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Three Non-Politically Correct Warnings, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
April 13, 2021 7:05 am

Three Non-Politically Correct Warnings, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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April 13, 2021 7:05 am

The King's Arrival: A Study of Matthew 1‑7: A Signature Series

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Today, from Chuck Swindoll, a shocking claim about Jesus. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. Without the way, there is no going. Without the truth, there is no knowing. Without the life, there's no living. It's that simple. Men, men, and women, the man Christ Jesus.

That's narrow, but that's the truth. What happens after we die? Where do we go? What's our reward? Well, the prevailing assumption of our times is that well-behaved and sincere people will ultimately find their way to heaven.

It's an eternal prize for living a disciplined life. Today on Insight for Living, we'll be challenged to consider the alarming warning from Jesus. During his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his listeners, not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven. Chuck Swindoll is teaching from Matthew chapter seven. Let's continue the message.

Chuck titled three non-politically correct warnings. When God wanted to express himself most clearly, he incarnated. He came in person. Jesus, the image of the invisible God, came in the flesh in order to show us the invisible God. I'll tell you, if we could have heard him preach this message, we would have never forgotten it. No one could deliver it as he delivered it. So let's get a dose of what he said and let the application speak for itself.

Okay. Enter through the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small or and he says the gate is narrow that leads to life and there are few who find it. Wide is the gate and there are many who enter through it.

Is that where you are? Narrow or wide? And along comes Jesus who says the gate is narrow and the way leads to life eternal and the gate is broad and leads to a path that most take.

At least a destruction. Remember Proverbs 14, 12. There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof are the ways of death, wrote Solomon the Wise. It seems right but it's death.

Makes you think, doesn't it? This is not what most teach today. It isn't that well received because after all, look at the times in which we live.

Is anything really wrong or that right? Who teaches like that? Well, you're not going to like the answer just as you don't like the narrow way because of what Jesus says in verses 15 to down through 20. Here he talks about false prophets.

These are the ones who promote wide gates. And he says to begin with, beware. So before you rush on to read about false prophets, get the warning. Watch out.

Don't be taken in because the person is kind and offers you something that seems delicious or attractive. Beware. So I say to you, quoting Jesus, beware of what? Beware of false prophets.

Please observe they come as counterfeits. They come to you in sheep's clothing, clothing, not a sheep's heart, but sheep's clothing. Inwardly, they are ravenous wolves. What's the sheep's clothing?

Courtesy, kindness, capability, communication skills, charm, attractiveness, an appealing approach, love, acceptance, all the things that draw you in. Of course, wolves are really good at looking like sheep. And I need to warn you, they are more in number than good shepherds. They're everywhere.

Beware. They are ravenous wolves. All that goodness, all that beauty, all that attractiveness, all that is just fleece deep. So you've got to look further. You will know them by their fruits.

Oh, now we're looking at more than fleece. He says grapes not gather from thorn bushes or figs from thistles, are they? Uses a humorous illustration to make it ludicrous so that you won't forget. You get grapes from grape vines. You get figs from fig trees. So every good tree bears good fruit and bad trees bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, vice versa. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then you will know them by their fruits. So what?

We must become good fruit inspectors. Does this teacher have a high view of the scriptures or does he compromise here and there choosing this and that? Does this teacher exalt Christ above all others, including herself or himself?

If not, you've got a false teacher on your hands. Christ is exalted above all. Above all, he's the head of the church.

His word is the final word. Does the teacher encourage followers to give their devotion to the Lord Jesus or to himself? Does the teacher promote a godly lifestyle or kind of... You're on your own here. How about promoting unity among other believers? Interesting, when you follow a false teacher, you become more and more isolated and you want less and less to do with the general run-of-the-mill believers, because they don't have the truth like you're getting it.

You pick up your own nomenclature, your own inside scoop. Is my walk with Christ getting deeper or not? If it's not, I'm in the wrong group. Am I enjoying a closer harmony with fellow believers? If not, I need to find another teacher. Am I growing in both grace and knowledge rather than just knowledge? Because false teachers love to emphasize knowledge.

Which alone puffs up. Very exclusive. Let me show you something in 2 Corinthians 11. May I do that? Turn over to 2 Corinthians 11, verse 13 it is.

Thank you for turning. 11, 13. Let it say what it says, especially if you are finding yourself drawn more and more to one who seems like a shepherd, but you don't realize the wolf within him.

