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February 23, 2021 7:00 am
The gospel is simple to understand, but not easy to accept. Scripture tells us that the road to heaven is narrow but do you ever wonder why so many people seem to miss the road altogether on this broadcast of the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce explains how apathy false teaching and hypocrisy are often at the root of unbelief together. Let's learn how to protect our hearts.
From these three culprits. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. What's the most dangerous thing you can do with your life.
Dr. Boyce will argue that it would be to live knowing the truth of the gospel but never fully surrendering to Christ.
Let's listen them together. One of the worst things that can be taught and religion is that all roads eventually lead to heaven. True, of course anymore, all roads in the worldly bill given destination.
All roads that lead to New York City some lead to New York some lead away depends on what side of the road you're walking what direction you're going you don't like that illustration. Some of our cities like Washington DC are surrounded by a Beltway and you can spend all your life on ladder never get either closer or further away and when you're on it at the rush-hour you think that that is where you're going to spend all your life. Well, bad enough, because it's not true.
All lies are harmful but in this case is even worse than that because what were talking about is Helen heaven. What Jesus is saying in the sermon on the Mount is that if any person is not on the way that he is laid out clearly a person is going to perish now is really stressing in the concluding verses of the sermon he's instructed his followers on the way to blessedness what it really means to live a happy life from the source of Gladys talked about the Scriptures is explained that the Bible is given to teach us the way of righteousness, that we might walk in it begun to explain what that means taking some of the 10 Commandments and exploring them, showing that what's involved there is not merely an outward conformity to some law, but rather an inner harmony with the mind and will of God and talked about various areas of what we would call piety of the practice of religion talked about the relationship of a disciple to the world. He summed it all up in the words of the Golden rule and now when he comes to the end. He stresses the necessity of making a decision. Are we going to go in that way. So pass on the life here and in the life to come, or are we going to turn our back on that in perish. Another way of suggesting what he's doing here in these last verses is to say that he is warning against perishing, by the way, I can happen in a number of different ways can happen through apathy, we can simply drift on miss the opportunity, neglecting to make the choice. It can happen through the deceit of false teachers we can get caught up in some particular teaching and follow that defined the word on the wrong way because the teaching is wrong happen through hypocrisy and pretends to be on the right way and believe the right things and not actually be doing it and then finally they can happen by our building on a wrong foundation. Now that's what Jesus is doing the is holding the forest true ways. In this last section of the sermon. It's exactly what is found in the Old Testament.
Jeremiah did Jeremiah talk about the way of life from the way of death. By the same thing in the first salt that sets the pattern for everything that you find throughout the Psalter first Psalms contrasts those who walk in the counsel of the wicked with those whose delight is in the law of the Lord. Here is Jesus begins to spell out exactly the same teaching he doesn't bite for great images. He talks about two gates payouts. He talks about two teachers or two trees talks about two claims are professionals and then finally he talks about to builders or to foundations of money saying in each case is that the choice of the one way leads to heaven.
The choice of the other leads to hell I seriousness begin to look at them. Each one or so while he talks about these gates and passing. Here's what he says enter through the narrow gauge. Why does the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life and only a few find it. I suppose we should ask some questions about that. Do we go through the gate to get on the road. That case, the gate would be conversion the road would be the Christian life. Or we had a run for the path in order to reach the gates and pass through it either. Hell, heaven. In that case, the gate would be death or is the way continuing in Christ's teachings. Now, until we eventually come to the point of regeneration or conversion when I was first working on this text. Years ago, put down what I thought about it in book of mine on the sermon on the mount. I took the last of those and I think that each of the positions and probably defendant, but is also, as I look back on it, probably guilty of making false decision is versus are actually doing. As I look at it now was treating both the gate and then rode a light Jesus is spelling out fine distinctions. You're only saying is that you have to make sure that you're entering the right gait and traveling on the right road in order that you might find your way to heaven. I guess I should add that those words making sure probably two week because when Jesus is contrasting this narrow gate in the wide gate in the narrow road in the wide road what he really is doing is warning us against taking