an eternal dwelling place in the Kingdom of Heaven. These are they who have acknowledged that nothing but the blood of Christ can wash away sin.

The Rock is Christ Himself and His word. Neither He or His word ever changes. Those who build on this foundation know that He is “the same yesterday, today. and forever.” This foundation was laid in their lives the instant they began to believe in Christ as Saviour. They are now “hidden with Christ in God” and do all things for His glory.

They who build their lives upon Christ will undergo temptation and tribulation, but because of their faith they will remain standing when the storm is over. They cannot be destroyed for they members of the Kingdom of God which rules over all, and against which the gates of Hell cannot prevail. God is their refuge and strength and a very present help in trouble.

Each person must determine if he or she is building on the rock or the sand. We must ask ourselves, “What is the foundation of my eternal hope?” Are we trusting in religion or Christ for salvation? We cannot rest until we know for sure that He alone is our hope.

Though religious works cannot save the soul, it is still necessary for Christians to be zealous in the things of God. The sign that a life is truly built upon Christ is manifested in faithfulness and obedience.

If for any reason this eternal hope is not in us, then we must fly to the only One who can give us such assurance. Time is fleeting, and the opportunity is lost forever. The fool refuses to take advantage of the Lord’s invitation and promise. Do not rest until you know that you are “seated with Christ in heavenly places,” that is, you are a citizen of His Kingdom.

If we walk with Christ on earth, then we will reign with Him in glory.