Faithlife
Faithlife

THE HOPEFUL YET DIFFICULT JOURNEY

Jesus People  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts

LAST WEEK

We talked about the benefits of Asking, Seeking, and Knocking
We talked about how these things need to be actively present in the life of a Christian.
We talked about the wonder that it produces
How this wonder can replace our worry
How it can change our perspective
How it can turn a boring Christian walk into an Adventurous walk of Faith.

THIS WEEK

We are going to look at a very hard text
We are going to look at some very challenging words said by Jesus
That may challenge us to the core
That may confirm why we are in the season we are in
Things that should cause us to take spiritual inventory
Words that should help us prevent a poor end result

IS LIFE HARD? IS LIFE DIFFICULT?

How do we respond to Life when it gets difficult?

IS LIFE DIFFICULT?

How do we respond when things get hard?
How are we fruitful and hopeful through the difficult journey?

READ MATTHEW 7:12-29

12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Church, this verse should drive us to correct actions
It should cause us to think before we act
It should cause us to step into the current situation and ask ourselves
What could I do for others that I would like to be done to me if I were in that situation?
What could I do to alleviate the situation?
What could I do to bless them?
What could I do to bear one another’s burden as tells us?
Not only should we ask ourselves this question
The answers to these questions should drive us to action
Whatever we would like others to do for us
Should be the very thing that we should do for others
For in doing this, you will fulfill the whole Law and the Prophets
You will learn to love your neighbor as yourself
You will learn what it is to Love God through Loving People
You will have a better grasp of how the Gospel changes everything
How the Gospel takes a dead situation and brings it to life.
How the Gospel takes a situation that has a poor ending and brings a rich result.
With this mindset
We can look at the following text with Hope
We can look at what it means to hold fast the hope of the gospel while enduring difficult times.
We can look at bearing fruit as a very achievable thing
We can look to fulfill the message of the Gospel through action
Most importantly, we can look at the storm and be confident that though our foundation is shaken, we shall not be moved
Let’s look at these very sobering truths

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Jesus, blatantly encourages to enter through the Narrow Gate
The Singular Gate that doesn’t have room for other ways
The Gate that doesn’t have room for other stuff
Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life
No one comes to the Father but through Him
This Way, is this Narrow Gate
This Truth will set you free
This will bring you Eternal Life.
Jesus desires all people to arrive through this gate
If it was up to Him, everyone would choose this entrance
If they only knew, that Life was the result, they would choose it too
Look at the Contrast
Wide is the Gate, Broad is the Way
Broad is the Way
THAT LEADS TO DESTRUCTION
Here is the sad part
There are many who go in by it
The road to destruction has been widened by the exponential growth of sin
The road to destruction is broad because of the many facets of sin
The traffic on this road is flowing
The lanes on this road are wide open
There are many other ways
There are many lanes on this road
There are many lanes on this road
There are many traveling this way
They may get to the final destination and realize that this isn’t what they expected
They may realize that sin and disobedience took them farther than they wanted to go
Cost them more than they wanted to pay
Cost them more than they wanted to pay
Made them pay more than they could afford
However, the Narrow Gate
The Gate that Jesus makes available to us
Has one lane
It is narrow
It is difficult
But it leads to Life
The reality is that there are only a few that find it.

JESUS MAKES A VERY CONTRASTING STATEMENTS BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

Ultimately, we have a decision to make
But here is the deal, its more than two end results
It is not just about Life & Death
It is not just about Heaven & Hell
It is about the Journey to both destinations.
All throughout the Bible, we are given examples of how Faith effects the Journey
So many example of results brought forth through obedience and disobedience
So many examples of God laying out before His people two different ways of life
Check out