13, 11, 13. Such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore, it's not surprising that his servants disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

Look at that. Did you know that Satan is not a little red-skinned creature with a pitchfork and horns, whispering nasty little things in your ears? Did you know that? Did you know he's the most gorgeous creature God ever made? Did you realize he's an angel of light?

And can come and impress a massive number of people with his beauty, his appeal. An angel of light. We think of him as dark. The darkness is within him, but his approach is light. Oh, who doesn't want to be in the light? Come on in.

You're welcome here. Beware. Beware, Christian brother and sister. Inspect the fruit. As Cynthia and I began to inspect the fruit of this one who had been teaching us, we found immorality. We found hypocrisy. We found lies. We found rationalization. All of which had blinded us for years.

Until we forced our minds to think like it's described here. You have your own heart to guard. No one else can guard it for you.

If I could, I would. But that's left up to you. And the angel of light knows that.

He also knows he's much stronger and can do things that are so impressive that you will find yourself swept off your feet by that suave, appealing style. Isn't it interesting when it comes to exclusivity that we can put up with it in other areas except religion? We think of a narrow religion as being oppressive and sort of quasi-ignorant. I go to a restaurant and there's a sign on the window that says no shirt, no shoes, no service. I never go, well I'm not going in there. They don't have a right to do that.

I like it that I don't have to walk in and see bare feet and bare backs and I like it that the owner put up the sign that he had never right to display. How about if you're maybe getting polio and you hear about a particular vaccine. It isn't five different vaccines, it's one. And you take it. Because you know that is the one that's effective.

You don't have a problem with exclusivity. Operating room, medical personnel only. I've never wandered aimlessly into an operating room. Now I've rolled into the operating room but I've never, I'm just taking a walk. Hey what do you mean?

You know we need to think broadly. Oh no. How about the men's restroom?

No that's probably too far. You're not going to go in there unless you're a man. We have no problem with that. But we get to something like this it's oh man I never you're going to be Chuck. I mean think of Jesus saying that.

No no really. He wants you to go to heaven. He don't want you to feel good about thinking broadly.

He wants you to feel clean knowing you've chosen right. And I don't care what else you've been taught. This is the truth. Take it.

Just as you would take that vaccine. Ivan Turgenev the Russian novelist wrote, I do not know what the heart of a bad man is like but I do know what the heart of a good man is like and it is terrible. You better believe it. Good people all over living with depraved hearts and you can't tell until you're around them a lot. Which explains how some can marry this wonderful individual and even on the honeymoon discover who they really are.

Or shortly after that honeymoon and they're involved in life as it unfolds and they go I never saw that. What you're seeing is that heart. The real person. So this is what he's getting at here. Let us say what it says. Well how about those who say Lord, Lord look at all I've done for you. Well he talks about that in 21 and following. Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of the father. It isn't about making a good creedal statement. It isn't about verbal faith.

It's about an obedient heart. He says many will say to me on that day verse 22 Lord, Lord I prophesied in your name. Lord I'm the one who cast out demons. I exorcised them and Lord I'm the one who in your name performed miracles. Well wait a minute. Doesn't the angel of light do all the above? Of course he does. Then wouldn't his disciples be able to do all the above?

Of course they can. Don't be impressed by so-called miracle workers or those who have the language that is so impressive or able to exorcise demons. Not all of them are of God. Jesus says that's not what we'll do at verse 23.

Then I will declare to them whom the ones listed in 22. I never knew you depart from me you who practice lawlessness. All the way through this passage is saying as one man wrote it is neutrality that curses one in the hour of decision.

Can't stay neutral. This thing I love about Christianity. It's either Christ or it's lostness.

It's either Christ or it's deception, confusion, insecurity and when death comes uncertainty. We buried a dear lady in our church rather recently. They were among our charter members, husbands still living and he said to me in a private moment said the thing I always loved about her even when death was so close. She would say to me almost in a whisper I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid.

How could she say that? Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. Without the way there is no going. Without the truth there is no knowing. Without the life there's no living. It's that simple.

Paul wrote there is one God and one mediator go between God and men and women the man Christ Jesus. That's narrow but that's the truth. That's the map. That's it. Three questions only you can answer.

Here's the first one. Have I chosen the narrow gate? Have I chosen the narrow gate? It's not something that'll make you conceited or arrogant. If it does I'd question the faith. It makes you grateful to the end of your life that by God's grace he taught you this and led you to this decision. You live your life thankful if you've chosen the narrow gate.