the easy way. This is where these two images come together so easily. It's easy to pass through broad gauge. It's easy to walk down a wide road is much harder to make your way through a narrow gate finding out and entering and it's much harder to keep on the narrow path that we have to say that many people who were speaking in the name of Christ, trying to teach the gospel today are out of step with our master in this matter may preach the gospel but they make it sound easy as of the easiest thing in the world is to simply trust Jesus or make a commitment or sign a partner be his disciple, Jesus didn't treat it that way. William Hendrickson, one of the commentators had it right when he wrote this, our Lord does not follow the method that is used by certain self-styled revivalists who speak is it getting saved is one of the easiest things in the world. Now, on the contrary, Jesus pictures entrance into the kingdom as being on the one hand, most desirable, and yet on the other, not at all easy entrance gate is narrow gate that has to be found. That's an important word for you. You've been drifting along in this matter of religion simply taking the easy way so that you're on the way to life from lest you are actually pursuing it in obedience to Jesus Christ. Jesus did not teach that it would be easy either to be, or be a Christian is that it would be hard to follow because nothing worthwhile in life is ever really easy. He warns about false teachers, and here he saying that apathy is not the only enemy is also matter of destructive doctrines he calls these people wolves in sheep's clothing because they pretend to be harmless members of the flock on her. She when, as a matter of fact they are out to destroy the sheep and perhaps that isn't even the best way to put it on merely other members of the flock with leaders and teachers as we would say ministers of the gospel because they're the ones that are handing out the false teaching is exactly what the apostle Paul said when he was warning the elders at Ephesus of what would happen after he left he said that after his departure from Ephesus Savage wolves of precisely this kind would appear to harm the flock there so we asked the question we have false prophets. Today we have false teachers are there wolves swim in the sheepfold of answer to that is, there certainly are. Moreover, we don't only have the mentor pews and in our pulpits. We have them in the denominational structures we have them in the seminaries church related colleges. We have them in influential positions.
There are false teachers who are heading up the counterfeit revivals of our day and have large followings because of the television programs find it amusing in the light of what Jesus says here that we refer to an academic diploma as a sheepskin because many false teachers of user academic credentials to gain credibility when actually what they're doing is destroying the faith, and ultimately the life of the people in their charge. We have to be warned against such teachers at least another question on this question would be how do we detect false teachers especially if they have the academic qualifications they seem to know what they're talking about. They can refer to information that were not acquainted with. I can quote the Greek know the Latin all of those things buttress up what they're saying. How do we know whether the teaching is false or not answer Jesus gives here is an interesting what Jesus says is that we can know their teaching by their works so he says that he says it once, at the start of the section by their fruit you will recognize them or 16 and he says that again at the end of verse 20 us buying their fruit you will recognize them when between Jesus compares him to treat some trees produce good fruit and some trees produce bad fruit in the way you know a good tray from a bad dreams whether produces good fruit are bad for Zoey says that is the case with these false teachers now this can be applied in two ways. Let me do it.
First of all, he saying that a genuine Christian life must issue in good works. Salvation is by works. We know that Ephesians 289 teachers that it's very clear.
But it's also an error to suppose that a person who is been genuinely converted can live a life in which he does not produce good works which she does not produce good works strobe all Christians is especially true of teachers progress in the Christian life. This law when a new Christian doesn't always begin immediately to Shaw what other people recognizes the fruits of the spirit usually something happens and much more happens in time, but in the case of teachers that had better be evidence of a high level of Christianity if they're not producing good they are. According to Jesus, false teachers and wolves.
It's an example of what Jesus was saying earlier in the sermon member when he was talking about righteousness and he said to his disciples unless your righteousness. Remember he speaking here of acts of righteousness doing righteousness good works.
Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will not enter into heaven. Those were the teachers as the ones that had the credentials, saying they didn't have the good works.
They were not producing worthwhile fruit and therefore they should be rejected.
On the second way in which we can understand Jesus words said about good fruit. Here and that is to say that teaching real teaching must be spiritually satisfying because that's what fruit is meant to be bushes in Israel that had berries.
It resembled grapes when you got to my work real grapes.
