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pastorway

And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Final Parable - Part 2

Verse for the Day: Matthew 7:26-27
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: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.

Daily Scripture Reading: Colossians 4

The Puritan Catechism
Question #1 - What is the chief end of man?

Devotional Thoughts
Here we are introduced to the other side of the coin by Jesus. There will be those who obey the word of God and do what He wants them to do. They are the wise and faithful followers of Christ. Now we see the foolish ones, all those who for one reason or another reject His Word after they have heard it.

We must note that indeed everyone in some way or another is exposed to the Word of God and to the Gospel. No one has any excuse to present to God about why they rejected the Word. Either we obey the truth or we do not - and we ALL have been exposed to truth. There is no escape. These foolish individuals are the ones who, upon hearing the Word, disobey what they have heard. The primary cause for disobedience is disbelief. If we don't believe God then why should we obey what He says? Besides, doesn't His standard cramp our lifestyle and make us do things we don't want and stop doing the things we desire to do?

Let's answer our three questions about these two individuals, the wise and the foolish.

1. What is his relation to the gospel?
Just like the wise man, he hears the gospel. Now there is a difference between
hearing and listening! We can hear the noise in a crowded cafe – but unless we listen we will fail to understand the person across the table from us who wants to talk with us. The foolish man hears, but that doesn't mean he is listening. If he thinks the truth is not important, or if he doubts that God's Word is truth, then he will have a hard time listening.

2. What is his response to the gospel?
He does not obey the Word of God. He disobeys it!

3. What were the results of his response to the gospel?
As a result of his disbelief (proved by his disobedience) he built his life (house) on the sand! Instead of a firm foundation, he chose a nice, soft patch of sand for his house. The foundation of his life will not support anything he builds, especially if it rains! (But then I'm getting into the next verse).

I want to look at four reasons the foolish man might respond to the gospel the way he does.

1. He might just respond with apathy. He doesn't care! He has no sense of urgency! He doesn't understand the fact that his sin has consequences! He doesn't know the Law of God and the righteous requirements of that Law! (Romans 8:6-8).

2. He responds with ignorance. He doesn't understand the truth that he has heard and has no desire to pursue the matter - do you often try to pursue a subject about which you have no understanding? I have never had any desire whatsoever to study trigonometry! (I think I just heard a few "amens!"). I don't understand it or see its usefulness or relevance to my life! The foolish man is that way with the Word!(Matt 13:18-19).

3. He responds with shallow acceptance. This is what we call mental assent. He thinks that the truth sounds good and may be plausible, so he claims to believe. But that belief seeps only as deep as his mind and never into his heart. It is accepted as fact but makes no real difference in his life. He considers himself religious and satisfactory to God without understanding the consequences of his shallow thinking. He has no depth and therefore remains the same, never being transformed into a new creation. He does only what service is necessary to sooth his guilty conscience - and when he goes to church (probably one that doesn't preach the Word) he goes for show and out of duty. When he hears praise songs and hymns he feels better so he goes home as damned as he was when he came! (But, he thinks, at least he feels good!) (Matthew 13:20-22).

4. He responds with absolute and deliberate rejection of the truth and disobeys the Word of God out of a matter of principle to prove how wrong it is - "See, I sinned and God didn't strike me dead!" This man is truly the fool - he lives his life as if there really wasn't a God at all! A foolish man will respond to the truth any number of ways, these four are possible while someone might find a fool doing some of all four! Any way you look at it - when he hears God's Word, he ends up disobeying what it teaches and demands of us! (1 Corinthians 2:14).

His life is built on the worst foundation available - the sand. It is his building. He is the architect. He is master of his own destiny (or so he has been deceived into thinking). He is the boss, until one day in the not so far off future he will come to realize that only Jesus is Lord and that God's Word is true. That will happen as the result of someone's witness and the Spirit of God when he tears down the house on the sand (repentance), is converted, and begins to build on the rock (faith that produces obedience) or it will happen as he stands before the Throne of God to be judged for his rejection of truth (Jesus).

"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand."

"When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found, Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand."


Today, build on the rock, not the sand! Don't be a fool! Strive to hear and understand and obey the Word of God today!

As we looked at the wise man, we found that no matter what was thrown against his life, he stood firm. He was stable, founded on the Rock (Christ). He did not bow to the storms life threw his way. He remained steadfast because of the foundation upon which his life was built.

Now we look at the same storms descending against the life of the foolish man, the man that built on the sand. He used the wrong foundation because he refused to heed and obey the Word of God. The only difference here is the foundation. The wise man founded his life on the rock. The foolish man founded his on shifting sand. And the distinction between the two is as simple as their response to Jesus and His Word. The wise man obeyed. The foolish man didn't!