1 Blessed is the man

Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

Nor stands in the path of sinners,

Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

3 He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so,

But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,

Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,

But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

THE REAL QUESTION IS:
WHAT KIND OF JOURNEY DO YOU WANT?
Are we willing to trust him when the storm comes
Do you want the easy road?
Have we laid the foundation of His Faithfulness under the work of our hands.
Do you want to be influenced by the trend and the flow of the broad and wide way?
Are we building to bring Him Glory, or is it about making a name for ourselves?
Is the current going to dictate your final destination?
Or are you going to be like a Tree planted by the rivers of water
Bringing forth fruit
Whose leaf shall not whither
And whose work always results in prosperity
Or are we going to be False Prophets
Christian, you have within you the ability to be a False Prophet
To prophetically err in the things you do and say
To proclaim and live into the lies of the enemy
To prophetically tell a story that fails to meet the potential of the Gospel story
SO WHAT DOES A FALSE PROPHET LOOK LIKE?

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

#1 Jesus says “Beware of False Prophets”
Beware of people telling a different story
Beware of people making it about themselves
Beware of those coming in and taking the truths of the bible and intermixing them with lies
#2 They come in in sheep’s clothing
Yes, they come in looking like sheep
Like they are part of the flock
Like they know the Shepherd
In fact, they come in wearing wool, which was what Shepherds wore
But there is more to it than just that
They come in wearing wool, which was what Shepherds wore
They come in with sheep like qualities
They come in looking like they are Shepherds
Like they care for the sheep
In fact, they come in wearing wool, which was what Shepherds wore
Like they have their best interest in mind
But in fact they are ravenous wolves
Who come in and find the weakest sheep in order to do as they wish with them
They come in distorting God’s truth
Starting every sentence with “Did God really say...”
#3 Church, the rad part about this, is that their fruit will rat them out.
Jesus promises that it is impossible for a bad tree to bear good fruit
It is impossible for a Wolf to bring forth fruitful sheep
Jesus goes on to say
That a tree which ceases to bring forth good fruit
Will be thrown into the fire
This is how you will know if they were true or not
This is how you will be able to tell if someone is a wolf.
This not only happens amongst shepherds
There are also sheep who look like sheep, but don’t act like sheep
There are those who put on the costume of sheep
Learn the language of sheep
But who have no shepherd
Look at what Jesus says

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Just because people call Jesus “Lord, Lord”
Doesn’t mean that they are going to Heaven
The Kingdom of God is not only in Word but in Deed
The Kingdom of God is not just in what you call Jesus
But how you live into that declaration
There is a difference between doing things for Jesus and doing the will of God
Jesus says:
One day, you will come to me and say
“Didn’t we prophesy in your name”
“Didn’t we cast out demons in your name”
“Didn’t we do many wonders in your name?
All of these wonderful things done in the name of Jesus, but not in the will of God
All of these wonderful things done in the name of Jesus by people who never knew Him.
Jesus will respond with:
“Depart from me, I never knew you, you who practice lawlessness”
It’s scary to think that everything we do has motives
Motives rooted in humility or pride
Does it make sense now?
Motives leading to Life and Death
The Motives need to be rooted in the will of God
Motives which Jesus is absolutely aware of
Our actions need to be fueled by what God wants to accomplish
Scary, and thought provoking

HOW DO WE CAUSE A SHIFT IN WHAT MOTIVATES US?

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Response to the Sermon

28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Many of us struggle with this
We often wonder and ask ourselves “What is the will of God”
Here is your answer
Listen to and do what Jesus said
In this you will be likened to a wise man who built their house on the rock
Who built their home on the faithfulness of God
Who when the storm came, and the winds blew, and beat down on what they had built
It did not fall, for it was built on the rock
It was built on the foundation that Jesus is Faithful
It was built on the foundation that Jesus was able
That He fulfilled the will of God
That He lived into the potential of His Calling
The reality is that many will struggle with this question because of one thing
They listen, but they don’t do.
They come to church and they receive, but they don’t respond with action
They take in all the promises but they don’t live into them.
This is called foolishness.
This is called building on the sand
This is called preparing for failure

THE REAL QUESTION IS, DOES JESUS HAVE AUTHORITY IN YOUR LIFE?

Does what He say, goes?

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