They were bitter. You couldn't eat them are also certain thistles whose flowers resembled things the flowers were deceptions so this is what Jesus is saying about these false teachers sources of deception. It doesn't actually satisfy as a way William Barclay writes about it. There may be a superficial resemblance between the true and the false prophet false prophet and a where the right clothes and use the right language, but you cannot sustain life in the berries of the Buckhorn or the flowers of the fissile life of the soul can never be sustained with the food which a false prophet offers the real test of any teaching is does it strengthen a person to bear the burdens of life and a walk in the way wherein the audit go me put it this way does the teaching receiving actually satisfy your soul bring you closer to God doesn't equip you to live for Jesus Christ at home and in your place of work. Does it make you less selfish does it prompt you to help and serve other people when you have an opportunity to do its doesn't find teaching does find a place where fruit of the teaching takes root and flourishes in your own growth and spiritual satisfaction only teaching that's ever going to do that is accurate Bible teaching. Now the third of these contrasts that Jesus is making is between those who profess to follow Jesus call him Lord, Lord, they don't do what God requires answers the contrast implied, though it's not stated explicitly, those who do the will of God and thereby prove that their discipleship is genuine to see if that contrast in the first example of the gates in the way this has to do with apathy of the problem and the second with the false teachers has to do with wrong teaching here. The problem is hypocrisy is professing faith in Jesus Christ, while actually rejecting or disobeying him know what you see here is an intensifying of evil is the false teaching is worse than the apathy here.
The hypocrisy is worse even than the false teaching.
The earliest problem you have difficulty because you're just letting things drift. But here you're actually professing something when your heart is in another place.
Now a couple things worth noticing about what Jesus says here.
First of all, the person is talking about the hypocrite has the right doctrines. This person calls Jesus is Lord and confesses Jesus deity. He professes that he's his master, but is not following Jesus Christ as his master times in Jesus ministry were people approached him and they use that word. Lord, Lord, and it doesn't mean much more than Sir Lord was simply a polite form of address.
I say your honor serve Mr. that kind of thing.
But that's not the case here. This word is now on the lips of Jesus and it has to be taken in its fullest meaning Lord in the Old Testament was a translation of the name for God Jehovah, so it had to do with deity, and in the New Testament curiosities used the same right now. That's what's involved. This has to do with confessing Jesus Christ as God what he saying here is that there are people in the church just teachers now but normal people in the church to confess the full deity of Jesus Christ and give you all the other doctrines as well, but they are not converted saying that really be the case person sit in church for years.
Here the teaching and agree with it intellectually and yet not actually be born again, the answer is certainly the churches are filled with people exactly like this. That's why Jesus was stressing.
The point is, he is example is Martin Luther. Martin Luther left secular life in order to enter what we would call seminary.
It was the monastery of the Augustinian hermits Erford Mary devoted himself to all the monastic disciplines. He did everything he was told to do. We study the Bible even lectured on it teaching from the Psalms, Romans, Galatians, Hebrews and Titus and anybody asking for in those days of the believe in the Jesus Christ the deity of Christ was in the course. I believe that every Christian believes that said you believe he died on the cross for sin. Of course Luther believe that I was the teaching of the church.
If you said to Luther, do you believe Jesus Christ is coming back one day in judgment. Luther would've set I believe it, though he would've added. I tremble at the thought.
Luther believe the right doctrines, but he hadn't understood the gospel and he hadn't trusted Jesus Christ fully and only as his Savior was only after God revealed that to him as he was studying the Bible became to trust Jesus Christ fully and pastors he said his own words through the gate of Romans 116 and 17 in the Paradise. Not only does this person the Jesus talking about believe the right doctrines.
He has also prophesied and done, miracles chartered understand how that can be but it's what Jesus says, many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles. Jesus doesn't deny that they did the miracles accept their profession as a fact doesn't deny their self-deception hypocrisy you say has escalated to a point at which they actually fooled themselves. They believe there deceptions but neither eloquent teaching nor miracles prove one to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. So these persons are exposed as evildoers. People spoken here have right doctrine. They profess Jesus Christ as Lord have prophesy. They have exercise demons. They have done miracles. Moreover, they have done it in Jesus name.
And Jesus doesn't deny any of these facts, but these apparent Christians are still condemned reason there condemned is not because her teaching was wrong or miracles are so furious, but because they had not practiced what they preached. Bearing bad fruit. You say, even when they were professing to be good that's warning is not beware of all you sent yourself to be a nominal Christian only for many past the hell many of them are quite religious. There's only one way to heaven. And that's true trusting and obeying Jesus Christ. I come the last of these four illustrations and assess one best known contrast to builders wise builder and a foolish one. Therefore everyone hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock rains came down streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them in the practice is like a foolish man to build his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a crash. What's most important thing to notice about those verses.
The most important thing about this illustration is at the foundation.