When life throws us a "curve" ball, what do we do? If we are founded on Christ we are given everything we need to withstand or escape temptation, we are given power from outside of our own abilities, we are equipped to deal with any circumstance and be thankful and praise God through it all (if we don't behave this way it is not because we can't, it is because we choose not to), and we have Him as our guide. The point is as a believer we can't do it, He already has! So let Him do what He does best by showing Himself strong in our weakness!

If, on the other hand, we live like the foolish man and are relying on self, or humanistic, evolutionary philosophy, or if we are depending on a false religion - we will fall. We will be overcome by the circumstances, emotions, and changes of life! We will be a basket case when things get rough. Now some sinners have gotten pretty good about hanging in there and keeping a stiff upper lip so even if they appear to be standing up to life we must realize that there is a bit more to people than what we see on the surface. There is inner guilt, conflict, depression, anger, lust, addictions, etc. And even if things appear to be all together, know this as a fact, according to God's Word, when all of the foolish man's life is over and he stands before God to be judged, if he hasn't fallen yet (that we can see outwardly) he will fall on his knees and proclaim with the rest of the universe that Jesus is Lord! But his profession will be too late – by then he is bound for hell, the second death. The final fall of the fallen!

The foolish man's fall is also not just a trip or a stumble - when the foolish man falls it is a great fall! That means literally that the house is taken completely away by the storm. There is NOTHING left. This is all a fool has to look forward to at the end of his life. He may amass a fortune and be the richest man on earth, but without saving faith, proven by obedience to His Word, he will leave with NOTHING at all. Everything he depends on will be gone. For eternity! The only thing that is left is the realization that Christ was right and the fool was wrong - dead wrong - forever dead!

Do the circumstances of life overwhelm you and cause you to stumble? If so, you aren't obeying the Word. When times get tough the tough get on their knees. We must obey His Word, and thereby grow to be wise and build our lives on Christ, the eternal foundation. His Word tells us not to worry, not to trust self, to flee iniquity, to love God with all that we are. If we obey the Word that we have, the rest will take care of itself. Seek His kingdom first and all the rest will be taken care of. Seek Him - and He will carry you through. Seek His glory and you will find abundant life, life brimming to the full, even to overflowing (this is not full with things, but a CAPACITY for life that we never had before).

When the storms come - OBEY HIM. And then even the storm will seem like calm. Because wherever He is, there is love and peace and forgiveness and mercy. And where is He? The better question would be, where can we go to get away from Him? NOWHERE! Praise Him.


Bible Reading For Further Study


Recommended Songs for Family Worship

4 Comments:

Blogger The Flying Dutchman said...

Very interesting blog. I shall have to bookmark it. Pastor Way, I'm a lifelong Arminian who is tetering on the fence with regard to Calvinism. With regard to your study today, can a man choose to believe God's word or must God regenerate the man's heart before he is able to believe? This is one of the questions I'm wrestling with.

--
The Flying Dutchman - mostly Reformed Christian

11:55 PM  
Blogger Phillip M. Way said...

The answer to that very excellent question is found in the following verses of Scripture:

1. John 3:3 says that a man must be born again (regenerated) to even be able to see the Kingdom of God.

2. John 6:44 tells us that the Holy Spirit must draw (effectually call) us before we will come to Christ.

3. Ephesians 2:1 lets us see that the Spirit calls us to life (effectual calling and regeneration) while we are still dead in our sins.

4. Since we are dead in sin before being brought to life by the power of the Spirit through the Word of God (Rom 1:16, Psalm 19:7), we know that 1 Cor 2:14 tells us that the natural man (unsaved) cannot known or discern spiritual things.

5. Romans 8:7 also tell us that the carnal mind (unregenerate) is enmity with God and cannot even be subject to the law of God (the lost man cannot obey or even DESIRE to obey teh Word of God).

6. And we also see from Eph 2:8-9 and Gal 5:22 that faith (faithfulness) is a gift from God, and from Acts 5:31 and 11:18 that repentance is a gift from God. Faith comes from the Word of God, Romans 10:17.

7. So for a man who is dead in sin, incapable of understanding or submitting his will to the Word of God, void of faith which is a fruit of the Spirit, and unwilling to repent as he is an enemy of God, we arrive back at John 3:3. Unless you are born again - regenerated by the power of the Spirit through the Word of God, drawn by the Spirit to Christ, and by grace alone given faith and repentance, then we would never even have the desire to be saved!

So the short answer is that the Bible clearly teaches that a person must be regenerated by the Spirit (called to spiritual life) and given grace, faith, and repentance by God before he is even capable of obeying the gospel and turning from his sin to Christ in faith.

~pastorway

2:04 AM  
Blogger The Flying Dutchman said...

Thank you for such a complete and well researched answer.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Phillip M. Way said...

happy to be of service!

12:21 AM  

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