I have fixed all my email and web domain issues and I will begin again posting my blog of my daily time in the Word.
I have spent the last couple weeks reading and re-reading through Matthew chapters 5-7 and Jesus teaching or sermon on the mount. It is an amazing sermon, and I agree with those who heard it and exclaimed, “When Jesus finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed by his teaching, because he taught them like one who had authority…”v.7: 29. I think if everyone read these words from Jesus one a week and tried to apply them a little more each week they as individuals, the church, the world would be a transformed.
If churches used this sermon in in their intro or “101” classes people deciding to become a member of the Church would understand more clearly what they were signing up for and the level of commitment and discipleship required.
I read the verses 7:13-29, the closing remarks of Jesus in his sermon, and Jesus almost harshly, in-your-face, lays down the truth and reality of following him:
“But the gate is narrow and the way is difficult that leads to life, and there are few who find it. “V.14
“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” V.19
“Not everyone who says to me, ʻLord, Lord,ʼ will enter into the kingdom of heaven - only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” V.21
“Then I (Jesus) will declare to them, ʻI never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers! V.23
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, and it collapsed; it was utterly destroyed!” vs. 26-27
I think to myself, “What was he thinking?” “What kind of idiot pastor would end his sermon like this?!?” If I closed a sermon with those words today, my days behind a pulpit would be few. My congregation would leave. I would be labeled a hateful fundamentalist. How have we drifted so far that Jesus words are insulting?