Second is my tree bearing the right fruit? Take a look. We are saved by faith alone but the faith that saves us doesn't remain alone. It bears fruit of righteousness. Before long there is an interest in spiritual things. There is a hunger for spiritual truth. There is a desire to pray. There's an interest in aligning one's light with the life with the life of Jesus. There's a desire to be with fellow believers. There's a pleasure in serving others. There's a genuine humility. These are all marks of a changed life. Is my tree bearing the right fruit? And finally is is my faith showing evidence of good works?

Is my faith showing evidence of good works? I don't know of a more important message that I've ever delivered than this one. It is designed to help you get off the fence.

You can't move from life on this earth to eternity straddling the fence. You got to get off and the choice is yours. I want to thank you for listening so carefully. You may be sitting in one of the corners of this room and feeling long ways from up here but you need to know you are as important to the Lord God as the one down near front. God has spoken today and the decision is yours. Please bow your heads with me. Please stay seated right there.

Let's not move about. The answers you gave to the questions mean everything. Only you know what those answers are. If you answered honestly then you have reason to fear if this is your last day or you have no reason whatever. Like our dear friend whom we buried recently.

I'm not afraid. He who has the Son has the life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. Don't make it complicated.

Leave it simple. Right where you're sitting I urge you to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to walk through that narrow gate to come by faith to God through Christ. Simple prayer. Lord there are a lot of things I don't understand but I do understand today that I am distant from you and sin separates you from me and me from you. You're holy and I'm not. I need forgiveness.

I need relief from all the things that plague me in my private life. Please come in to live within my life. Thank you for coming in. Thank you dear Father for Christ who loved us and gave himself for us. Thank you for the way he communicated. You have preserved it for us in the pages of your word. It's as if he has been standing among us touching our hearts with his words. Thank you for conviction as your spirit moves among us. Thank you for those who today have trusted in your son Jesus. For those who have not may they find no rest no relief until they come to you through your son. Now to him who is able to guard us from stumbling and present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding great joy to the only wise God our savior be glory and majesty dominion and power forever and ever and ever and ever and all God's people said.

Amen. It's refreshing to see how Jesus put caution aside and told the truth about life and about entering through the narrow gate. You're listening to Insight for Living and a message from Chuck Swindoll.

He titled this study in Matthew 7, Three Non-Politically Correct Warnings. To learn more about this ministry please visit us online at insightworld.org. At Insight for Living we realize that all of us come to this daily program with different issues and at various levels of spiritual maturity and while our situations may differ this sermon from Jesus applies to all of us without exception. If you're prepared to take your understanding of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount to a deeper level I'll remind you Chuck has written an in-depth book on this topic. It's a classic called Simple Faith. In Simple Faith Chuck does a deep dive into Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7. Through this study we examine the surprising statements Jesus made that defied the religious zealots of his day.

We'll also explore the comfort he offered to people in pain. Again Chuck's book is titled Simple Faith. To purchase a copy right now call us if you're listening in the U.S. dial 1-800-772-8888 or go directly to insight.org slash offer. In addition each of the messages you hear on this program is complemented by an interactive online lesson. We call them Searching the Scriptures. These study notes are designed to help you dig deeper into these subjects at your own pace.

You can even print out the pdf files and share them with your friends. So once again to study with Chuck Swindoll be sure to take advantage of this free resource called Searching the Scriptures and you can easily access these documents at insight.org slash studies. To support Chuck Swindoll's Bible teaching ministry with a voluntary donation we invite you to call us if you're listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 or go online to insight.org. In March 2022 Insight for Living Ministries is hosting an unforgettable journey to Israel. Carefully plan to deepen your understanding of the Bible and draw you closer to God.

Chuck Swindoll. For thousands of years no place has been more meaningful to God's children than the land of Israel. The rugged landscape reminds us to find refuge in God alone. The fertile valleys invite us to follow our shepherd. Jerusalem's position at the very center of the world announces the good news of Christ to every nation. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living Ministries March 6 through 17 2022. Every time I visited the Holy Land I've returned home with a refreshed heart for God and a renewed vision for the world.

Really I mean it every time. And so I want you to have the same life-changing experience. To learn more go to insight.org slash events or call this number 1-888-447-0444. Insight for Living Ministries tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. Join us tomorrow when Chuck Swindoll reveals the secret of an unsinkable life right here on Insight for Living. The preceding message, three non-politically correct warnings was copyrighted in 2015 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R Swindoll Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-02 20:21:34 / 2023-12-02 20:29:58 / 8

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