Only Those Who Do God’s Will Enter The Kingdom (Bible Study Matthew 7 – Part 5)

In this series we’ve been looking at the closing of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7. Jesus has been teaching on the Kingdom of Heaven; who is who in it, how we should live in it and how to get into it.  We have looked at His warning about self righteousness, how we should ask, seek and knock, the narrow and wide paths, and how we should watch out for false prophets.  Today I want to look at the next teaching in this section.

Here is the whole section for some context

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them.Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  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 in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

This final paragraph is in a sense a summation of the first two.  Jesus has said that we need to strive for the narrow path.  He says not everyone will enter it and in fact most don’t.  He then calls out the false prophets – those promising life outside of His teachings even if they say they come in His name or promise similar things.  Here in the final paragraph He is reiterating that not everyone who thinks they’re in or who profess to be following Him will be in.

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Striving For The Narrow Road (Bible Study Matthew 7 – Part 3)

In the post we are continuing to look at Matthew 7.  This is the final chapter of the Sermon on the Mount.  It is part of the closing argument so to speak.  Jesus has been talking about what the Kingdom of God is like, and now He is wrapping up this message.  We talked about His warning of self righteousness and how we are to understand ask, seek, and knock in a helpful way.  Today I want to begin to look at the next couple of sections because they really go together.

Here is what Jesus says:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them.Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 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 in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

Now again it’s important to note that this is the closing of the sermon, not the opening.  Jesus has been talking for a long time about who is who in the Kingdom, how one in the Kingdom should live and what it all looks like together.

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Obedience Is Our Part (Bible Study John 5 Part 3)

We’ve been looking at the story of the healing of the paralyzed man in John 5.

Jesus is in Jerusalem and ends up by a pool near the sheep gate.  It was believed that when the waters were stirred (perhaps a spring occasionally bubbled up there) that the first person in the water would be healed.  Because of this there were many lame, blind, and otherwise ill people laying there.  One such man was paralyzed and had been in that condition for 38 years.

Jesus approaches the man and asks him, “Do you want to get well?”  The man answers that he does want to but that he can’t get to the water in time.  In a sense, as we said last time, he is saying that if Jesus would help him with his plan to get well then he could be ok.  He is failing to recognize that Jesus is offering something different, something more.  Jesus is better than the pool.

Jesus of course does not help the man into the pool.  He also doesn’t say, “Man that’s tough.  I hope that works out for you at some point” and move on.  Instead he does something very Jesus like.  He gives him a command.

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You Can’t Earn or Buy You Way Into The Kingdom. (Bible Study – The Rich Young Ruler Part 1)

Today I want to begin to talk about one of the most used passages in scripture.  It tells of the encounter between a wealthy, moral young man and Jesus.

The story is told in Matthew 19, Mark 10 and Luke 18.  They all tell the same story.  A man comes up to Jesus and says to Jesus, “Good teacher.  What things must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus responds by asking why he calls him good?  He says God is good, and if you want to be good, follow the commandments.

The man answers that he has kept all of the commandments since his youth.  He does not lie, murder, commit adultery etc.   It then says that Jesus looked at him and loved him.  He said this, “One thing you lack.  Go and sell all your possessions, give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, then come and follow me.”  The man then went away sad because he had great wealth.

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Your Faith Matters – Put It In The Right Things (Mark 2:1-12 Bible Study Part 3)

Today is the final part of a three part series on Mark 2:1-12.  This is the story where some people bring a paralyzed man to Jesus and because they can’t get him to Jesus they dig a hole in the roof and lower him down.  The first week we looked at what Jesus did and why He may have done it.  Last week we began to see what we might be able to learn about ministry and evangelization from this story.  We talked about how these friends loved their friend, worked as a team, and avoided two traps – they realized they couldn’t fix him, and they didn’t stop because there were obstacles.  Today we continue this line of thought.

Their Faith Mattered

These people who brought the paralyzed man had faith in Jesus.  They knew that only He could offer eternal forgiveness and that only He could heal the man.  Not only that, but they had so much faith that they were really to work really hard to do it.  They didn’t let obstacles get in the way.  They didn’t quit because it was hard.  They were sure that if they could get their friend in front of Jesus that good things would happen.

In the account it says that it is when Jesus saw their faith He said to the man, “You sins are forgiven”.

This is a really tough thought.  It doesn’t say that Jesus saw the paralyzed man’s faith.  He sees the faith of those who had brought him.

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