TEXT: Matthew 7:24-29
24 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:
25 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.
26 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:
27 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.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
As we approach Billy Graham’s birthday celebration, I want to share something from the evangelist whom God made great regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He said, “I am not going to Heaven because I have preached to great crowds or read the Bible many times. I’m going to Heaven just like the thief on the cross who said in that last moment: ‘Lord, remember me.'”
Before the hurricanes of recent memory — Michael, Florence, Harvey, Irma, Maria, and others — the residents of those areas expected to be hit were given instructions to follow. The instructions were simple: “Evacuate. Get out.” Those giving the instructions tried to impress upon the residents that their very lives would be in danger if they did not obey. It was not enough for someone to hear the warning, nod their head, and think, ‘You know, that’s pretty good advice. That sounds about right.’ If they heard, but did not do, they suffered devastation, and worse, some suffered death.
The distinction between hearing and doing is what Jesus impresses upon His audience in this passage. Both of the men in His example “heard” His words. However, one man acted on those words, and, as a result, his house (spiritual life) was built on solid rock. The other man did not act on Jesus’ words, and his house was built on sand, and he suffered greatly because of it. If we want to withstand the hurricanes that we will face in life (and at the end of life), we must not just hear, but obey, Jesus’ words. It is not enough for us to sit in church if we don’t take what we hear in church into the home, into the workplace, into the community, and into the world.
D.L. Moody said, “Our great problem is the problem of trafficking in unlived truth. We are trying to communicate what we’ve never experienced in our own lives.” Harry Ironside wrote, “If lips and life do not agree, the testimony will not amount to much.”
Anybody can hear. The distinction is whether or not we obey. The Apostle James wrote, “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” In other words, what is the use of hearing the Word if you do not obey? What is the use of looking in the mirror if you do not let that look inform what you do about your appearance? If you look in the mirror and find that your hair is unkempt, then you comb it; if your face is unwashed, you wash it; if your glasses are crooked, you straighten them.
It is the same way with the Word of God and the teaching of Christ. They should be a mirror to our souls. After hearing them or reading them, we should act on what we have heard and read. We should correct some wrong behavior that we’ve been engaging in; we should start doing those good things that we have been neglecting. James continues, “Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” The man who does what Scripture commands is blessed to have his house (his spiritual life) built on the firm foundation of Christ and the Bible. We cannot memorize verses and know the Bible and think that is enough. We must do what we know to do.
Daniel S. Warner wrote:
By Thy blessed word obeying,
Lord, we prove our love sincere;
For we hear Thee gently saying,
“Love will do as well as hear.”
Feigned hearts Thy name professing,
Thy commandments cast aside;
But we feel Thy great salvation,
And in all Thy truth abide.
Every word Thy mouth hath spoken
Is essential to our life;
All Thy mandates love betoken,
To oppose them is but strife.
In Thy wisdom, Lord, confiding,
We will follow in Thy way;
With Thy love in us abiding,
‘Tis delightful to obey.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.