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Beware of False Prophets – Matthew 7:15-20

As we read these words of our Lord, we are immediately confronted with the stark difference of some of the basic assumptions of the Christian faith and our culture.In these words, Jesus tells his hearers to beware of false prophets.He has just finished exhorting them to enter into the strait gate and to tread the narrow way.And we saw last time that the narrow way is the way of discipleship, the life that has as its model the Sermon on the Mount.The reason he gives for the life of discipleship is that the strait gate and narrow way leads to life whereas the wide gate and broad way leads to destruction.So here you are contemplating these two gates.But outside these gates are people telling you it’s stupid to put yourself to the difficulty of living such a restrictive life and that you should go by the broad way.Jesus tells us that these people are false prophets.They claim to be giving you good advice, but they are not only leading you astray, they are leading you in a way that will le…

A Call for Decision: Matthew 7:13-14

Throughout this sermon, our Lord has been describing to his audience what it means to follow him.  At this point in the sermon, he moves from description to application, from instruction to exhortation, and he continues in this way to the end of the sermon.  He does so because it is never enough to be merely interested in righteousness; one must become committed to it.  The truths of God were never meant to be treated as museum pieces, admired and studied, but only at a distance.  I read a lot of history, especially military history.  Recently I have started reading a short history of the Korean War.  It describes some of the horrific tasks assigned to the US infantry fighting at the front; one unit started off in a battle with over 200 men, and they ended up assaulting a position with a bayonet charge when they had only 33 men left.  My experience reading about that is infinitely separated from the actual experience of the men who lived through it; even more so from the experience of…

Matthew 7:12 – The Golden Rule

My parents have a grandfather clock in their living room.I grew up with its musical chimes and rhythmic dongs.It chimes every quarter of an hour, and at each quarter it chimes longer until it reaches the top of the hour when it not only chimes but dongs out the number of hours.And it can be very loud, especially if you are not used to hearing it.However, having grown up with it in our living room, I became totally oblivious to its noises.In fact, I could be sitting right next to it at the noon hour and never hear it.It was different with visitors.One time, we had some visitors stay with us overnight and they slept in the living room.Unfortunately, we forgot to turn the clock chimes off and so as a result they didn’t get very much sleep that night!What I never heard kept them awake because I was used to the sounds of the clock and they weren’t.
It’s the same with truth.We can hear a truth so often that we don’t really hear it anymore.And I wonder if our text this morning doesn’t fall in…