The seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew is jammed packed with dos and don’ts on Christian living. If you really want to follow Jesus, pay attention! Here we have the infamous “do not judge” that very often gets misinterpreted. We also have “Ask, Seek, Knock”, “The Golden Rule”, “The Narrow Gate”, who is a true disciple, fruitful trees and solid ground. Let’s go over each section one by one….
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
What Jesus is saying here isn’t for Christians NOT to judge or correct others. No, what He’s saying is BEFORE we correct others, make sure we have corrected any bad behavior in our own lives first. We are credible if we have eliminated the wrong behavior in our own lives. Onward…
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
Keep praying! Remember, however, that it’s in God’s timing, not yours!
The Golden Rule
12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Imagine if the whole world lived by this rule! People would respect other people’s property. They wouldn’t blatantly insult others just because they think differently. There would be no hate. That’s what we have to look forward to in the Kingdom of God.
13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
It is not easy for many reasons.
1) People want the good things but don’t want to pay the price for obedience.
2) People get upset because they feel God should accept other ways.
3) People cannot easily find the path. It can take a lot of work.
4) People just live life and do not focus on eternity, and they miss the road to heaven.
5) People get tied to their culture/beliefs and refuse to look at Jesus.
6) People wait and believe they have lots of time to look.From “Pitfalls to Avoid in Kingdom Living – Disciple Makers Series #8” by Al Ain Evangelical Church in the free YouVersion Bible app.
There are many ways that we can screw up our lives. There is only one Way to fix it — Jesus! Which road are you on?
The Tree and Its Fruit
15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
False teachers are everywhere! You need to discern what they are teach is true to God’s Word. You do that with the help of the Holy Spirit. That happened to me back when I was attending the Progressive, Liberal United Church of Christ back in Florida. I really liked my pastor, but something she said one Sunday got me thinking — that doesn’t sound right. She was twisting the gospel.
Also, beware of “woke” pastors! Being “woke” is adopting today’s culture and that’s not what Jesus teaches. In Matthew 6 He told us to store our treasures in heaven.
21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
There are many people who call themselves “Christians” — Catholics included — who aren’t really. They never invited Jesus into their hearts as their personal savior. Just because you go to a church doesn’t mean you’re a Christian. Attending a church every week doesn’t make you a Christian just like sitting in a bank won’t make you rich.
I believe there are many Catholics & Progressives in hell crying & asking “Why?” They did what false preachers, priests and teachers told them to do. They went to church, followed the man-made rules and rituals. They called themselves Christians. Yet, they missed the one, crucial step of repentance that leads to salvation through Jesus Christ only.
That so separated them from God, that they will never get an answer.
One last message from the Sermon on the Mount…
Building on a Solid Foundation
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.Matthew 7 NLT
Obedience is NOT Optional!
God doesn’t want you to perish! That’s why HE gives you — and everybody — these rules. If you hear them but don’t listen — don’t take them to heart, you’ll be like the fool who built his house on sand. You also can’t pick or choose which ones are convenient for your lives and which you can ignore. You can’t ignore any of them! That, my friends, leads to destruction. That, leads to hell. And hell is real. There’s no such thing as purgatory!
The ONLY way to avoid hell is to….
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…