Jesus is talking about is not Jesus himself, but his teaching. We teach children to sing a little song about these houses and has line in it. So build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ sense in which that stroke course but we mean by that is trust Christ as your Savior begin the following, but it's not what Jesus is saying, Jesus is talking about here is building on his teachings wise man is a man of bills of what Jesus says is doing that living by it. The foolish man is Amanda may give assent to it but actually doesn't do it.
Reference Hilton states it rightly is one reason why we need to sing the great hymns and not so much the modern renditions of the Bible stories reference hymn says how firm a foundation for the saints of the Lord is laid for your faith in his excellent word. And, of course, that's exactly why Jesus is been teaching us what we seen in the sermon from the very beginning and the end when we study the Beatitudes at the beginning, we saw that they were built on Scripture. Many of them quoted Scripture verse two coming from Isaiah 61 verses one until the third coming from Psalm 3711. The six from Psalm 24 verses three and four and so on and in the next section, Jesus began to talk about the Scriptures directly.
He said, but one portion of it is going to pass away till everything is fulfilled and began to talk about what actually is contained in the Scripture explaining the meaning of several Old Testament commands and practices and be taught how Christians are related to the world and its concerns and then the golden rule. What he does at the end he explains is summing up the law and the prophets here at the very end, consistent with everything that he said all along he teaches that the one who would be his disciple must build his or her entire life upon the Bible. Building on Jesus words will save you both in life and death to give you an example of life. Dr. Joseph Parker was a popular English preacher some years ago and he tells in his autobiography how it was a time when he gave too much weight to the destructive modern theories of his day and found himself undervaluing the Bible this point a great sadness came into his life. His wife many years became sick and died in just a few hours. He didn't seem able to share his grief with anyone else since he walked through the empty rooms of his house and is a deity, said he thought for some footing in the theories of his day and found none that he gives this testimony was addressing a group of his fellow pastors in those dark hours of my soul's anguish when filled with doubt and trembling in fear. I recall the old gospel redemption alone through the blood of Jesus Christ the gospel. I have preached in those earlier days.
I put my foot down on that and I found firm standing.
I stand there today and I shall die resting upon that lesson.
Oreo's proof of salvation alone through the precious blood of Christ really goes well, I suppose you could drift along when the troubles of life, you need a firm foundation of this the teaching of the Word of God. Building on price words will also save you and death because that's what escaping the storm's destruction. On this last illustration actually refers to.
This is not a matter of merely finding something that will get you through life as it were, so you can stand up when the wind blows against you managing to stand up against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Jesus is talking about the final judgment. What is saying is that you appear before the judgment bar of God to find that you be able to stand. If you build upon his teachings. Well the end of the chapter we read the people were amazed at Jesus teaching, and rightly so, because he presented himself as the Lord the unique son of God and called God my father. He presented himself as the judge of the final date spoken with absolute authority and what he was requiring was radical submission to his order of God's kingdom. No wonder they were amazed at the interesting thing is that the text doesn't say that anyone heard him than believed in his doctrine or committed themselves to invite.
I'm sure some Sandhu today but I'm also sure that there are many who did not. Just as there are many who do not do it today either. Sadly, it's possible to do what the majority must've done then and do now and that is let the hour of salvation passed by going to the very end of the sermon. What is the most important message in the entire sermon most important message is the person of Jesus Christ himself is the son of God. He spoke as no man has ever spoken. He lived as he preached that he died and rose again that those who believe him and trust him might pass from death to life here and enter heaven to be with him hereafter.
The question is this you believe it and have you committed your life to Jesus Christ, to follow him. Now and forever.
If you make that commitment. And Jesus will do for you exactly what he's preached. He will bless you in the sense given that I word in the first Beatitudes to make you to be salt in the art of light to this dark world, he'll enable you to understand and obey the Bible teach you to pray and he will bear you through all that cares, burdens and frustrations of this life until you finally die go to be with him in heaven. The question is do you believe it is speaking to you now these are not my words. These are the words of Jesus Christ. What is doing is inviting you to come to go through that gate to build on that right foundation. Jesus said come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Believe on me, one of all of history ever spoke away. This man did your heart say yes Lord, I am coming to you right want you to be my Savior, but be warned, it's much easier to prefer what is wide and broad and attractive is fatally easy to simply go along with the crowd. Her father returned to you as we finish a study of this great sermon and we do ask that you buy the same power in which it was given as it speaks now bites brought people that commitment, which is a matter of life or death. As they pass to faith in Christ.
So enter upon a life of obedience.
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