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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Do You Own Your Life Or Does God (Bible Study The Rich Young Man Part 4)

Over the course of several posts we’ve been looking at the story of the rich young man’s encounter with Jesus.  We looked at the original context, the two errors that we make about Christianity and money and the idea of starting with judging our own generosity before judging others.  Today I want to look at what it means to walk the line with wealth and the Kingdom and avoiding the fate of the rich young man.

The first thing I want to note is that the this man had it all.  He had prosperity by any standard.  He was not only in the top 1%.  In his day he was more likely in the top .01%.  Not only that but by all accounts he was a morally upstanding guy.  He kept the ten commandments at least generally.  Heck he probably tithed his 10% to the temple.

And yet, something was missing and he knew it.  Otherwise why would he have come to Jesus and asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

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